Status, members and role
The French "Conseil d’analyse économique" (Council of Economic Analysis) was created in July 1997 by the French Prime Minister. It is an independent, non partisan advisory body reporting to the French Prime Minister. Its members belong to the academic community and are chosen by the Prime minister. To bring specific knowledge, some economists from the business sector may join in to write a report. None of them receive any allowances for their attendance at the meetings.
This Council is meant to shed light upon economic policy issues, especially at an early stage, before government policy is defined. It also contributes to the public debate through its reports, which are public.
Its members represent various schools of thought and a wide range of opinions. The Council also includes a few foreign economists so that international perspectives be thoroughly taken into account.
The discussions need not end up with unanimous conclusions, a major preoccupation consisting in that all categories of views be expressed.
The Council meets about every month in plenary sessions to discuss a draft report prepared by one or several of its members. Topics may be selected by the Prime Minister, or by the Council’s President, who chairs the meetings in the absence of the PM. Opinions expressed in the reports are those of the authors and do not represent the view of the Council.
The Council now prepares short notes for the Prime minister but more frequently.
Final reports and now Notes are later presented in a session chaired by the Prime Minister. The PM takes part in the general discussion and may offer some conclusions to it.
Discussions within the Council are confidential, but all reports and Notes are published, together with the discussants’ comments and background papers by academics and/or officials.
For the preparation of the reports, ad hoc committees composed of experts of the field are frequently assembled.
Activity and publications
As of May 2013, the Council has published one hundred and four reports and since January 2013 5 Notes on a great variety of topics.
A substantial emphasis has been laid on international themes, both in a global perspective (the international financial system, development, trade negotiations or global governance), and in a European perspective (the co-ordination of economic policies, enlargement, industrial policy).
Reports on domestic issues cover macro-economic policy, tax issues (green taxation, redistribution, etc.), social policy (public health, pensions, poverty, inequality, gender issues) matters (labour, redistribution, inequities, environment).
The CAE also publishes for his reports a letter, Analyses économiques. Most of the reports have a summary in French, in English and in Spanish.
Reports are available through La Documentation française, the government’s publisher. Single copies can be downloaded free of charge from this website.
Reproductions are subject to prior authorisation from the publisher.
Mail to : Christine CARL