Editeur : revue Futures, Mai 1992, 16 pages
Auteur : Fabrice Hatem
Changes in attitudes and approaches to the philosophy of planning : the case of France
The French Plannng Commission (Commissariat du Plan) is a small, flexible and open-ended structure, which, in addition to drawing up the national five-years plan, is responsible for analysing structural problems, proposing solutions, and, where appropriate, advising the government on implementing those proposals. The number of areas in which French planning intervenes has streadily grown whilie the nature of the problems tackled has evolved in line with the challenges faced by the frecnh society. This has resulted in adaptation of the instruments and methods used.
After more than 40 years of pratical experience, the assessment of French planning is a mixed one. on the one hand, the recommendations included in the "five years plan" have become less precise and opérational, while the Planning Commission as an institutino has been sidelined to a certain degree in governement decision-making circuits. On the other hand, the Planning Commission has played a decisive role in spreading new ideas and modernizing people’s outlooks. The french approach of "planning through dialogue" thus may have a future in country where the need for evaluation, coordination and consultation is great, with the aim of guiding government action in the medium term.