It has been one of his most prestigious students, Emmanuel Macron, in charge of giving the final blow to the National School of Administration (ENA). The French president announced on Thursday the closure of the ” elite factory ” and its replacement by a new institution designed to train the senior official.
Created at the end of World War II, the prestigious institution helped rebuild public administration in a turbulent time. 75 years later, the ENA closes its doors accused of privileging and reproducing a political, economic and social elite.
The idea of suppressing the historic institution emerged in 2019, after protests led by the ‘yellow vests ‘. ” Fed up with the ENA !”, “Close the ENA!” Were, at that time, some of the slogans launched against a system that benefited a privileged minority to the detriment of a disadvantaged majority.
In this context, the head of state promised the closure of the prestigious institution, a measure included in a broad reform plan by the senior official aimed at promoting the creation of a more open, diverse and more connected state with the reality of the French .
“The nation collapses if there is no equal opportunity ,” Emmanuel Macron explained on February 11, announcing on that occasion that the historic school would not be abolished but rather reformed to allow students of modest origin to access its classrooms.
“No young person in our Republic should say to himself: this is not for me,” he insisted. As the saying goes, “where I said I say, I say Diego”: two months later the head of state has decreed the closure, pure and simple, of one of the country’s educational symbols.
According to ‘Europe 1’, the ENA “will disappear to make way for a new institution that will operate in the field of initial training [absorbing the ENA] and continuing training, with a new governance”. The new institution will have a specific competition reserved for the most disadvantaged candidates .
“Once integrated, the students will follow a common core that will allow them to acquire notions and values common to the students [fruit] of the great civil servants ‘schools, those that train magistrates, commissioners or hospital directors,” explains the newspaper’ Le Monde ‘.
An ineffective system
“[The suppression of the ENA] has been one of my workhorses for a long time,” explained François Bayrou, president of the MoDem training and high commissioner of the Plan, in charge of coordinating planning and reflection projects promoted by the State .
This issue is “a matter of concern for the President of the Republic since his election campaign,” he assured on the ‘France Info’ antenna. The decision to close the cradle of the elites is based on “ two profound reasons ”: “the rupture between the base [of society] and those at the top” and “an ineffective system of perpetual lockdown that means that we can never change anything Immobility is stronger than all the energy deployed ”.
The initial mission of the ENA was to recognize the merits and excellence of the best students, functioning as “a social elevator”, but it has ended up becoming a nursery for the French elite, thus failing in its task of “democratizing” the recruitment of students. senior officials.
The representation of all social strata among its students is negligible: 72.2% of its students are children of senior managers, a figure very far from the 6% represented by the children of workers.
Accused of ruling by and for the French elite , Macron plays a winning trump card: defending equal opportunities. An initiative that seems to be materializing in the final stretch of his mandate, perhaps too late in the eyes of the most disadvantaged France.