Interview/presidential: the digital program of Valérie Pécresse (Les Républicains)

© Chesnot / Getty Images / Bastien Lion – Valérie Pécresse


The Digital editorial staff invites you to browse the program dedicated to digital issues by Valérie Pécresse, candidate for the Les Républicains party. This article is supplemented by an interview with Nelly Garnier, in charge of its digital campaign.
In her program called Le courage de faire, Valérie Pécresse, candidate for the Les Républicains (LR) party, places great emphasis on the digital component with at least 12 detailed proposals. The main theme developed by the candidate relates to digital sovereignty, but also to digital education for the youngest, or to the ecological transition.

The main points of the program

Train 1 million digital talents by 2030 through the creation of a National Digital School.
Establish a French and European preference in the public ordering of software.
Give ourselves the means to have a sovereign cloud so that France keeps control of its strategic data.
Create a National Cyber Prosecutor's Office to fight against cyberattacks targeting France.

Integrate coding into school curricula from 6th grade.

Adopt a child protection law against digital threats.

Supporting a major IT equipment repair and refurbishment industry.
Introduce a Recovery check of €10 for smartphones and €50 for computers for all those who bring their used digital equipment back to a French repairer.
Create a Green Data Hub for the supervision of environmental data.
Accelerate the deployment of fixed and mobile Very High Speed Broadband (THD) by introducing a financial bonus for local authorities that will complete the deployment before the end of 2024.
Interview with Nelly Garnier, in charge of Valérie Pécresse's digital program
What are your plans to achieve an ideal of French digital sovereignty and restrict dependence on foreign technologies?
From the first year of her mandate, Valérie Pécresse would like to have a major digital sovereignty and responsibility law adopted which would deal with the four main pillars of sovereignty. First of all, infrastructure by gradually laying the bricks of a French sovereign cloud, the need for which has been proven by the failure of certain projects such as the Health Data Hub which was awarded to Microsoft without a call for tenders. And this, while we have players in the French cloud that we can scale up via public procurement. The idea is, for sensitive and strategic data, to put in place the conditions to benefit before 2030 from a French cloud that goes further than the trusted cloud.
Then there is the software and algorithms component for which Valérie Pécresse sets the objective of quotas of 50% of French and European purchases in public procurement in 2027, with a gradual increase (10% in 2023, 20% in 2024… ). The third point concerns data security: defining which data must be protected (health, nuclear, etc.), which is a matter of data sovereignty. Finally, the fourth component concerns cybersecurity. Valérie Pécresse wishes to create a National Cyber Prosecutor's Office to simplify the filing of complaints and to train massively on these professions at the criminal and legal level in order to respond to this new threat which is becoming daily for companies and individuals.
In the absence of an international data exchange agreement, should data transfers from France to foreign powers such as the United States or China be authorized?
The challenge for us on the data that we want to protect is to have tools that allow us to avoid submitting ourselves to potential extraterritoriality laws, to have this sovereign cloud that would protect us.
We want to halve the time needed to set up production sites [for electronic chips], reduce the tax burden, reduce standards, be very attractive
Can we still envisage the production of chips in Europe? Should lithium be extracted in France?
Yes. What we deplore is that Germany is still too often chosen (see Intel announcements, editor's note), in particular because the time required to set up a factory there is four months, compared to 18 months in France. . We want to halve this period for setting up production sites, reduce tax pressure, reduce standards, be very attractive. As far as lithium is concerned, short circuits are not just for fruits and vegetables. In digital, we must also consider these short circuits throughout the production chain. Having control over production also means having control over the conditions that are imposed in terms of the environment. Reluctance is linked to the ecological impact. We must extract lithium if we are able to provide the ecological conditions.
We put this repair check of 10 € in order to encourage the French to take out the 110 million telephones stored in their drawers
Is there today a problem of equation between digital and ecology?
We don't just have a negative view, because we know that digital is also an accelerator of ecological transition. We have a desire to create a large sector of repair and reconditioning of computer equipment. We know that 75% of the digital environmental footprint corresponds to the creation of equipment. We are in a sector where everything is done so that there is a permanent renewal, in particular of terminals. We want to liberalize the market for spare parts, technical manuals, take up what has been done in the automotive field in order to move towards repairability and proceed with this change of model. It also means supporting this sector with an initial boost, and that's why we put this €10 repair check in order to encourage the French to take out the 110 million telephones stored in their drawers. It is too often seen as a social and solidarity economy market, even though it has the potential to be a major industrial sector.
On the ecological efficiency and transition aspect, we offer a data cockpit (Green Data Hub), a sort of environmental security PC in real time to cross-reference all the data from services, agencies and territories. Have this marketplace of environmental data in order to measure the impacts. The second measure consists in encouraging companies to integrate the digital component into CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to codify their behavior. This would make it possible to integrate the digital aspects of sustainability and sovereignty by promoting purchases made with European and French companies.
Several studies have demonstrated the harmful effects of social networks on the mental health of the youngest. What solution would you recommend to raise awareness and educate about the dangers of the Internet?
Finally, we believe that France must open up reflection on the end of anonymity at European level to get out of this logic where moderation is in the hands of Gafam. Networks where there is no anonymity are much less violent. Today, for someone to come and get your IP address and find you, you have to be in a case of terrorism, harassment leading to suicide. Anonymity promotes a number of behaviors such as everyday trolling, cyberbullying, etc. We believe that this debate should be opened at European level.
Would you like to establish a tax framework dedicated to cryptocurrencies and cryptoassets?
We will have to do this and find a mode of regulation that protects while not preventing innovation. We have a very cutting-edge French fintech ecosystem. You can't do on Web3 what you did on Web2, realizing afterwards that big foreign monopolies have taken over the subject. The fintech sector is a priority. What we see on the subject of cryptocurrencies is that there is also a great need for training for regulators. We have a very ambitious program to rearm the State at all levels, in particular with the National Digital School to train executives who understand its challenges and find new ways of regulating.
The idea is to encourage French actors to create their own metaverse
How to fight against the digital divide throughout the territory and provide access to high-speed Internet for all?
Our objective is to identify the needs of all rural areas from the summer of 2022, then to set up a financial bonus to encourage local authorities to complete the deployment of fixed and mobile high-speed broadband from 2024. We are in favor of accelerating investments in 4G infrastructure to no longer have dead zones.
Finally, the Internet giants are investing in a digital future made up of “metavers”. Do you believe it?
If we don't seize it, it will be the foreign players who will. Regarding Emmanuel Macron's proposal, we can indeed create a European interface, but the question of data hosting arises again. The idea is to encourage French actors to create their own metaverse.

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