The void will not have lasted more than a week. Six days after the departure of Pierre-Louis Bras from the Retirement Orientation Council, of which he was president, his replacement is already known. This is the economist Gilbert This. A great expert on social issues, now a professor at Neoma Business School, the latter is currently president of the SMIC expert group. Recently, he was part of the group of economists consulted by Emmanuel Macron on current issues.
The appointment was made official this Tuesday in the Council of Ministers. Questioned by Le Figaro, the person concerned was delighted with this development. The position “seemed to me to be an interesting challenge for an economist,” he explains. His predecessor, a graduate of HEC and ENA, had more the profile of a senior civil servant. Discreet about the date and manner in which he was contacted, he nevertheless admits to having been very surprised by the proposal. “I didn't expect it at all, even though I spoke a lot on the subject of pensions. It’s a file that interests me,” he adds.
Also read: The Retirement Guidance Council, a body which is increasingly controversial
Matignon announced the departure of Pierre-Louis Bras on October 25, after nine years at the head of COR. The latter had been criticized during the debate on pension reform by the executive, who had accused him of putting into perspective the scale of the regime's future deficits. The departure of Mr. Bras "is not a sanction", had however assured the Prime Minister's entourage, without fully convincing.
The COR, which brings together 41 members - parliamentarians, representatives of employers and unions, members of major administrations and experts - is an expertise and consultation body attached to Matignon but which works independently. It is responsible for “analyzing and monitoring the medium and long-term prospects of the French retirement system”.
Born in 1956, and holder of a doctorate in economics from the University of Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne, Gilbert Ce teaches at the Neoma business school and the University of Aix-Marseille. Former member of the Economic Analysis Council, he is deputy to the general director of studies and international relations of the Banque de France, and since 2017 president of the group of experts on the minimum wage, responsible for submitting a report to the government each year. He is also the author of several works relating to labor law and macroeconomic policies. In April 2017, at the time of the presidential election, he signed with around forty other economists a column in support of Emmanuel Macron, published in Le Monde. “We believe that Emmanuel Macron's program is best able to lay the foundations for the new economic growth that our country needs. It is because it bets on work, youth, innovation, inclusion, investment and environmental transition,” wrote the authors of this column. He has since spoken out several times in the press, notably to support the pension reform which he judged, for example, in Les Échos in January, “fairly balanced” and able to “ensure the sustainability of the regime”.
It remains to be seen whether the appointment of Gilbert Ce at the head of the COR will force him to leave his position within the SMIC expert committee. At the moment the question is not relevant. “I'm going to do both until the end of the year,” he explains. An obligation in view of the agenda. A report is being finalized and should be presented to the social partners at the end of November.