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Legislative elections 2024: French Tech in panic

© Unsplash/Annie Spratt/Lemon squeezer

Definitely, the surprise legislative elections do not only make people happy. While the lists of candidates are now clear, French Tech fears losing competitiveness if the political cards are reshuffled.

Since Emmanuel Macron came to power in 2017, French start-ups have experienced meteoric growth. Driven by increasing funding and assumed state interventionism, they have attracted talent from around the world and set out to conquer foreign markets. But today, in the face of political uncertainty, it is time to take stock.

“Without engineers and developers from India, Morocco, Algeria, Ukraine, Syria, Uzbekistan, from the Philippines or the United States, our companies would deprive themselves of wealth, a source of innovation and diversity, essential to our competitiveness”, alerts Maya Noël, director of France Digitale (an association defending the interests of start-ups) in Les Échos. A declaration which clearly targets the National Rally whose program provides for a very selective immigration policy.

However, to maintain their growth rate, French gems need to attract the best profiles, wherever they are. The French Tech Visa, a system simplifying the recruitment of foreign talent, has thus met with great success, particularly in strategic areas such as artificial intelligence where France excels.

But French Tech's concerns go beyond French borders. Maya Noël also warns of a potential isolation of France in Brussels. “Without a single European market, without the free movement of goods and services, our companies would be nothing more than brilliant technological ideas without customers or impact on the world.”

Because to become giants, French start-ups must quickly take on a continental scale. It is with this in mind that they are increasing their acquisitions in Europe, such as Doctolib (e-health) which bought rivals in Italy and the Netherlands, or the fintech Qonto which acquired the German Penta. A strategy encouraged by their foreign investors, who dream of seeing the emergence of European champions made in France.

Fear of a Frexit

But this appetite for conquest could be dampened by France's withdrawal into itself. If the fears of French Tech seem mainly focused on the National Rally, whose radical positions on immigration are singled out, it is the loss of the presidential majority which crystallizes all the anxieties.

Because under the impetus of Emmanuel Macron, the State did not skimp on the means to boost its tech ecosystem, between tailor-made support via Bpifrance, a host of dedicated programs and privileged access to the highest circles of power. An interventionism which has borne fruit, but which could suddenly end in the event of an alternation.

Faced with this uncertain future , French Tech holds its breath.Beyond the electoral issues, it is France's place in the global technological competition that is at stake. Without a dynamic ecosystem open to the world, it is not certain that the next tech giants will see the light of day between the Seine and the Garonne.

  • The dissolution of the National Assembly greatly worries French Tech as the legislative elections approach
  • French start-ups fear losing competitiveness, particularly in their ability to attract foreign talent
  • They also fear isolation in Europe which would slow down their international development

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116