World News: Macron’s Uber Scandal

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The Uber files scandal that has splashed the President of the Republic highlights all the ambiguities of public authorities and companies in the face of these companies with growing influence that question the resilience of States.

What has become common to now call the Uber files, namely how the North American company managed in the course of the 2010s to infiltrate and influence the states in which it wanted to establish itself, refers to a double reality of hesitation, fear and fascination.

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The first tinged with evidence highlights the power of a lobby, which, in its role seeks, to assert its interests; the second, more worrying, how one or more states finally turn out to be porous and permeable to these same lobbies. Several reasons can explain it: greed, political maneuver, desire to increase the influence of the lobby in question...

The motives are numerous but fail to hide the pernicious aspect of the logic of those who lead lobbies in fine almost as powerful, sometimes more, than sovereign states. It therefore remains to identify the relays within an administrative structure that are able to present all the positive aspects that the arrival of an ordinary company supported by a lobby is revealing.

Dictionary and Mistrust

In France, and for a few days, it is the President of the Republic himself who is accused of having favored the establishment of the company Uber in France to the detriment, originally, of taxi drivers, who then denounced unfair competition.

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Relevant or not, this arrival has upset the French economic landscape to the point that today the dictionary has included the term Uberization in its pages and that the Ligue 1 football France championship has also taken its name, to be called Ligue 1 Uber Eats. After the anecdote, the President of the Republic, who fully assumes having favored the establishment of the company Uber in France, is certainly today confronted without raged parliamentarians, more in a political posture than moral, with a form of mistrust in the face of the lobbies specific to Europe.

By travelling outside our borders, the weight, role, and influence of lobbies turn out to be not only recognized but also fully assumed, returning Europe and its principles to convictions that some would consider outdated. On the other side of the Atlantic, the lobbies, numerous, do not hide in any way their power and their area of influence. Whether military-industrial, pharmaceutical or the backbone of road transport, lobbies are known and accepted as actors in the economic life of a nation that rubs shoulders with and influences the state and its unscrupulous servants.

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Polymorphic Giants

Europe, rightly or wrongly, entrenched behind principles of its own and respectable, has always had a very fearful attitude towards these polymorphic giants, with their many ramifications and their influence that is often strong but difficult to quantify. Does this mean that it is appropriate to have an attitude towards lobbies that is always marked by mistrust?

The question arises and finds a partial answer, at least in France, because in France lobbies are authorized by the Sapin 2 law which remains however rather vague in some aspects. However, the conspiracy dimension that can sometimes surround the apprehension that one can have of lobbies remains, it seems, quite strong.

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Poorly understood in their objectives and practices, lobbies force many companies and the State to question their ability to resist groups of companies linked by a common will: profit. And is this desire compatible with the notion of general interest that animates, the theory of each public authority? It will be up to everyone to answer this question in the light of their principles.



Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.


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