Roland Lescure, a connoisseur of business in Industry

When he arrived at the newly elected Palais Bourbon in 2017, Roland Lescure seemed a bit lost. Arriving from Canada, where he occupied the position of number two in the Caisse de Dépôt et de Placement, a powerful pension fund, it took him time to understand the intricacies of the machinery of the National Assembly, where he occupied the presidency of the Economic Affairs Commission. Five years later, the deputy of the French of North America, who has just been re-elected, passes on the side of the executive, in Bercy, where he is bombarded Minister of Industry. A real promotion.

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Became one of the pillars of Macronie

It is that in one term, Roland Lescure, 55, has gone from a novice in the Assembly to the position of pillar of Macronie. His first feat of arms was piloting, as rapporteur, the Pacte law, this “action plan for the growth and transformation of companies”, which aimed to boost the growth of intermediary companies. But which turned into a catch-all text including privatizations and “corporate social responsibility”. In the Assembly, Lescure cut his teeth in the face of left-wing opposition, a headwind against privatization projects, and employers hostile to the ethical rules imposed on companies. He then strengthened relations with Bruno Le Maire, who is now his minister. At Bercy, he also finds himself alongside Olivia Grégoire, in charge of SMEs, and Jean-Noël Barrot, Modem deputy, in charge of Digital, who had worked a lot on this law. “Delighted to find the Pacte team,” said Lescure.

After having it voted on, Roland Lescure turned into VRP of this rather illegible law, too broad but which offers a lot of flexibility to companies on social thresholds, financing, or administration. “We must change the way of making the law, by raising all the complaints from the ground in order to amend the reforms very quickly”, he explained to Challenges, in Brittany, in 2019, where he had answered, very comfortable, the questions and demands of the bosses of SMEs. A knowledge of the company which will be very useful to him in his functions as Minister of Industry.

Create real pension funds

The other asset of Roland Lescure, younger brother of television personality Pierre Lescure, is politics. During Macron’s first five-year term, he became one of the pillars of Macronie. Occupying several functions within La République en Marche, he was responsible, during the presidential campaign, for co-managing the group “of relays with civil society”. He toured the unions and professional associations, in order to go fishing for ideas and to strengthen relations with these “intermediate bodies”, promise of Macron’s second five-year term. Fairly direct, while remaining cautious in expression, he allowed himself a few deviations from the Macronist line, advocating in a book Our Totems and our taboos: let’s go beyond them (L’Aube), to explore the decriminalization of cannabis and the creation of real pension funds.

At the head of the Ministry of Industry, Roland Lescure will face a still catastrophic situation. The trade deficit reached a new record (106 billion over twelve months, in June), revealing the weakness of our industrial apparatus. But for his return to Finance – he worked at Bercy in the direction of forecasting, 30 years ago, at the time of the 1993 recession, where he participated “in the biggest forecasting error in history” , he let go – Lescure arrives with his macronist optimism pegged to the body. “We have shown that the secular decline of French industry was not inevitable, he said during the welcoming ceremony at Finance. We have recreated industrial jobs and industrial facilities in this country” . A small rebound, after decades of deindustrialization, which he will have to confirm.

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