what to remember from the interview with Franck Leroy, president of Grand Est

A year after coming to the head of the regional council of Grand Est, Franck Leroy was a guest of the show “Dimanche en politique Grand Est” on February 4. Traffic, industry, education, ecology, here's what you need to remember from the show.

After the resignation of Jean Rottner, Franck Leroy was elected president of the Grand Est regional council on January 13, 2023. After just over a year in office, various right-wing elected officials, the former mayor of Épernay in the Marne was the guest of Lodoïs Gravel in “Dimanche en politique Grand Est” this Sunday, February 4, 2024. An opportunity for an initial assessment of issues of transport, industry, education and even sustainable development.

“It's fortunate that this crisis happened somewhere, because these problems had been brewing for some time. Farmers were facing income problems, problems of unfair competition and lack of consideration from the population,” points out Franck Leroy.

“This movement, which was perfectly orchestrated without exaggeration, made it possible to shed light on long-standing issues. It is not normal for people who work between 60 and 80 hours a week not to have a decent income.”

Let's stop doing agriculture, let's stop thinking that agriculture is a problem, it is part of the solution.

Franck Leroy, President of the Grand Est Regional Council

On January 26, the Regional Council voted for an urgent initiative to support the agricultural world. “This allowed us to remember that our region is the leading agricultural region of France, that it stands by its farmers. We absolutely must work alongside them to enable them to live better and find themselves in a situation of fair competition.”

After the arrival of Gabriel Attal in Matignon and the announcement of some ministers in January, the rest of the government team is awaited. “Actually we need to have the identity of ministers quite soon, because today we are a little paralyzed on the issue of transport or industrial development because our usual correspondents are not there,” explains the elected right-wing party.

He welcomes the arrival of Catherine Vautrin, former president of the Greater Reims urban community, at the head of the great ministry. “She has extremely complex problems, work, solidarity, health, but I have full confidence in her that she will succeed.”

Franck Leroy was present at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, together with the President of the Republic and other regional presidents (Valérie Pécresse for Île-de-France, Christelle Morançais for Pays de la Loire and Renaud Muselier for Provence-Alpes-Côte d' Openwork). A trip he presents as “very useful”.

“I did not know Davos. I am impressed by this World Economic Forum, the quality and diversity of the speakers,” explains Franck Leroy. A useful trip, according to him, for “the preparation of future industrial facilities in our territories.”

“We are an industrial territory that likes to welcome foreign investors. The trip to Davos was very useful because we had a number of privileged contacts with people that we might otherwise never have been able to meet.”

Franck Leroy was interrogated by Lodoïs Gravel.

Franck Leroy was interrogated by Lodoïs Gravel.

© France Télévisions

In November 2023, Metz hosted the first territorial COP in France. An opportunity to set a goal of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20 million tons by 2030 in the region.

If we want to stop global warming, we have to slow down the use of fossil fuels and this will be planned sector by sector in case of consultation.

“We have goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, we will not achieve this by snapping our fingers,” admits the president of the regional council. “Sector by sector, territory by territory, each of us has our part to do. Farmers, industrialists, transporters, energy companies, the world of environmental protection… All stakeholders are aware that we have to move.”

Public transport, and especially TER, is the most important item in the budget of the Grand Est regional council. The establishment of the European Metropolitan Express Network (REME) in Strasbourg last year was painful. We specifically addressed this topic in the Enquêtes de region broadcast in December 2023.

“We thought, and the SNCF also recognized it, that it would go faster, admits the elected official. In reality, we encountered difficulties with a lack of drivers, an organizational problem at the level of Strasbourg station, which is a provincial station that supports most train movements in France. “

The early breakdowns are now a thing of the past, according to the elected official, but the goal of 1,000 additional trains per month has not yet been reached. “Things are back in place because to date we have 650 more trains than in autumn 2022, which means that it is already two thirds of success.”

More traffic means more solutions for our fellow citizens, which also means a reduced carbon footprint. Because public transport has this virtue: it is clean.

“We are still missing part of the offer, which will be consolidated over time. Work is certainly needed in certain places. But 650 more trains per week (sic) at the Strasbourg station and up to 40 or 50 km from Strasbourg is already a huge improvement.”

The elected official “takes full responsibility” for communication errors with REME promises, far from reality. “Ultimately we thought we would get to 950 or 1,000 trains very quickly. In reality it takes a little longer, but the progress is there and many train users are seeing it today.”

Densification of rail traffic must also become a reality in other sectors of the region. “The first REME was installed, we experienced some difficulties. We learned. Tomorrow, between Mulhouse and EuroAirport and between Lorraine and Luxembourg – and a little later around Reims in what we call the star of Reims – we will have high-quality metropolitan transport systems”, he assures.

Management of secondary schools is also part of the regional councils' missions. In the spring, a reorganization was announced in Grand Est. Buildings must be grouped together, several high schools must be closed.

Franck Leroy confirms the closure of Pulversheim High School near Mulhouse. “It will close at the start of the 2025 school year, as we are taking time to carry out the work so that pupils who are in Pulversheim can be found in secondary schools which are all less than 15km away.”

We have concentrated several pages into one in order to rationalize the offer. But not a single training session is closed.

The elected official confirms that “the local elected officials perfectly understood the logic of the region” regarding this reorganization of teaching positions. “This means concentrating students on facilities where the technical platforms have been renovated. We had high schools that were 45% full. At a time when we pay so much for energy, when you heat 100% of the high school for 45% of the tenants, there is a real public management problem.”

Franck Leroy refutes the idea of ​​a new redistribution of Grand Est, leaving Alsace, which is defended, for example, by the president of the European Community of Alsace.

“Relations with Frédéric Bierry are cordial. We have some disagreements. He clearly believes that the European Community of Alsace must become a region, although the Matignon Agreements we signed do not provide for this,” points out Franck Leroy. I note that the President of the Republic came to Alsace to announce that the Grand Est will remain the Grand Est and that we must work together. That's what we do every day.”

“We have stable institutions today. All regional presidents categorically refuse to revise the perimeters because it would be a waste of time and money for everyone. Our fellow citizens expect us to work, they are waiting for the results.”

Several LFI MPs, including Bas-Rhin elected representative Emmanuel Fernandes, have tabled a bill aimed at extending the law on the separation of church and state to the entire French territory, with the local religious regime in the crosshairs. in Alsace-Moselle.

Franck Leroy says he is “deeply shocked” by the proposal. “The Constitutional Council reminded us of the importance of the domestic law and considers it constitutionally established,” the elected official claims. “We know that LFI's strategy is to sow chaos and shake up institutions everywhere. Our country needs stability, and local law is a value we hold dear and must absolutely preserve.”

The show “Dimanche en politique Grand Est”, hosted by Lodoïs Gravel and broadcast on February 4, 2024, can be found in replay on the france.tv platform.

Leave a Comment