While the first three investment programs for the future undertaken for ten years represent a theoretical sum of 57 billion euros, the executive wants to launch a new one at the beginning of 2020. The envelope has not yet been decided and will have to target innovation.

Edouard Philippe, the Prime Minister, wants to integrate the new PIA into the next public finance programming law.

It is not only the Hollywood cinema which multiplies the sequels. Almost ten years after the launch of the first investment program for the future (PIA), the government is preparing to implement the fourth part of this plan, originally designed in response to the 2008 financial crisis. “There will indeed be a PIA 4, which will follow the same logic as its predecessor by targeting exceptional investments, and this time covering the period 2021-2025”, we told Matignon. The final outlines will be unveiled at the beginning of next year and will be incorporated into the public finance programming law which will be presented next spring by the executive.

At the origin of these investment programs, there was the famous “big loan” of Nicolas Sarkozy (35 billion euros) which became the first PIA of the name, before being renewed twice under François Hollande (for 12 billion in 2013 then 10 billion in 2016).

“The PIA is a long-term program which has made it possible to maintain high innovation credits regardless of the political majority”, we point out to Matignon. The assessment report submitted this Thursday to Edouard Philippe by the Supervisory Committee for Investments for the Future chaired by Patricia Barbizet also underlines that “The first part of the PIA helped to limit the deterioration of the investment […] in a post-crisis context ”, even if he deplores the lack of evaluation of projects and the observed trend of “Substitution of PIA credits for ordinary budgetary allocations”.

Two identified objectives

The current government therefore wants to draw inspiration from previous models, while trying to renew the genre to take into account the “Need to renew strategic investment priorities”. Two objectives have already been identified. First, finance the exceptional investments that will emerge from the Productive Pact of Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, and the future multi-year research programming law. The future PIA 4 will also have to “Guarantee, through capital allocations, long-term funding for higher education, research and innovation ecosystems”, according to the press release from Matignon. This should complement the action of the innovation fund already created by the government and which is intended to be supplied by the proceeds from the privatization of the FDJ and ADP.

Blur on the large investment plan

It remains to be seen how much money will be devoted to this new program. “The issue of calibration has not yet been defined, the objective is to maintain the same level of ambition as in recent years”, we explain to Matignon.

The supervisory committee report notes that “The extension of the actions and the financing of a new generation of strategic investments would suppose to foresee a global envelope of approximately 10 billion euros over five years”.

In any case, the major part of the disbursements should occur after 2022. Until then, the PIA 3 will continue to produce its effects, itself included in the Grand investment plan of 57 billion euros promised by Emmanuel Macron during his campaign. Between recycling of existing credits and vagueness of use, this one is somewhat off the radar. “We are totally in line with our objectives”, we answer Matignon.