November 25, 2009

France Creates Office for Economic Intel

By pierre tran
Published: 21 September 2009

Paris - France is re-engineering its economic intelligence system to improve the collection of commercial data by some 2 million French companies to boost their competitiveness.

The reorganization of French economic intelligence arms, authorized by the country's Cabinet and detailed in the minutes of a Sept. 16 meeting, is intended to improve a critical function that officials said lags behind other countries, like the United States.

Notably, oversight of the function will shift from a post attached to the prime minister's office over to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment but taking direction from the president's office.

The new director will be responsible for proposing government policy on economic intelligence and coordinating implementation, boosting French influence and presence in international institutions and foreign activities, and protecting the competitiveness of French companies.

"A lot of this has to do with material classified as defense secret," a government official said.

The office specifically will focus on assessing scientific, technological and international economic factors to protect the economic interests of France and its companies.

The new director - expected to be Cyril Bouyeur, an economic intelligence specialist at the Economy Ministry - will be announced in a few weeks and take direction from a committee headed by the president's national coordinator for intelligence, Bernard Bajolet. Bajolet, recently appointed as coordinator of national security by President Nicolas Sarkozy, is a career diplomat and former ambassador to Algeria.

"Economic intelligence is to the 21st century what marketing was in the 20th century," said Alain Juillet, who resigned three months ago as the government's head of economic intelligence. "The creation of the interminister-ial director is something we have wanted for several months. It had to be done."

Juillet was a senior official in the DGSE Intelligence service - France's equivalent of America's Central Intelligence Agency - before he was appointed to be economic intelligence head.

"It is not espionage," but consists of using all legal means to gain an understanding of the competitive environment, drawing on open sources such as the press, search engines and conferences, he said. "It is marketing times 10."

Most large companies in the French CAC-40 share index engage in economic intelligence, but there are 2 million firms, including 200,000 important ones, that ignore the activity, he said.

Asked whether the government uses borderline methods to gain commercially sensitive information and pass it on to French companies, Juillet said, "Why not, as long as it is legal?"

Juillet alleged the U.S. government used its intelligence networks to pass on confidential information that enabled an American company, Raytheon, to beat Thales, then Thomson-CSF, on a large Brazilian surveillance contract of the Amazonian basin dubbed SIVAM.

Raytheon declined to comment.

During the years after the end of the Cold War, the Clinton administration directed the CIA to put greater emphasis on economic intelligence, a move at the time justified in part because of the superior capabilities in the field of nations like France.

But the new position signals a "basic confusion," said Loic Tribot La Spière, the chief executive of the Centre d'Etude et Prospection Stratégique consultancy.

The director would have the economy minister and the president as "two poles," with the former focused on commercial and competitive matters, the latter on national security.

The function of the economic intelligence head is hazy and needs to be developed, something the new appointment will address, Juillet said. ■


Decree n ° 2009-1122 of September 17, 2009 on the inter-ministerial delegate to the intelligence

NOR: ECEX0921382D

Version consolidated to September 19, 2009

The President of the Republic,
On the report of the Prime Minister
Given the Constitution, including Article 37;
Given the Decree No. 79-433 of 1 June 1979 concerning the credentials of ambassadors and the organization of state services abroad;
Given the Decree No. 2004-374 of April 29, 2004 on the powers of prefects, organization and action of State services in regions and departments;
Given the Decree No. 2006-947 of July 28, 2006 on the functions of the Secretary General of Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry and creating a general secretariat;
The cabinet heard

Article 1 Learn more about this item ...

There is established an interministerial delegate to the intelligence position with the Secretary General of Ministry of Economy.

Article 2 Learn more about this item ...

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence develops and offers the public policy of economic intelligence. It animates and coordinates their implementation. It evaluates the effectiveness.

A steering committee of economic intelligence, placed at the Presidency of the Republic, sets guidelines for the interministerial delegate for economic intelligence.

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence reports on its activities to the Board of the intelligence.

The steering committee of economic intelligence is composed of representatives of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, ministers of the interior, foreign affairs, defense, economy and budget. The representative of the President of the Republic in the chair. As appropriate, representatives of other departments involved in the steering committee.

Article 3 Learn more about this item ...

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence contributes to work looking to identify trends in environmental science, technology and international economic order to discern the strategic factors.

The inter-ministerial delegate to ensure intelligence collection, synthesis and dissemination of strategic information to alert state authorities on the economic developments of major interest and businesses to understand the competitive environment in which they operate.

In liaison with relevant ministries, the ministerial delegate to the intelligence contributes to supporting businesses in their international operations.

Article 4 Learn more about this item ...

The interministerial delegate for the intelligence identifies economic sectors holders of national and strategic interests in the proposed list. He coordinates the eve of the risks and potential threats to organizations and companies in these sectors and propose any measures to prevent them.

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence proposes measures to facilitate corporate financing economic sectors holders of national strategic interests.The interministerial delegate for the intelligence coordinating the implementation of measures to protect sensitive business.

Article 5 Learn more about this item ...

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence contributes to the definition of standards strategy and international regulations when these have an impact on the competitiveness of enterprises.

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence, in liaison with relevant ministries, is preparing measures to ensure and expand the influence and presence of France in international institutions with an economic role and its influence in international economic activities .
Article 6 Learn more about this item ...

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence has provisions to strengthen the protection of economic interests and national heritage scientific, technological and economic state and enterprises.

Article 7 Learn more about this item ...

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence creates and coordinates training, communication and awareness of the intelligence departments concerned.

Article 8 Learn more about this item ...

The interministerial delegate for economic intelligence was appointed by Order in Council of Ministers, on proposal by the Minister of Economy.

Article 9 Learn more about this item ...

To conduct interdepartmental work entrusted to the interministerial delegate for economic intelligence may appeal to central government and the devolved government departments concerned, in compliance with the decrees of 1st June 1979 and April 29, 2004 above. He chairs an interdepartmental group composed of representatives from departments mentioned in section 2.

Article 10
Changed the following provisions:
Repeals Defense Code. - Art. * D 1132-11 (Ab)

Article 11 Learn more about this item ...

The Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Minister of Economy, Industry and Employment, Minister of the Interior, Overseas France and Territorial Communities, Minister Budget, Public Accounts, the Civil Service and State Reform and the Minister of Defense is responsible, each in what concerns the implementation of this Decree, which will be published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.

Done at Paris, September 17, 2009.

Nicolas Sarkozy

By the President of the Republic:

Prime Minister

François Fillon

The Minister of Economy,

Industry and Employment,

Christine Lagarde

The Minister of Foreign Affairs

and European

Bernard Kouchner

The Minister of Interior,

of overseas and local authorities,

Brice Hortefeux

The Minister of Budget, Public Accounts,

Public Service

and state reform,

Eric Woerth

The Minister of Defense,

Hervé Morin

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