Macron replaces elite civil service college following criticism

President Emmanuel Macron

(dpa) – The controversial French elite civil service college ENA is to be abolished and replaced by a more broadly based institution, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

An Institute of Public Service (ISP) is planned as a large training institution for the senior civil service, Macron announced in Paris on Thursday. The 43-year-old spoke of a “profound upheaval.”

With this announcement, the plans for the prestigious National School of Administration (ENA) are now becoming concrete. It has repeatedly come under criticism in recent years, with its opponents saying it’s as a training centre for a small circle of aloof elite technocrats.

Macron, himself an ENA graduate, had already said about two years ago after the lengthy Yellow Vest protests that the ENA should be abolished.

The elite administrative college ENA was founded in 1945 directly after World War II under the provisional government of General Charles de Gaulle.

The aim at the time was to democratize the recruitment of top officials for the state. A good degree from the ENA opened doors to the top echelons of administration, diplomacy, politics and the private sector in France.

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