In February 2010, the government of France announced altered domestic business conditions for foreign investors.



  • 0 harmful
  • 1 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: 01 Feb 2010 | Removal date: open ended

FDI: Treatment and operations, nes

In a BFM radio interview on 1 February 2010, the French Industry Minister, Christian Estrosi, told that the government will not accept the oil giant Total closing the refinery in Dunkirk (Nord department), as long as no other economic activity is guranteed and the jobs of 360 workers at the refinery and another 400 workers representing the suppliers are secured. He added that the government understands that a reorganisation of the branch may be needed due to a decline of the consumption of oil products, but insisted that jobs must be preserved in a highly profitable company like Total.
In December 2009, Total announced that it considers to shut down the the refining activity in Dunkirk. Reacting to the Government's concern, Total explained in a press release on 1 February 2010 that it will make an effort to: 

  • guarantee for each worker an employment at Total (according to a press release by the Industry Ministry on 8 March 2010, this is now confirmed)
  • assure the survival of the plant in the Nord department. The plan is to create a centre of technical assistance for refinery operations and a training centre
  • examine the participation in the methane plant project of EDF, Electricit√© de France (according to a press release by the Industry Ministry on 8 March 2010, an agreement between Total and EDF has been found)¬†
  • help preserving the suppliers' network in the region

Total proposed to provide a definitive plan regarding the continuation of the plant by mid-year.
This impact of this state pressure is likely to discriminate against foreign commercial interests as Total is likely to have transferred or consolidated activites in its subsidiaries abroad. Foreign interests harmed by this state measure are juristictions where Total has established subsidaries.