On April 23, the French daily Les Echos published several articles under the title “The solutions to reduce the price of new housing”. One of them indirectly referred to the importance of the State and its regulations in the sector: norms, taxation, various obligations. This importance is confirmed by the 15 proposals of the European manifesto written and published recently by Build Europe, which brings together the federations of promoters, builders and developers from several European countries. This sector appeals to French and European public authorities. Does this mean that the growth for some activities depends only on politics? Does this mean that the legislative and regulatory environment for economic and social stakeholders is more important than the strategies developed by the latter? What is the key impetus: fewer laws and more State actions, or more commercial offensive and less interference from public authorities?

Tax is often put forward and this is an excellent example. Originally, the tax was intended to finance the expenses of the State, to finance services general interest. Then, the tax system has been used more and more to guide and shape behaviors. The illustrations are legion: taxes on diesel or cigarettes, so-called ecological taxation, donations to associations, taxation on recruitment and dismissal, driving related taxation, etc. In the end, our behavior should depend on the modes of taxation. The very purpose of the tax has changed! And finally, our decisions depend indirectly on the State since it encourages us (or not) to act in one way or another.

No wonder, therefore, that what we find in tax matters is found in other areas: housing, transportation, teleworking, recruitment and dismissal, training, creation or transfer of a company, etc. Public authorities and companies (but also associations) can not evolve without each other. Relationships have become far too interdependent, whether visible or not. But the real danger lies in the domination of one over the other, and therefore in a relationship of dependence.

It is a true balance that must be achieved. A delicate balance, precarious and always to be protected. A balance that goes through a public-private partnership with always the concern of the long term and not of the immediacy.

Build Europe: Housing, a European challenge: a new strategy