Institut Montaigne

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The Institut Montaigne is a French think tank founded by Claude Bébéar in 2000, with the aim to promote both competitiveness and social cohesion and to help shape public policy to improve both economic and social environments in France.[1][2][3][4][5] Based in Paris, the Institut Montaigne brings together leaders from civil society, industry, university, and public administration, fosters independent thinking on policy matters and explores ideas free from any economic or political preconceptions.


The Institut Montaigne concentrates on four policy fields:[6]

  • Social cohesion: education, employment, equality of opportunities, lifelong learning ;
  • Public policy: retirement, justice, healthcare, European issues, higher education ;
  • Competitiveness: firms, energy, transports, SMB, digital economy, regulation of financial markets ;
  • Public finances: taxation, local finances, public spending, local authorities

The Institut Montaigne is also involved in promoting innovative democratic platforms. In 2011, the think tank led an ambitious research program under the supervision of Gilles Kepel on the suburban cities of Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil where the 2005 riots sparked. The findings were published in “Banlieue de la République”.[7] This work was later completed by “Passion française”, a political essay based on a series of interviews conducted in Roubaix and Marseille to meet candidates of foreign origin who ran for the 2012 legislative elections.[8]

The Institut Montaigne feeds the public debate by providing accurate data and assessment tools. During the 2012 presidential campaign, the Institut Montaigne forecasted the budgetary impact of the main candidates’ programs. A similar initiative was undertaken for the 2014 municipal campaign in France’s ten largest cities.

The Institut Montaigne also developed the first serious game dedicated to public finances, allowing players to understand how budgetary and macroeconomic policies impact the French public deficit and the national debt.

The Institut organizes political forums were ordinary citizens are invited to draft new policies. For instance, in 2012, the Institut Montaigne held a citizen’s conference on the French health system. A panel of 25 participants selected on several representative criteria was informed the functioning of the health system and the major it is confronted with. After a series of workshops, the panel released a report in which it stated its main policy proposals.[9]


The Institut Montaigne expresses concrete policy proposals to enhance both competitiveness and social cohesion. The ideas are conveyed through four types of publications:

  • Reports, which are the result of regular meetings of dedicated workgroups ;
  • Studies, produced by one or two experts ;
  • Policy briefs, which react to current policy issues;
  • Books and collective works, which provide an in depth analysis of an issue.


Board of directors[edit]

  • Henri de Castries, President and CEO of AXA
  • Claude Bébéar, Founder and Honorary President;[10]
  • Bernard de La Rochefoucauld, Honorary President; Founder of Institut La Boétie ;
  • David Azéma, Chairman Global Infrastructure Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch ;
  • Emmanuelle Barbara, Partner at Auguste and Debouzy ;
  • Nicolas Baverez, Economist and lawyer ;
  • Marguerite Bérard-Andrieu, Deputy CEO at BPCE group ;
  • Mireille Faugère, General auditor ;
  • Christian Faurestier, Former chief education officer ;
  • Marwan Lahoud, Deputy CEO, Airbus group;
  • Natalie Rastoin, Chairman of Ogilvy France, President of Ogilvy One ;
  • René Ricol, associated Founder of Ricol Lasteyrie Corporate Finance ;
  • Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO, Michelin ;
  • Arnaud Vaissié, Chief Executive Officer of International SOS and Chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain ;
  • Philippe Wahl, Chairman of the Board of La Banque Postale ;
  • Lionel Zinsou, President of PAI Partners.

Orientation Comittee[edit]

The Orientation committee provides guidance about the major social transformations; expresses its opinion about the work of the think tank; and develops partnerships and institutional relations in France and abroad.

  • Ezra Suleiman, Professor at Princeton University ;
  • Benoit d'Angelin, Président of Ondra Parteners ;
  • Frank Bournois, Professor of general management and cross-cultural leadership ;
  • Pierre Cahuc, Economist ;
  • Loraine Donnedieu de Vabres, Lawyer ;
  • Pierre Godé, Vice President of LVMH ;
  • Michel Godet, Professor of management for the CNAM ;
  • Françoise Holder, Chairman of Holder group ;
  • Philippe Josse, Civil servant ;
  • Marianne Laigneau, Member of the Council of State.
  • Sophie Pedder, Paris bureau chief, The Economist
  • Hélène Rey, Professor of Economics London Business School

Permanent staff[edit]

Laurent Bigorgne has been the director of the Institut Montaigne since 2011. 15 permanent members of staff work there.

Budget and financial resources[edit]

The Institut Montaigne has an annual budget of 3,5 million euros. Over one hundred companies make a contribution which cannot exceed 2% of the overall budge.[11] For example :

Air France-KLM, Allen & Overy, Allianz, Affaires Publiques Consultants, Areva, Association Passerelle, August & Debouzy avocats, AXA, BearingPoint, BNP Paribas, Bolloré, Bouygues, Groupe BPCE, Caisse des dépôts et consignations, Capgemini, Carrefour, Groupe Casino, Cisco Systems France, CNP Assurances, Cremonini, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Development institute international, Électricité de France, Eurazeo, Eurostar, GDF Suez, Générale de Santé, Groupama, HSBC France, IBM France, International SOS, JeantetAssociés, KPMG, La Banque Postale, Lazard, Linedata Services, LVMH, M6, MACSF, Mazars, McKinsey & Company, Média-Participations, Mercer, Microsoft, Ngo Cohen Amir-Aslani & Associés, Ondra Partners, PAI Partners, Pierre & Vacances, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Radiall, RATP Group, REDEX, Ricol, Lasteyrie et Associés, Rothschild & Cie Banque, Sanofi, Sorin Group, Schneider Electric, Servier, SFR, Sia Conseil, SNCF, Sodexo, Stallergenes, Suez Environnement, Tecnet Participations, the Royal Bank of Scotland France, Tilder, Total S.A., Michel Tudel & Associés, Vallourec, Veolia Environnement, Vinci, Vivendi, Voyageurs du monde, Wendel, and WordAppeal.[11]