The French Ministry for the Economy and Finance (French: Ministère de l'économie et des finances, [ministɛʁ dᵊ lekɔnɔmi e defiˈnɑ̃s] ), called the Finance Ministry for short and informally referred to as Bercy, is one of the most important ministries in the cabinet of France. Its minister is one of the most prominent cabinet members after the Prime Minister.
The exact name of the ministry has changed over time, and has included the terms "economy", "industry", "finances", or "employment" through history.
The Minister of Finance oversees:
- the drafting of laws on taxation by exercising direct authority over the Tax Policy Board (Direction de la législation fiscale) of the Department of Revenue (fr:Direction générale des impôts );
- national funds and financial and economic system, especially with the Office of the Treasurer and Receiver General (Direction générale du Trésor et de la politique économique ), not to be confused with the Public Treasury (Trésor Public ), that is the Office of the Comptroller-General (Direction générale de la comptabilité publique) under the authority of the Minister of Budget);
- the development, regulation and control of economy including industry, tourism, small business, competition, and consumer security, and other matters excluding energy, industrial security, environmental affairs and transportations which are under the authority of the Ministre d’Etat, Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy;
- employment policies and career education.
By her authority above the financial assets of the State, the financial and economic national system and the taxation rules, the Minister is allowed to represent France in the European Union council of the minister of the Economy and Finance (ECOFIN).
The Junior Minister for the Budget at the Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and External Trade
The Minister for the Budget, Public Accounts, the Civil Service and State Reform supervises:
- the preparation of the finance law (budget) (with the help of his colleague Minister for the Economy, Industry and Employment in taxation ruling matters, he requires the Board for Tax Policy of the Direction générale des Finances Publiques ), which is then submitted to Parliament for amendment and final approval;
- the taxation system:
- the accounting of the State and all public bodies (by the Direction générale des Finances Publiques ).
The French taxation system is supervised by two separate board:
- the Direction générale des Finances Publiques for tax evaluation and collecting taxes such as VAT or corporate tax, income tax or local taxes based on Estate locative value.
- the Direction générale des douanes et des droits indirects for customs, for tax on petrol and fuels and for special indirect taxes such as taxes on alcohol, tobacco, etc.);
By delegation of the Prime Minister, he supervises also the Public Services (essentially statutes and salaries of the State, local and hospital Public Services) and the modernisation of the State (including computing means).
He is responsible with their colleagues for Health, Youth and Sport and for Labour, Labour Relations and Solidarity of the equilibrium of social accounts.
The Ministry of Finance is situated in Bercy, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. The building extends to the Seine River, where there is an embarcadero with fast river boats for faster liaisons to other government agencies.
That is why the French media often refer to it as simply "Bercy". The sentence the Bercy Fortress (la forteresse de Bercy) refers to the Ministry as a dark department with obtuse civil servants, especially of high rank. That is emphasized by the impressive look of the building.
For evident practical reasons, the two ministers share the building and some common services that were under the former ministry of Economy, Finances and Industry.