The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) heard, Wednesday, February 23, three presidential candidates on “the democratic question”, during an event in partnership with Franceinfo. From the hemicycle of the Palais d’Iéna, the candidates were invited to express themselves on topics such as the “functioning of institutions, the place of social dialogue, of civil society”or even “citizen participation”.
The ESEC has 175 members from more than 80 civil society organisations, trade unions, employers’ and professional organisations, associations and players in social cohesion and the environment. Seized by the government, it gives its opinion on bills, ordinance or decree, as well as on the legislative proposals submitted to it.
Yannick Jadot for a “right of veto” from the ESEC
The environmental candidate Yannick Jadot said he wanted to give the Economic, Social and Environment Council (CESE) a ” power of veto “. “It is imperative that the ESEC be able to take up laws upstream and be able, on a certain number of subjects, to have, not simply an opinion, but a right of veto when it concerns issues”such as the“Rule of law and the environment”, he said. Mr. Jadot, if elected president, would like “a more proactive and interventionist EESC in the law-making process”with “more power”for “put back our laws in the long term”. “I think we need to de-presidentialize our Republic”also declared Mr. Jadot.
“We have a problem of confiscated democracy, an extreme verticalization of power and concentration of power”he continued before considering that France was crossing ” that [le politologue britannique] Colin Crouch called post-democracy: there is stability in our institutions except that basically we cannot transform society..
Mid-term legislative elections for Fabien Roussel
His communist rival, Fabien Roussel, pleaded in the hemicycle of the Palais d’Iéna for “the opinions issued by the ESEC are integrated into the drafting of the law” and “debated in Parliament”. “Why wouldn’t they be included in each preliminary report to the study of a text of law? »he asked, calling for “no longer consider” of the EESC, of which he praised “expertise and experience”.
Upholding the virtue of a “democratic control” additional, the candidate of the French Communist Party boasted, the delay of the mid-term legislative elections – against two months after the current presidential election. “I am elected and I know that two and a half years later there are legislative elections. So if I do the reverse of what I said, people who are unhappy will elect another majority. It’s giving back to the people”estimated Mr. Roussel.
“If I did things right, there is no cohabitation”he also said in response to the risk of majority alternation during a presidential term. “You shouldn’t be afraid of that. I am not afraid of debate. Confrontation is pretty healthy, even”insisted Mr. Roussel.
Anne Hidalgo to mitigate the presidentialization of the regime
Third candidate to speak, socialist Anne Hidalgo said she wanted “the EESC becomes a ‘chamber of civil society’ which participates in the drafting of legislation”with “a recognized role in the Constitution”. The mayor of Paris said he regretted “imbalance” between the “Three Assemblies” constitutional structures of the Republic – National Assembly, Senate and CESE –, the latter not being “not present enough” in his eyes in the“law making”. She said she was in favor, like Yannick Jadot, of” a part “ EESC members “be drawn by lot” so that “Help organize citizen initiatives”.
Mme Hidalgo then criticized the interpretation “extremely centralized” of the organization of the Ve Republic by Emmanuel Macron, believing that this “has become a kind of republican monarchy”while marking his difference with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a supporter of a VIe Republic whose Constitution would be drafted by a Constituent Assembly:
“I don’t want to embark on a constituent assembly for the good reason that alongside this democratic crisis, there is an ecological crisis and a social one on which we must act. And I wouldn’t want us to spend five years asking ourselves the question of the number of the Republic “she said before proposing, moreover, to reduce the capacity of appointments of the president, to reintegrate proportional representation in the elections on the German model or to establish a referendum of citizens’ initiative.