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Laws of moralization: the Constitutional Council validates most of the texts

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – MIGUEL MEDINA – | The Constitutional Council on Friday approved most of the provisions of bills of moralization of political life, adopted by Parliament this summer, except for the abolition of the ministerial reserve

The Constitutional Council approved on Friday most of the provisions of bills of moralization of political life, adopted by Parliament this summer, except for the abolition of the ministerial reserve.

In particular, the Wise Men considered the prohibition of family employment of collaborators for local ministers, parliamentarians and executives, as well as the abolition of the parliamentary reserve, which deputies and senators have to grant subsidies, in conformity with the Constitution. The ban on the ministerial reservation, which was deemed contrary to the separation of powers, was however censored.

The Organic Bill “for Confidence in Political Life”, according to its official title, had been submitted to the Constitutional Council of its own motion, as provided for in the Basic Law. LR deputies seized the institution of several articles of the ordinary bill on trust, in particular concerning the prohibition of family jobs, the creation of a “bank for democracy” and the creation of a sentence compulsory ineligibility in certain cases.

These two texts, prepared by the ex-Keeper Francois Bayrou and brought to Parliament by his successor Nicole Belloubet, concretize certain commitments of candidate Macron after a presidential campaign marked by business.

In a statement, Ms. Belloubet, formerly a member of the Constitutional Council, welcomed “a major step forward in enhancing public ethics and transparency”. “The law for trust was to be voted in the first weeks of the quinquennium: promise held and mission fulfilled,” added the minister, according to which “the decision of the Council does not modify the general economy of this ambitious reform”.

The abolition of the parliamentary reserve (147 million euros in 2017) had been fiercely debated by the assemblies, until an agreement between the Assembly and the Senate was prevented.

The abolition of the ministerial reserve (5 million in 2017 according to the government, for grants to the communities) had been added by amendments of the government and the Republic group in motion in the Assembly. As a result of Friday’s decision, this reservation can be maintained.

According to their decisions published on their website, the Sages of the Palais Royal also censored as contrary to the separation of powers an article which had to impose on the Prime Minister to issue a decree fixing the modalities and the limits of the assumption of expenses of reception and representation of members of the Government.

In addition, the Constitutional Council ruled that the right to communicate certain documents or information on the taxation of parliamentarians, which was to be conferred on the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP), was not guaranteed sufficient and therefore has been censored.

Finally, the Council deleted an article, which was considered to be a “legislative rider”, which aimed to regulate the length of time that a former member of the government receives his allowance.

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