Emmanuel Macron announced this Monday evening a referendum to integrate the defense of the climate and the preservation of the environment if this reform were adopted by Parliament.
“It will be a constitutional reform in one article” which “must first go through the National Assembly and then the Senate and be voted on in identical terms. That day, it will be submitted to a referendum ”, declared the Head of State after several hours of discussions with the 150 participants of the Citizens’ Convention.
The president had come to report while we await the last arbitrations concerning the Climate bill, inspired by their proposals.
“The choices made for ecology must be acceptable to the French,” Emmanuel Macron had warned earlier by launching this meeting.
A referendum yes … but if the Senate accepts it
Concretely, the CCC had proposed to add a specific sentence to Article 1 of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic. Here it is: “The Republic guarantees the preservation of biodiversity, the environment and the fight against climate change”. Emmanuel Macron had already shown support for the idea this summer.
If it materializes, this referendum will be the first to be held in France since 2005, which focused on the European Constitution and saw the victory of the “no”.
Under the Fifth Republic, referendums are initiated by the President of the Republic on a proposal from the government or Parliament. For matters of national interest, the procedure is governed by two articles of the Constitution: Article 11 – to adopt a bill – and Article 89 – to revise the Constitution. This Article 89 requires that the proposal to revision is first voted “by the two assemblies in identical terms”.
Benjamin Morel, lecturer in public law at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas, however warned that, “before submitting a constitutional revision to referendum, it will be necessary to have the approval of the Senate according to the provisions of article 89 … And it is far from being won … Even less given the little time remaining in the parliamentary calendar ”. “And still it would be necessary that the LR group in the Senate finds it appropriate to grant a plebiscite on a subject a priori consensual to its main political opponent one year from a presidential election”, he adds, judging “very little certain ”a referendum.
A “political maneuver”
On the opposition side, we were quick to criticize this announcement. Some see it as a disguised plebiscite, others a way of putting under the rug its “inaction”, like the NGO Greenpeace.
“No moratorium on # 5G, no questioning of #CETA, no zero artificialization, no ban on advertising of air conditioning products, no compulsory thermal renovation, … but a # referendum? This is called a political maneuver, ”also indignant on Twitter the left-wing MP Delphine Batho, former Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.
Matthieu Orphelin, former elected member of the majority and close to Nicolas Hulot, has a more measured opinion. “Even if this does not hide the lack of ambition on the rest, the reform of article 1 of the Constitution is useful. But will she go to the end? (it takes 1 conforming vote of the Senate) ”, he indicated.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr