New intervention of the Council of Europe against France. On Wednesday, the Foundation for Human Rights on the Continent threw a stone into the pond of French political life by considering Article 49.3 of the Constitution. “Raises questions about the separation of powers”.
The article in question, which allows the text of the law to be adopted without a vote by parliament, has been used 11 times by current Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne since her appointment in May 2022. The last time she passed pension reform. A large number, but still less than the record, held by the government of Michel Rocard (1991-1998), which used it 28 times. Since 2008, this article can only be triggered for finance or social security bills, and only for one text per parliamentary session.
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In an interim opinion published on Wednesday, the Venice Commission, an advisory group of the Council of Europe, considered this mechanism It raises questions about the principles of pluralism, separation of powers, and the rule of the legislator..
This article constitutes a “Major interference by the executive branch in the powers and role of the legislature”Committee notes. 49.3 “It does not represent a form of delegation, but an independent legislative power in the hands of the executive.”.
Passing laws ‘without real debate’
you deduce that “in a manner apparently unmatched by other European countries”Section 49.3 “reflects the charge of initiative” text adoption, “By providing that the members of the National Assembly shall present and vote by an absolute majority a motion of censure for the rejection of the Act”.
Thus, it allows, according to her, ” in some cases “adoption of a law “Without a real and thorough discussion of its content”.
sequel after announcement
The opinion authors also criticize the censorship of the use of 49.3 by the Constitutional Council. This control is limited to “Strictly comply with the activation procedure”And “Limits the guarantee of the sovereignty of the legislature”.
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Rule 49.3, which was drafted in response to the parliamentary deadlocks observed under IVH Republican, regularly criticized by politicians, including those who used it.
In March, a group of 60 deputies from the New People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) introduced a constitutional bill Article 49 respects national representation.with the aim of deleting Article 49.3 of the Constitution.