In an investigation published on Wednesday May 24, 2023, Liberation headlined: “Emmanuel Macron and the independent authorities: his friends in all positions”. Since his election in 2017, the President of the Republic would have cleverly placed his support. If the Head of State has the legal possibility of appointing the presidents of the independent administrative authorities, certain appointments are controversial.
According to the Council of State, the independent administrative authorities are supposed to be safeguards, checks and balances “not belonging to the hierarchy of central administrations leading to ministers”. Conceived as tools for limiting power, they would have become the “armed arms of the executive” according to Liberation.
According to an expert, interviewed by Liberation, we are witnessing a “phenomenon of recasing macronie”, “a form of reward for loyal people”, especially since it is “very attractive jobs, where we have a certain autonomy, where we make structuring decisions and where we are well paid, better than a minister”.
According to the socialist deputy Philippe Brun, “with Emmanuel Macron, we are witnessing as never before the appointment to these positions of friends of power, instead of personalities recognized for their independence”. What are the most controversial nominations?
On Monday May 22, 2023, a former chief of staff of Elisabeth Borne was appointed head of the National Commission for Public Debate. Marc Papinutti has, in fact, held the position of director of cabinet of Christophe Béchu at the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, and, before that, of Élisabeth Borne at the Ministry of Transport.
However, according to Liberation, this appointment passed with extreme accuracy. After being validated by the Senate and National Assembly committees, parliamentarians were hostile to this appointment: 50 voted against and only 38 for.
Marc Papinutti is not an isolated case. According to France Info, the former Prime Minister Jean Castex was appointed, for a time, at the head of the Agency for the financing of transport infrastructures in France. In July 2022, by presidential decree, the former Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn was appointed to the Court of Auditors. Since March 2022, Jacqueline Gourault, former Minister for Territorial Cohesion, has joined the Constitutional Council. Emmanuelle Wargon, former Minister of Housing, was appointed head of the Energy Regulatory Commission in August 2022. A long list which is not exhaustive. Why are these appointments controversial?
For the socialist deputy Philippe Brun, appointing people close to the executive at the head of the independent administrative authorities is a “recovery in hand, and the disappearance of the impartiality of the State”, reports Liberation.
Already on January 23, 2019, Gérard Larcher, President of the Senate, declared: “Since we are going to debate the Constitution and the institutions this year, we will also have to ask ourselves the question of the multiplication of independent authorities, qualified as such because not from of the election. To think about, “reports Public Senate. Understand: we must fight against the “recasing” of former ministers and parliamentarians at the head of these authorities.
Also in 2019, Senator LR from the Alpes-Maritimes, Henri Leroy, proposed a law to prohibit ministers from being appointed to an AAI during the five years following the end of their functions. “It is a necessary delay so that there is no misunderstanding”, he explained to Public Senate. The bill failed.