a debate under vigilance in the National embly

The Minister for the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, at the National embly, April 11, 2023.

After months of back and forth and at least as many delays, the military programming law (LPM) 2024-2030 finally arrives at the National embly, this Monday, May 22, where it will be debated for a fortnight. It is a text of major importance for the armed forces, since it plans some 413 billion euros in military expenditure until 2030, in a very degraded international context due to the war in Ukraine and at a time of great political fragility for the executive, just two months after the debate on pension reform.

“Everything can change at any time”, believes a wise observer, referring to the absence of an absolute majority for the government in the Hemicyle. Defense matters usually rarely give rise to political battles, but the future LPM has nevertheless been the subject of close scrutiny for several weeks. In particular on the part of the Minister for the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, aware that this text should constitute his main political legacy to this ministry, a certain number of arbitrations involving France over several decades.

Since May 9, this close monitoring has resulted in an in-extenso follow-up, on his part, of the preliminary examination of the text and its some 700 amendments in the Defense Committee of the National embly. Exit also trips abroad: in recent weeks, his agenda has been largely devoted to a methodical tour of several army regiments, where the LPM is planning the heaviest transformations – reductions in the number of armored vehicles. , reorientation towards cyber and drones.

Resource sanctuary

“I am rather optimistic, even if I am not blissful”, considers, for his part, Jean-Michel Jacques, deputy (Renaissance) of Morbihan, appointed rapporteur of the bill. This former marine commando, nurse for more than twenty years in the French special forces (1988-2010) – in the Trepel and Jaubert commandos, in particular –, also prepared the debates in the National embly to the millimeter.

A lace-making job reflected in the table of 229 amendments adopted in committee. After thirty-three hours of debate, on May 12, Renaissance could display 120 amendments on the counter without the most stirring opposition being forgotten. The Republicans (LR), the National Rally and La France insoumise (LFI) have, to within one unit, all obtained the same number of amendments, six or seven each. Ecologists have only had one, but its scope is intended to be symbolically important: it concerns the inscription, black on white, in the LPM, of climate change “as a factor of profound change for the armies”.

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