Elisabeth Borne seeks to make herself essential at the head of the majority

Published on Nov 28, 2023 at 7:02 p.m.

Receiving parliamentarians from the majority for work meetings is nothing unusual when you are leader of the majority. What is a little less so is making it known.

The Prime Minister begins, this Tuesday evening and until December 5, a new series of consultations, indicated the Matignon teams. Elisabeth Borne welcomes deputies from the majority groups in turn for “working meetings”, in order to “exchange and discuss with them the priorities for the first half of 2024”.

In this organized choreography, it is the first group of the majority, Renaissance, which opens the ball with two sessions – this Tuesday and Wednesday evening – followed by the group Modem then Horizons. It’s about “sharing with them and enriching the parliamentary agenda,” adds those around him. In short, try to re-mobilize and breathe new life into the future.

Set the agenda to music

This is no coincidence as the end of the long litany of 49.3 on the budget , trying for the head of government and demoralizing for her troops, “who have the impression of running on empty”, grumbles an advisor to the executive. This is not a coincidence when December 11 arrives in session at the embly the perilous examination of the immigration bill considered, slips another, “as the first truly great text” of this end of year coming to close a first phase of the five-year term.

His entourage denies it, but this is not a coincidence either, as the regular rumors of a reshuffle return as they often do when the troops wonder about the future and the heavyweights of the government, Gérald Darmanin or Bruno Le Maire , are on the offensive on their issues and not only that. Elisabeth Borne also plays politics. And then, this fits with the desire of Emmanuel Macron, who insisted this Tuesday that he has “a clear course” and has “sticked to it for six years”, to silence this little music as quickly as possible, including in the majority , over a five-year term without vision, after a presidential election without a campaign.

“It’s rather reuring that the Prime Minister is working on what comes next,” says someone close to the head of state. “It was about time, she heard the message that everyone is a little lost in the majority,” reacts a Renaissance MP. “Given the format, I’m not convinced, I don’t see what will come out of it,” sulks another.

Others, on the contrary, see this moment as welcome if not necessary, particularly in a period of difficult current events, which are straining the climate, notes Renaissance MP Charles Sitzenstuhl. “It’s true that we don’t see clearly the work program for 2024. And 2024 cannot be summed up politically by the campaign Europeans and the Olympics. We need to have a legislative agenda for reforms, we are waiting,” he continues.

Taking care of screws and bolts

Putting this program to music, bringing forward the proposals, from Parliament but also from her team, is precisely what Elisabeth Borne is working on, as with the Ministers of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, and of the Economy, Bruno The Mayor, for new measures for full employment. “She is clinging to the branches on employment after the president’s warning,” jokes a government source. She does this work while trying to make her mark and bring into existence subjects which are, she constantly repeats, responses “to the concerns of the French”.

This was the case this Tuesday, when she asked her Ministers of the Interior and Justice, Gérald Darmanin and Eric Dupond-Moretti, to make proposals to “fight effectively against gangs”… She has, these in recent days, made announcements on housing, biodiversity, sexist violence in transport… And when some would have seen him at the top of the list for the European elections – therefore leaving Matignon – Elisabeth Borne replied from Strasbourg, that this It’s not his project.

Will Emmanuel Macron have another project for his political system? “He continues to think that it is enough to put coal back into the machine… That will not be enough,” says a minister. There is a governance problem and Elisabeth Borne, who works like crazy, has nothing to do with it. Things will change if he accepts that he no longer governs, gives the directions and lets his ministers take care of the screws and bolts. But he has been doing the opposite for almost seven years. »

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