There is one area where the government can rejoice in achieving unanimity across the entire political spectrum: intelligence. This is the main lesson of the annual report of the parliamentary intelligence delegation (DPR), which must be made public Thursday, November 2. This structure, made up of eight members, equally between deputies and senators, endorses the State’s discourse which elevates the fight against foreign interference to the rank of national emergency and devotes most of its annual report to it.
Welcoming to see the budget and staff allocated to intelligence constantly increasing – 3.03 billion euros and 19,572 people in 2022 – the DPR also welcomes the injection of an additional 5 billion euros planned in the 2024-2030 military programming law. It will take that, say its members, to support “the paradigm shift in French intelligence” what constitutes the new priority given to counter-intervention.
“High threat level”
Because Parliament is calling for a national awakening and intends to push back ” naivety “ And ” denial “ which are rampant within French society against an evil which undermines national sovereignty in all its forms: political, legal, military, economic and technological. “The threat level of foreign interference is at a high stage in a tense and uninhibited international context. » At the start of 2023, Emmanuel Macron explained that “war is no longer declared, it is waged quietly, insidiously, it is hybrid”.
This danger occurs, in fact, at the heart of a digital and technological revolution which has made cyberspace “the privileged field of confrontation and strategic competition between States”, a war led, above all, according to the DPR, by Russia, China and Turkey. The delegation’s report dwells at length on “the informational and reputational war waged by authoritarian regimes”. Because if clic espionage still exists, “Fake news is the weapon of a war waged against the West without, for a long time, having identified the means to defend ourselves”.
France launched, during the summer of 2021, its national plan to raise awareness among public and private actors of foreign interference. Since then, 10,000 actions have been carried out with 55,000 people. It remains to further mobilize elected officials, says the DPR, including at the local level, who have become prime targets for interference operations. It describes, educationally, the entire system, including its financial, tax and customs components to counteract interference.
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