Reform of institutions: Emmanuel Macron reassures local elected officials
The possible reform of the institutions on which Emmanuel Macron has been consulting at all costs since the beginning of the year still remains unclear. But the President of the Republic sent the first signals on Monday afternoon to the associations of local elected officials whom he received for two hours at the Elysée, with the exception of the Association of Mayors of France.
The Head of State, who announced in the fall his intention to open a new chapter of decentralization , showed “a voluntarism on the subject”, reports Sébastien Martin, the president of Intercommunalities of France and of the community of agglomeration of Grand Chalon, retaining that it seems “very going” on the housing policy. According to several participants, Emmanuel Macron would be in favor that in the event of transfers of powers to local authorities, the delegation should be complete with a transfer of normative power and financial means.
“The President of the Republic has set out expectations for this reform: more clarity in the powers exercised, more responsibilities given to local authorities, that is to say more legal and financial resources associated with the powers transferred, more proximity in the development of solutions best suited to the challenges for the country”, declared Carole Delga, President of Regions France. The one who chairs the Occitanie regional council also remembers the fact that Emmanuel Macron “wishes to extend the power of differentiation”, a request made by his association.
A new territorial “big bang” would not be on the agenda. “There was no question of a redrawing of the regions”, slips Carole Delga, after Stéphane Séjourné, the secretary general of Renaissance, the presidential party, set fire to the powder recently by saying he was in favor of the end of the major regions created in 2015.
“We hope to achieve concrete solutions for our fellow citizens and reinvent a new proximity of which the departments will be, with the mayors, the spearhead”, declared in a press release François Sauvadet, the president of Departments of France. The Intermunicipal Association of France pleads for “a change of model based on the France of living areas” and a “real State-Territory contract”.
While the Court of Auditors pleads for an overhaul of the financing of local authorities , the President of the Republic mentioned the idea of a financial guarantee enshrined in the Constitution as well as a real local finance programming law. Associations of elected officials, such as Villes de France (municipalities of 10,000 to 100,000 inhabitants), are asking for visibility on their finances. “It’s fiscal autonomy that we need,” François Sauvadet.
Emmanuel Macron and the associations of local elected officials should see each other twice by the summer. The next meetings could involve the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, who has launched a working group on decentralization, and his counterpart from the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet.