On the eve of July 14, Parliament definitively adopted, on Thursday July 13 by a final vote in the Senate, the government’s military programming project (LPM): 413 billion euros over seven years, measures to modernize the armies, but also postponements of deliveries. Good news for the executive, who hoped for final adoption before the National Day, and for Emmanuel Macron, who is to deliver his traditional speech to the Armies on Thursday evening at the Hôtel de Brienne.
The text was adopted by 313 votes against 17. The senators of the CRCE group, with a communist majority, voted against. Most environmentalists abstained. On the other hand, the promulgation of the law should be delayed, the LFI deputies having lodged an appeal with the Constitutional Council.
“This vote should not mark the end of the debates on these military subjects”advocated the Minister for the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, evoking the need for a “national debate, perhaps even popular”.
In a context of multiple international tensions and the war in Ukraine, this LPM plans to devote 413.3 billion euros to the armies over seven years, from 2024 to 2030 (including 13.3 billion from extrabudgetary resources). This trajectory will still have to be validated each year in the State budgets. It would lead to a 40% increase compared to the previous LPM (2019-2025).
But the government has been accused of opportunistically planning the highest spending after 2027, and the end of Macron’s five-year term. After a long showdown with the Senate, the pace has been accelerated in the joint committee: 2.3 billion must be released more quickly, by 2027, in particular for training.
“This LPM is marked by a very substantial increase in credits”greeted Thursday the LR rapporteur in the Senate, Christian Cambon. “The LPM is part of the global movement for over-armament”deplored the communist Pierre Laurent on the contrary.
In the embly, the text was adopted on Wednesday with the votes of the presidential camp, the LRs, Liot, the RN and the PS. The oppositions, particularly on the left, criticize “announcement effects”pointing out that around thirty billion will cover inflation, and that credits flow from the previous LPM – “100 billion” according to socialists.
Real doctrinal differences have also erupted between the presidential camp and part of the left on costly nuclear deterrence (13% of credits), or the degree of consideration of climate change. The place of France in NATO also marked the debates, and divides even within the left.
Drawing lessons from the conflict in Ukraine, the LPM provides 16 billion euros for ammunition and 5 billion for ground-to-air defense, but does not escape postponements of deliveries. Despite substantial efforts – 268 billion for equipment, the armies will, for example, receive fewer armored vehicles, Rafales or frigates than what was planned in the previous program.
To modernize the military apparatus, the law provides 10 billion euros for innovation, 6 billion for space, 5 for drones, 4 billion for cyber and digital.
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To help finance the defense industry, and on the proposal of senators, the text paves the way for the use of part of the funds collected via the Livret A. “It’s important for the message sent to the banks: defense is not dirty”believes Senator LR Cédric Perrin.
Regarding the workforce, the government is counting on 275,000 full-time military and civilian equivalents in 2030 (excluding reservists). But in “depending on the reality of the labor market”the ministry will be able to earmark appropriations ” recruitment “ towards the loyalty of the troops (bonuses, advantages, etc.).
A parliamentary committee “essment” arms exports will be created. The Senate had pleaded for a commission of ” control “. “It’s a clear setback”lamented the environmental senator Guillaume Gontard.
The text finally reinforces the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (Anssi). In the event of a threat to national security, it may in particular initiate several gradual coercive measures against domain names, and collect data on an operator’s network, despite strong fears on the left for data protection.
The World with AFP