It would be more and more difficult to be mayor in France. These elected officials have sometimes served as an outlet for a form of violence during riots And attacks against them should further increase by 15% in 2023, according to a Cevipof survey published this Sunday by The world. With nearly 8,000 respondents, the 5th Cevipof survey carried out for the ociation of Mayors of France (AMF) on the eve of its congress obtained an “exceptionally high” response rate, according to its author, political scientist Martial Foucault.
A sign according to him that the elected officials had “messages to convey”, five months after the spectacular car-ramming attack on the home of the mayor of L’Haÿ-les-Roses (Val de Marne). After a 32% increase in attacks in 2022, or 2,265 complaints and reports, the Ministry of the Interior is counting on a further increase of 15% in 2023.
In total, 69% of mayors surveyed by Cevipof say they have already been victims of incivility (+16 points compared to 2020), 39% have suffered insults and insults (+10 points) and 27% have been attacked on the networks social (+7 points), physical violence remaining rare.
More than a thousand resignations since 2020
Another lesson is that the rate of resignations of mayors has increased by 30% compared to the previous mandate, with more than 1,300 recorded since 2020, a figure revealing “Republican fatigue”. Among the explanatory factors, Martial Foucault mentions a “feeling of helplessness” among mayors, confronted with the increasingly complex and time-consuming reality of their mission.
The mayors also cite the “too high demands of citizens” and the difficulties in reconciling the exercise of the mandate and personal or professional life. The insufficiency of compensation only comes in 7th position. Asked what should change, 50% suggested increasing their emoluments, at the expense of the State. “If they are not committed to making money, they are not prepared to lose it either,” notes the author.
A local commitment that is “not yet threatened”
The mayors are also asking for an increase in the credit hours granted by their company to exercise their mandate and the establishment of a mandatory minimum number of absences financed by the company. With an average age of 60, 8 out of 10 mayors are men and 40% are retired.
They devote on average 32 hours per week to their mandate and receive an average level of remuneration comparable to the hourly minimum wage (10.85 euros gross) in the smallest municipalities, double for those with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
With nearly a million candidates for municipal elections, local commitment is “not yet threatened” and “mayors are resisting the accumulation of crises”, concludes the author, even if there is a need according to him to “revise the conditions of exercise”.