On October 30, ASSEDEL had the opportunity to interview two experts in constitutional law on the topic of Article 49-3 of the French Constitution. Mr. Jean-Philippe DEROSIER and Ms. Lauréline FONTAINE debated for almost one hour on whether or not it is necessary to reform this article. They also took time to answer questions from the audience that followed the discussion on Youtube live.
As a reminder, Article 49-3 of the French Constitution allows the government to invoke its responsibility for a piece of legislation and, unless a motion of censure is passed, to have it adopted by the National Assembly without a vote. The text is at the heart of the current French situation: the Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has already used it 14 times since the beginning of her mandate. The Venice Commission also shared its concerns in an intermediate opinion, emphasizing its potentially harmful effects on democratic debate and the failure of the motion of censure as a mechanism for countering the use of the article.
During the debate, Mr. Derosier explained that this article is important for governmental stability. He argued that it provides the government with leverage over the National Assembly. On the other hand, Ms Fontaine explained that the principle of democracy based on deliberation between the various social interests represented by parliamentarians is particularly affected by the article.
Then, our guests gave their views on a number of key points, such as the motion of censure and the notion of rationalized parliamentarism, and spoke out on the idea of reform or even outright deletion of the article.
You can watch the whole debate below.