This Tuesday, the traditional congress of mayors and presidents of intermunicipality of France will open. They will be meeting until November 23 in Paris, against a backdrop of increasing violence and a feeling of “republican fatigue”, where the government prefers to highlight the work accomplished to improve their daily lives.
Emmanuel Macron, who was initially scheduled to go to the show on Wednesday, had to cancel his visit due to a G20 summit by videoconference. In the evening he will receive a thousand mayors at the Elysée. In The Parisian, the president of the AMF and LR mayor of Cannes David Lisnard, however, recalled on Sunday that it was the “congress of mayors, not the Elysée”. Around fifteen ministers as well as the Prime Minister are nevertheless expected.
Attacks expected to increase by 15% in 2023
“Communities attacked, Republic threatened”: the theme of the 105th congress of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) resonates with the series of attacks which marked the year 2023, from the arson at the home of the mayor of Saint -Brevin in the car-ramming attack which targeted that of the mayor of L’Haÿ-les-Roses during the riots. According to the Ministry of the Interior, attacks against elected officials are expected to increase by 15% in 2023 after an increase of 32% last year.
Without establishing a direct cause and effect link, a Cevipof survey published on Sunday and to which nearly 8,000 mayors responded alerted to an “exceptionally high” number of resignations of elected officials since 2020, a sign of a feeling of “impediment” and “helplessness” of elected officials.
In addition to increasingly tense relations with their constituents, mayors complain of a creeping recentralization on the part of the State and an overabundance of standards which complicates local action. But on the executive side, the feeling of work accomplished dominates. “The government has not looked away from any of the complicated subjects,” assures the office of the Minister of Territorial Communities Dominique Faure.
A financial standoff with the State
Against violence, the government is thus highlighting its “fight plan” launched in July, with its 3,400 “attacks on elected officials” referents, as well as the proposed senatorial law which aligns criminal sanctions in the event of an attack on a elected on those relating to facts targeting the depositaries of public authority.
On a financial level, the AMF continues to warn about reductions in allocations and the absence of compensation to the “euro” for lost revenue. Questioned on Monday by several media outlets, Dominique Faure on the contrary considered that the finance bill (PLF) for 2024 was “very good for communities”. “We are handing over 220 million in addition to the 320 million” of overall operating allocation, “unprecedented” increases for thirteen years, even if “this does not cover inflation”, she judged. The AMF estimates the loss of “power to act” for mayors in the next PLF at 7 billion euros.