Words that engage. During his victory speech at the Champ de Mars on Sunday evening, Emmanuel Macron promised a “refounded method” to govern France, assuring that “no one will be left by the wayside”. “This new era will not be the continuity of the five-year term which is ending”, assured the re-elected president, calling for “benevolent and respectful” in a country “steeped in so many doubts, so many divisions”.
A desire to change the mode of governance which is explained by the current context, according to Christelle Craplet, director of the “Presidential 2022 – BVA” project: “The results of the presidential election show that there are two opposing Frances. The president cannot therefore continue to address only his voters: executives, seniors, urban dwellers… He needs to reconcile these two parts of the country and also take into account all those who voted for him by default. “. Especially since his entourage understood that there would be no state of grace for the president. And that not holding a speech of unity could quickly become dangerous: “We have seen in recent years that the disputes take a much more eruptive and violent form. And that they do not emanate from traditional intermediate bodies”, emphasizes Christelle Craplet. The crisis of the “yellow vests” was a glaring example.
“There is a high risk of disappointment if this method does not take effect”
This new method should give pride of place to consultations before any major reforms. “Macron has been criticized a lot for his vertical presidency. One can imagine that he will listen more to the intermediate bodies if he wishes to pass his reforms more easily”, comments Christelle Craplet. The president has already announced his intention to organize a citizens’ convention on the end of life, a consultation on pensions… The government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, also declared on Monday on BFMTV that the president wanted to work with the French on access to care and education. Giving an example for this last theme: “It goes through a dialogue with teachers, parents of students, students, in order to identify ideas and innovations”, he specified.
But promoting dialogue on major issues will not be enough. Because we remember the Citizens’ Climate Convention, of which few ambitious proposals had been taken up by the president. “There is a strong risk of disappointment if this method does not take effect quickly and if it just turns out to be displaying,” warns Christelle Craplet. Especially since the words of the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, this Monday on France Info, declaring that he could not exclude a possible recourse to 49.3 for the pension reform, have already caused indignation.
Stop small sentences…
This desire for renewal will also require a change in style and political communication. “Emmanuel Macron has been accused of arrogance, of not listening. The image of “president of the rich” stuck to his skin during his first five-year term. He will have to correct this lack of proximity, ”says Christelle Craplet. The staging of his arrival at the Champ de Mars on Sunday, where he was surrounded by children, testifies to this desire for more stripped communication and closer contact with the French. The previous five-year term had also marked par the acid little phrases of the Head of State: “People who are nothing”, “the crazy dough of social minima”, “the non-vaccinated, I really want to annoy them”, “the Gauls resistant to change”… Quotes repeated in a loop which had tarnished his image. Hence the need for him to manage more to control his moments of spontaneity.
The upcoming government casting will also have to reflect this new era of macronie. “The fact of choosing representatives of civil society as ministers showed that this was not enough to create a link with the French”, warns Christelle Craplet. In addition, Emmanuel Macron will have to give pledges to the center right and the center left. “He could choose political figures of weight who are not divisive”, adds Christelle Craplet.
Last but not least, this new political chapter should be accompanied by institutional changes. “Because the high rate of abstention and the disgust of many French people for politics have demonstrated their democratic fatigue. There is an underlying demand for institutional renewal,” says Christelle Craplet. Emmanuel Macron has already announced his intention to create a cross-party commission which should make proposals on the subject. “Introducing proportional representation for the legislative elections, in order to take into account the diversity of French opinions, could be an option”, indicates Christelle Craplet. “We need more consultation with citizens. This requires more participatory democracy and the use of referendums,” said Sarah El Haïry, Secretary of State for Youth.