“If the virus could watch us, I think tonight he would be quite happy and he would pour himself a little beer!” “Olivier Véran was annoyed, Thursday evening in the National Assembly, the slowness of discussions on the bill aimed at extending the health pass and providing for the vaccination obligation for caregivers. The Minister of Health accused the opposition of “prolonging the debates” intentionally, while more than 1,000 amendments have been tabled. Faced with the spread of the Delta variant, the government hoped to have the text voted in an express manner at the end of the weekend, but parliamentarians are already behind the schedule. We take stock.
An extended debate this Thursday in the National Assembly
After intense discussions in committee all night from Tuesday to Wednesday, and a vote in the early morning, the government text arrived in the hemicycle a few hours later. But from the opening of the session, the tense debates were slowed down by the thousand amendments tabled and the many calls for order. Shortly after midnight, the government was right by extending the examination of the text on Thursday, via a
letter from the Minister of Relations with Parliament. The executive now hopes to finish this Thursday evening, while only a hundred amendments were considered the day before.
The Senate, meanwhile, is awaiting its turn. The Luxembourg Palace, which was to begin the first reading of the bill on Thursday, will be forced to review its agenda. On his website, it is expected that the text must be studied in the hemicycle from Friday evening “subject to its transmission” by the National Assembly, and until Saturday afternoon. The joint committee (responsible for finding a compromise between the two chambers) is for the time scheduled Saturday afternoon, and the final validation of the text by the deputies and senators in the wake. But all this could move again depending on the progress (or not) of the work in the Assembly.
Awaiting the Constitutional Council
Once the final text has been voted, Jean Castex indicated that he would refer the matter to the Constitutional Council. “Our objective, as always, has been to take measures proportionate to the health situation, guaranteeing fundamental public freedoms”, indicated the Prime Minister. The promulgation of the bill will therefore be postponed. But the executive, who hopes for a second stage of extension of the health pass at the beginning of August, will he be able to keep his calendar?
“We are in an emergency procedure, so the Constitutional Council has only eight days to respond”, assures Michel Lascombe, researcher and former professor of constitutional law. “But on this kind of text, and when they know that they will be seized, the members of the Constitutional Council can work upstream, and the decision can only take a day”, adds the specialist. What, for the government, to keep the calendar.