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Europeans: Macron's speech at the Sorbonne counted as speaking time on the Renaissance list

Emmanuel Macron's speech at the Sorbonne on April 25 will be fully deducted from the speaking time of the Renaissance list in the European elections.

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Europeans: Macron's speech at the Sorbonne counted as speaking time on the Renaissance list

Emmanuel Macron's speech at the Sorbonne on April 25 will be fully deducted from the speaking time of the Renaissance list in the European elections. Seized last week by the Republicans, Arcom, the audiovisual regulator, made a decision. “If the remarks of the President of the Republic did not express explicit support for the list led by Ms. Valérie Hayer, they nevertheless presented, in their entirety, a direct link with the election,” he considered in a letter addressed to Éric Ciotti, the president of the Republicans, consulted by Le Figaro. “Thanks to the Republicans, political manipulation is unmasked,” he said on X.

Following the intervention of the President of the Republic, the Les Républicains group wrote to Arcom, so that the entirety of this speech, described as an “electoral propaganda operation”, be deducted from the speaking time of the Renaissance list. On Public Senate, the boss of the PS Olivier Faure had also announced his intention to request Arcom: “It is curious that the head of state, at this moment in the sequence, speaks, mobilizes the channels of television, does it as if he were the head of his own list, but without being counted,” he underlined, denouncing “a subject of inequity between the candidates.”

When it comes to speaking time rules, the President of the Republic is a “cultural exception”. Channels and radio stations must carry out a “selective sorting” between three counts. If Emmanuel Macron's interventions fall strictly within his sovereign function, in this case, they are not taken into account. If they concern the political debate, they add to the executive's “kitty”, i.e. a third of the speaking time. Finally, when his remarks relate to the European elections, then the counter starts ticking under the Renaissance list. The interventions of the President of the Republic which, “because of their content and their context, fall within the political debate linked to the elections, in particular those which involve the expression of support for a candidate or a list of candidates, a party or political group, are the subject of a separate statement,” recalls Arcom in its letter.

During his speech at the Sorbonne, if the President of the Republic's remarks “did not express explicit support for the list led by Ms. Valérie Hayer, they nevertheless presented, in their entirety, a direct link with the election, in particular to the extent that, by contributing to taking stock of past action and exposing the elements of a program, they could have an impact on the election,” considered the regulator. Arcom also observed that the President of the Republic's speech was delivered "while the electoral campaign is fully underway, and in a framework that does not fall within the institutional functioning of the European Union."

The television channels and radio stations which had questioned the regulator on this issue are now fixed. Those having broadcast all or part of the speech will now have to ensure that the speaking times of the other political camps are balanced.

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