Emmanuel Macron has something in common with François Hollande. He is the only president of the Fifth Republic not to have left his mark on the Constitution. He would like to remedy that. On Wednesday, he must announce his reform options to the Constitutional Council, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the fundamental law. Which stands out for its stability, to the point of having already exceeded the legal retirement age... “It’s the long-term policy that succeeds,” people enthuse at the Élysée. The Head of State's speech before the Wise Men “looks particularly important”, indicates those around him, warning: “The Constitution is not fixed and neither is the President on these subjects”. However, there is no question of engaging in any “adventurism” whatsoever. We must preserve the “spirit” of the text, warns his office.
The tenant of the Élysée has already revealed a large part of its intentions. Registration of abortion, extension of the referendum to “social issues”, mention of Corsica having a status of autonomy, unfreezing of the electorate in New Caledonia… There are already numerous avenues. And their translation into the Constitution is uncertain: an agreement between the National Assembly and the Senate on an identical text is necessary, before its adoption by three-fifths of Parliament or by a referendum. Hence the need to “find a way to unite political forces beyond the usual divisions”, admits the Élysée.
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In 2018, the operation failed. The Benalla affair had interrupted the examination of the reform in the Assembly, then the reluctance of the Senate had dissuaded the executive from putting it back on the agenda. Reduction in the number of parliamentarians, proportional to the legislative elections, reform of the Superior Council of the Judiciary: the planned provisions had been buried. To succeed in his enterprise five years later, the head of state plans a new summit with party leaders at the end of October, two months after the meeting in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis). In his report letter, he pledged to “build the most ambitious and clear proposal possible”.
Since the start of the year, he has also received his predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, and let his “institutions” advisor, Éric Thiers, work. Called upon to draw inspiration from it, the senior civil servant must receive 130 proposals from the Reflection Group on the Evolution of the Constitution and Institutions (Gréci). “Institutions are not Emmanuel Macron’s cup of tea,” reports one of his close friends. But he knows it’s inevitable.”