The National Assembly rejected Thursday, December 7, the text asking the French authorities to denounce the Franco-Algerian agreement of 1968, which confers a special status on Algerians in terms of movement, stay and employment in France. The proposed resolution was rejected, with 151 votes against and 114 for.
It had been put on the agenda by the Les Républicains (LR) deputies, as part of their “parliamentary niche”, a day for which they set the program as they wish. Within the presidential camp, only the Horizons group and two deputies from the Macronist Renaissance group voted for this text, which even if adopted would not have had binding value.
Among the opposition, the National Rally gave its support to the LR, which all left-wing groups on the contrary criticized for stirring up “fantasies” on migration issues. Signed in 1968, when France needed help for its economy, the agreement excludes Algerians from common law in matters of immigration. Since then, they have not had a residence permit in France but “certificates of residence”.
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In particular, they can establish themselves freely to carry out a commercial activity or an independent profession and they can access the issue of a 10-year residence permit more quickly than nationals of other countries.
It is “almost an automatic right to immigration”, in the eyes of LR deputies, at a time when the government bill, which is due to continue on December 11 in session in the Assembly, aims to better “control immigration”. Macronist deputies did not take a dim view of sending a “signal” to Algeria, but the Renaissance group agreed on an unfavorable vote.
During the debates, its speaker, Huguette Tiegna, considered that the revision of the agreement was “necessary”, but “denouncing an agreement unilaterally would be an aggression towards a neighboring and friendly country”. “You want to please the most extreme fringe of your electorate,” ecologist Sabrina Sebaihi told LR, stressing that the agreement also included provisions unfavorable to Algerians, citing the students.
The communist Soumya Bourouaha also judged that these were “not about privileges and even less about an anomaly”. “These are the consequences of a common history that remains.” For the LFI Bastien Lachaud, with this LR text, “one would think we were reading a far-right leaflet”.
As the Prime Minister had said the day before, the Minister for Foreign Trade Olivier Becht reminded the Assembly that the government was considering a revision of the agreement, rather than its denunciation. A denunciation would be counterproductive, with the risk of provoking “a reaction from the Algerian authorities which would have serious consequences and could lead to freezing the migration dialogue,” he added.