“The opposition does not vote for the budget because it gives a feeling of belonging to the majority”
4 July 2022: Frank Riester appointed Ministerial Representative for Parliamentary Relations. A parliament where the government does not have a majority. The minister therefore has to deal with various groups from the far left to the right…
Minister responsible for relations with the parliament, representative, guarantor of democracy
For the former Republican-turned-Culture Secretary and former Secretary of State for Tourism and Foreign Trade, her role is above all educational: “I am trying to make parliamentarians from the majority or the opposition feel that the government respects them and that the state administrations respond to their requests. (…) This is the work of education, the work of supporting deputies, senators, and my fellow ministers, which is behind-the-scenes work. »
Things have been resolved, but it is not so easy for the majority to negotiate with the opposition and pass laws. His work as a mediator is not always easy… “I believe that when you are the minister responsible for parliamentary relations, you must ensure that you respect all MPs and senators, of course, because that means respecting their constituents and ensuring respect for democracy. But it also means ensuring that there is as little tension as possible. “.
How to pass laws without a majority vote?
Since 1958, section 49.3 has been run 89 times. Michel Rocard holds the record for its use: he used it 28 times. Wednesday, November 2nd The House is in disarray as the Prime Minister uses 49-3 for the 4th time in just a few weeks. According to the representative of the minister for relations with the parliament: “There were times in history when there were very strong tensions in the hemisphere. It is not for nothing that we say that the semi-bicycle is the beating heart of democracy. It is a place where political tensions and political differences need to be validated. What has changed a little with this term is that there are two radical groups, one from the extreme right and the other from the radical left, la France insoumise, which are numerous in the hemisphere and are making their voices heard very strongly. ».
But despite the difficulties, the minister reminds that the laws were adopted: *”* we forget very precisely that with this image conveyed by this half-spade, things finally went forward and the texts were put to sound. This applies, for example, to the law on purchasing power or the finance bill, which was amended this summer. (…) And sometimes when we need to vote on the text, we will use 49-3 if necessary. »
Culture, the preserve of the President?
In just 20 months (in 2018-2020), Frank Riester, the Minister of Culture, will succeed in passing some laws. But it is overshadowed by the Covid crisis. After the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris, which fell into his hands a few months ago, the management of affairs was… A decision that did not surprise the culture minister at the time: “Kings, presidents of the republic and presidents of the republic have always been very attentive to cultural issues, especially since the Fifth Republic. It is part of our identity. We are in France, which is very attentive to cultural and heritage issues. “. (…) “It is true that Emmanuel Macron has a special tropism in cultural issues and he follows it with great attention. “.
Frank Riester, a supporter of retaining the recently abolished audiovisual license fee, believes it is a guarantee of sustainable and independent funding, explains. “We need public broadcasting more than ever and there is no reason why France should be an exception compared to all other European countries that have integrated public broadcasting. If we do not have a global approach, we miss out on optimizing the tools that are available. They are important for broadcasting, in this case public broadcasting. “.