The Assembly on Tuesday largely approved the planning and orientation bill of the Ministry of the Interior, which provides for an additional 15 billion euros over five years, a text adopted with the help of the LRs and the RNs despite the opposition from a large left-wing party. The text carried by Minister Gérald Darmanin was adopted at first reading by 419 votes to 116, and 35 abstentions. The elected Communists, Ecologists and LFI unanimously voted against, while the Socialists abstained.
After the vote, the minister quoted a “historic” text giving “police officers, gendarmes, firefighters and prefecture agents” “means to protect the French”.
Senate and Assembly must agree on a common version
The bill had already been comfortably adopted in the Senate (307 votes for – including the Socialists, 27 against). Deputies and senators will now try to agree on a common version of the text in a joint committee. “We welcome the increase in appropriations and the recruitment of 8,500 positions in the police” over the five-year term, declared before the solemn vote the deputy LR Ian Boucard, repeating however that his group considered the bill as “insufficient “.
Right-wing elected officials have almost doubled, to 3,000, places in administrative detention centers for foreigners in an irregular situation. “It is not enough to inject money”, launched the RN Jordan Guitton, considering that the text widens “the ambition of communication of a minister”, even if his group would vote to “support the forces of the order”.
A vision contrary to the “local police”, according to LFI, PC and EELV
The LFI, communist and environmentalist deputies, on the other hand, criticized a vision contrary to the “local police” that they defend. Also in their sights is the extension of the number of offenses which could be subject to a fixed tort fine, lost by an agent outside of a trial, for example for obstructing road traffic. “It is always the same old recipes from Nicolas Sarkozy that you have chosen to ‘pimp’ (…) the quantity, the figure to the detriment of the time of the investigations”, launched the minister the ecologist Sandra Regol.
Davy Rimane (communist group) castigated a text of “automatic justice, without human contact, which relegates empathy to the waste of time”, when the rebellious deputy Elisa Martin tackled the reform of the judicial police, which is not recorded by this bill, but mentioned in a roadmap annexed to the text. “This means a real risk of loss of independence since it will act under the authority of the prefect (…) It can compromise investigations,” she warned.
Eleven new mobile forces units will be created
“It would be stupid not to recognize the progress valued in this text, and in particular the budgetary effort made”, for his part made the socialist Roger Vicot, recalling however an alert from the Council of State on the “non-fiscal security in the years to come”. Less hostile than the other deputies of Nupes, the deputy nevertheless denounced “the extension of criminal fixed fines to intrusions into schools and blockages of traffic lanes (which) poses a real democratic question with regard to the right to demonstrate”.
Defending an “offensive abstention”, he, like the other reformed deputies on the left, denounced the coming of the judicial police as well as a lack of measures in the text in favor of the police-population link. With the increase in appropriations, eleven new units of mobile forces “specialized in rapid intervention” will be created. And, to ensure security in rural areas, 200 gendarmerie brigades.
To fight cybercrime, which is constantly increasing, the text will allow seizures of digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. The bill also opens the possibility for certain offenses to file a complaint by videoconference, and toughens the repression of sexist and sexual insults. It also presents a ministry roadmap (on digital, training, the place of Frontex in national border control, etc.), without legislative value.