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Presidency: The budget law of the Audit Bureau to influence the public debate

Posted on October 21, 2021, 5:51 PMUpdated on October 21, 2021, 6:10pm

Be careful, slippery ground. With the launch this Thursday to publish dozens of notes on “the major issues that will need to be addressed in the next five or ten years,” the Court of Auditors embarked on a delicate balancing act: raise your voice loud enough to be heard and weighed before the presidential election, without getting into the partisan game and accusation Playing for certain candidates. “There is no doubt about the participation in the electoral campaign. But the court can be more present in the public debate and in a period of time closer to the decisions”, emphasizes Pierre Moscovici, the first president of the Foundation.

On Thursday, the first round of notes – updated summaries of financial judges’ recent reports – centered on highly sensitive issues such as pensions, administration of justice, university reform and agro-ecological transformation. Another eight will follow (on energy policy, housing, etc.) by the beginning of December. Publication will stop prior to the actual election campaign. We could have published everything after the elections, but we did not want to give the impression of giving a lecture to the new team ”, explains the former European Commissioner.

ridge line

This is the first time the court has engaged in such a practice before the presidential deadline. Informing citizens is part of its constitutional mission. In the current context where “at all costs” does not end, if the Court of Auditors does not raise certain issues, no one will,” Judge François Ickal, former judge of the Court and now responsible for the specialist website Fipeco.

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However, this run-up to the presidency will undoubtedly make some decision makers cough. “We are on a ridge. It really is a form of lobbying in the political atmosphere, even if for good reason in my view,” admits Eric Woerth, Chairman (LR) of the National Assembly Finance Committee.

We don’t drive to feed this or that team

To defuse these criticisms, the Court has taken care that these observations follow a methodology similar to that of traditional reports, which were adopted at the end of class deliberations. “It’s important, it defuses the risk that we see it as a way for Pierre Moscovici to continue his weight in the political debate,” said a good expert in the House of Representatives. As a defense, former Finance Minister François Hollande insisted on the fact that “these notes are not mandatory, with many possible leverages without closing options”. That doesn’t stop the court from rolling out a basic normative pension reform, which will undoubtedly make some presidential candidates howl.

Are these observations only intended to nurture the famous “circle of mind”, theorized in 1995 by Alain Minck to promote the candidacy of Edouard Balladur, and this while Clement Bonn, Secretary of State for European Business, argues that Emmanuel Macron should be the “candidate of reason” ? Pierre Moscovici answers: “We don’t drive a car to feed this or that team.” On the other hand, if we can help ensure that the mind prevails in an age characterized by caricatures and misinformation, we will. We want to contribute to the quality of public debate that he needs. “

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Open Fairly Cautious Enterprise

These memos are part of a broad reform required by the former European commissioner to make the court more flexible and more in line with public debate. He believes that the recent selection of ENA’s major to court pick for his school dropout testifies to the new appeal the institution has gained.

However, this is not the first attempt to open a “fairly cautious institution,” according to one of its members, Philippe Seguin, who also tried fifteen years ago. “Ultimately, the main danger with these presidential notes is that you end up with an odorless and tasteless exercise,” appreciates the good home expert. “I’d rather be accused of being a lukewarm faucet than being biased. But I think we can be neither one nor the other, as Pierre Moscovici estimates.