A first act of the quinquennium divided into two panels. Valérie Pécresse presented the program for the “first 100 days of her presidency” or her first 7 months if she is elected on April 24th late Thursday morning. Candidate LR wants to implement most of her program’s promises before the fall. In two times. A first wave of measures between the presidential and general elections of June 12th and 19th. Then, after the seats of the National Assembly were renewed, the launch of a series of ambitious legislative projects covering most of the main axes of their electoral platform, notably the upgrading of work, the end of inheritance law and pension reform. “There will be no parliamentary recess,” she said during a press conference at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris’ 7th arrondissement.
A series of counseling sessions
After the presidential election, Valérie Pécresse wants to focus on “seven major initiatives”. Beginning with the implementation of a strategic defense review ahead of the next military programming law. She also plans to host two conferences, the first on ‘Salaries and Social Affairs’, to prepare for the 10 percent pay rise she presents as ‘the most important measure’ of her five-year tenure; the second, called “Simplification Conference”, will collect the complaints from local authorities, professions, administrations or users of public services regarding administrative complexity and over-implementation.
An audit of the public accounts will also be initiated. “The government has given up sending its budget to Brussels, I fear a hidden extension of this five-year term,” the president of the Île-de-France region regularly reminds. With a view to COP 27, she also wants to launch a reflection on “the new French strategy to combat climate change”. An initiative that reflects their desire to remove the 50 percent cap on the share of nuclear energy in the energy mix. “We don’t need restrictions. All energies must be used to achieve our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” she demands.
The EU summit planned for June, under the French Presidency of the European Union, will again focus on “protecting European interests”, particularly in relation to trade and industry. She wants it to include fighting illegal immigration, one of her main battlefields in this presidential campaign. In addition, Senate President Gérard Larcher, who also chairs his Support Committee, will be entrusted with a mission on the future of New Caledonia.
At the same time, several circulars must end the Valls circular regularizing undocumented aliens, the Belloubet circular limiting short-term detention, and the higher civil service reform that led to the dissolution of the ENA.
Five bills and a referendum
The establishment of the next legislative period marks the second phase of the first months of the Council Presidency with the presentation of “five founding laws” in Parliament. They will concern education (reinforcement of the autonomy of institutions), health (establishment of a year of internship in medical deserts) or also security and justice, among others with the extension of the possibilities of action for the municipal police and the return of the minimum sentences. A Finance Amendment Act (PLFR) reforms inheritance and gift taxes, the overtime tax exemption and the elimination of certain employer contributions and levies to increase wages. Finally, the extension of the retirement age to 65 will be included in an amended Social Security Financing Act (PLFSSR). Valérie Pécresse expects these various texts to be adopted by mid-September and by mid-November for the Security and Justice component.
In the autumn, the French will be asked to vote in a referendum on a constitutional reform that will allow Parliament to set annual quotas for residency permits by country and profession. A device widely presented by the candidate as a privileged tool “to put an end to uncontrolled immigration”.
“We are ready to rule”
This “first 100 days” program is meant to be an implementation of the triptych she has defended throughout her campaign: “Protect, Educate, Nurture.” “That’s the expectation of the French: to be protected. We must not forget that the health crisis is recovering, that 6 million French people live in medical deserts without a doctor. We must not forget the great hospital malaise in France,” explains Bruno Retailleau, President of the LR Group in the Senate, who is the great architect of this ambitious battle plan. “There are also a series of sovereign security measures, because the great fiasco of Emmanuel Macron is the sovereign, with exploding insecurity and accelerated immigration,” adds the elected Vendée.
“The expectation of the French must be protected”: Retailleau defends the Pécresse program
Bruno Retailleau goes on to explain that the candidate intends to take advantage of an “unprecedented situation” since the introduction of the five-year term: a seven-week period between the second round of presidential elections and the first round of general elections. “We know very well that we have to act quickly for reforms, otherwise obstacles will be erected and promises will fly away,” he argues. “This method is an innovation because the exercise of power is prepared for,” adds the former filloniste. A way of underlining the seriousness of the candidate, who nevertheless continues to fall in the polls. Two polls (Ipsos-Sopra Steria and Elabe) are now below the 10% mark at 9.5%, level with Éric Zemmour (10.5%), ahead of Jean-Luc Mélenchon (15.5%) and well behind Marine Le Pen (21%) and Emmanuel Macron (28%). “We are in a context of war in Ukraine, where the French are wondering if we can change captains,” admits Valérie Pécresse. “But we are ready to rule! ‘ she assures.
The candidate, when she reaches the highest investiture, adds that she will make her first trip across the Rhine. Since the election of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, Germany has remained the destination of the first official trips by elected presidents.