"The RIP could become a new form of suspensive veto"

By validating the proposal for a referendum on shared initiative (RIP) on the issue of the privatization of ADP, the Constitutional Council offers a minority of parliamentarians and citizens a way to put pressure on the government, believes in a forum " World »the lawyer Marthe Fatin Rouge Stefanini

Posted today at 14h37 Time to Reading 4 min.

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"The decision RIP thus offers the parliamentary minority a way to put pressure on the government or on the President of the Republic"
"The decision RIP thus offers the parliamentary minority a way to put pressure on the government or on the President of the Republic" LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP

tribune. The procedure of referendum of shared initiative (RIP) is provided for by article 11 of the Constitution. It allows a minority (a fifth) of parliamentarians supported by a minority of citizens (10% of the electorate) to propose a text to the Parliament which could, under certain conditions, lead to the organization of a referendum. However, when this procedure was created by the 2008 constitutional review, it was not really envisaged that it could be used to oppose a piece of legislation that is currently before Parliament.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Privatization of ADP: how the government tried to come back to the charge against the RIP

In this context, the decision of the Constitutional Council on the first proposal of RIP, hearing the recognition of the national public service character of the company Aéroports de Paris (ADP), allows drawing the contours of a new means, for a minority Parliament, to express its opposition to the government's plans.

Indeed, the Constitutional Council is responsible, from the first stage of the procedure, to check several conditions: the number of signatory parliamentarians required, the compatibility of the proposal with the framework set by Article 11 and, more generally, compliance from the proposal to the Constitution.

An authorized procedure?

The most important question that the Constitutional Council had to resolve was whether such a procedure could be initiated even though the provision to which RIP's proposal intended to oppose, in this case Article 135 of the draft Law on Growth and Transformation of Enterprises (Pact Act) has already been finally adopted by Parliament, but not yet promulgated. In its observations, the Government argued that the procedure was being circumvented by the use of the IPR procedure just prior to the final adoption of the Pact Act on 11 April.

Read also Open to a shared initiative referendum on the privatization of ADP

Article 11 of the Constitution prohibits the RIP from being able to "The repeal of a legislative provision enacted less than a year ago". If it is possible to implement a FIR against a law finally adopted but not promulgated, parliamentarians can bypass, without limit, the prohibition laid down in Article 11 of the Constitution. According to the observations of the Government, Parliament could intervene "At any time" of the procedure including to vote a text in the opposite direction. Such an interpretation would allow Parliament to terminate an IPR procedure even before the signature collection period begins.

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