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the Constitutional Council will decide on April 14

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The nine members of the Constitutional Council will vote on April 14 on the constitutionality of the amended Social Security financing law for 2023, adopted without a vote in the National Assembly on March 20, and whose flagship measure, the postponement of the he legal retirement age of 62 to 64, has been massively contested by unions and on the streets since January.

The Constitutional Council will make its decisions on the controversial pension reform on Friday April 14, “at the end of the day”, he announced on Wednesday March 29 in a press release.

The “wise men” must render “two decisions”: one on the constitutionality of the bill adopted in Parliament after an appeal to 49.3, and the other on the admissibility of the request for a shared initiative referendum (RIP) launched from the left.

As is customary for each law, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne had seized the Constitutional Council directly on March 21 to verify the constitutionality of the text which pushes back the legal age of departure to 64 years.

This high state body is composed of nine members, appointed by the political power (President of the Republic, Presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate) and mostly from the ranks of the right, including, for example, former Prime Minister Alain Juppé. It is currently chaired by another former Prime Minister: Laurent Fabius, from the Socialist Party.

Left-wing deputies and senators received on April 4

Left-wing deputies and those of the RN each filed appeals to challenge the reform, and left-wing senators did the same. The Constitutional Council will receive deputies from the left for a hearing on Tuesday April 4 at 2.30 p.m., according to parliamentary sources.

The RN group did not ask to be received, considering that its arguments were already included in its referral.

>> To read: Demonstrations, Constitutional Council, referendum… What next for the pension reform?

Opposition parliamentarians denounce in particular the use of an amending budget for Social Security and the examination deadlines constrained by article 47-1 of the Constitution. They believe that the “urgent” procedure has been “hijacked”.

These parliamentarians also raise the question of the senior index in companies, a “legislative rider” which would have no place in a budgetary text in their eyes.

On April 14, the Elders can decide to validate the whole text or to censor all or part of it.

Shared initiative referendum

The “wise men” must also decide on another procedure initiated by the left: the request for a referendum of shared initiative, a complex approach which has never succeeded so far.

About 250 opposition parliamentarians propose to submit to a referendum the fact that the legal retirement age “cannot be set beyond sixty-two years”.

The Council must check its admissibility, by looking at whether the consultation relates to the areas of “the organization of public powers, reforms relating to economic, social or environmental policy and to the public services which contribute thereto”.

Then could open the collection of citizen signatures. The quota to be reached corresponds to one tenth of the voters, or around 4.87 million signatures, within nine months, to open the way to a referendum.

However, the organization of such a consultation does not suspend the possible promulgation of the text on pensions, according to the constitutionalist Anne-Charlène Bezzina.

With AFP and Reuters

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