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Cedric O: “When it comes to avoiding conflicts of interest, there is no magic bullet”

eHave we gone too far in regulating conflicts of interest? The question of being orthogonal to the zeitgeist still deserves to be raised because the tension on this topic is leading to a situation that is largely detrimental to the country’s interests.

The fact is that a sensitivity to potential conflicts of interest that was virtually non-existent fifteen years ago has become central to the French political landscape. Thus, the legislation and its application have been significantly strengthened in recent years, and the highest authority for the transparency of public life [HATVP]Established in 2013, it has since regularly opposed the retraining of former government members or their teams.

However, this does not seem to be enough, as the air at the time is one of systematic suspicion whenever there is any professional or personal connection between a public servant and the private sector. However, if it is legitimate to think that the ways of its actors can provide a key to the ethos and actions of the governing majority, the premise that underlies much of the media and political treatment of the subject is much more questionable.

“We understand how the debate is shaped differently depending on whether we’re talking about ‘back and forth with civil society’, ‘revolving doors’ or even ‘address book monetization.’

First of all, the semantics of usage is important. We understand how the debate is shaped differently depending on whether we’re talking about “back and forth with civil society,” “revolving doors,” or even “address book monetization.” So it’s the content that’s wrong. And for good reason: the issue of experience and, therefore, competence of administrative and political decision-makers is at least as much a democratic issue as the issue of conflict of interest.

In this regard, we can legitimately think that the common interest requires the back-and-forth of precisely those who want to put their skills to the service of society – not to complicate them. Unless, of course, we consider that only civil servants are suitable for positions of political responsibility (remember that four out of five French people work in the private sector, according to administration and general management of the public service).

The recent growth of the back-and-forth phenomenon is, moreover, only the result of one of the central promises of the candidate Emmanuel Macron in 2017: to allow everyone who wanted to commit to the state the wealth of their origin and their knowledge. A promise that has largely been fulfilled, these commitments can only be essentially transitory, since it was not so much the emergence of a new political aristocracy as the re-creation of porosity – since the mistrust of the state also comes from its distance and because of the fully professionalized political world. can make the re-election only an end in itself.

Source: Le Monde



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