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Mixing genres and violation of ethics in the XV Parliament

In February 2023, the National Assembly is in turmoil, in the midst of debating pension reform. But it was in a much more relaxed atmosphere that about ten MPs and senators left Paris for the weekend in Dublin (Ireland). The Parliamentary XV, a rugby club made up mainly of elected officials from both houses, came to face the Irish Parliamentary team on Sunday 11th February as part of the Ireland-France Six Nations match. .

If France’s elected officials bow, “Rumors say they played well in the third half”its about Olympic afternoon. Parliamentary XV is often represented as a circle of good fellowship – its famous “Oval Values”.

But the investigation the world Reveals another face of this club, whose ties to several large companies raise questions about violations of the ethical obligations of elected officials, as well as possible conflicts of interest.

Multiple partnerships with large companies

In the National Assembly, there is a Sports and Culture Association that allows the deputies and officials of the Pale-Bourbon to organize their activities, financing them with members’ contributions and institutional subsidies. But the Parliamentary XV was created outside this area in 1976: it is a club in its own right, linked to the French Rugby Federation, which runs on its own funds.

To finance its activities, the team has established several partnerships with private groups such as Airbus, Engie, GMF and RATP, which provide financial donations and benefits. Some employees of these companies even participate in XV meetings with elected officials.

The team enlisted (volunteer) Philippe Lemason, a public communications consultant and former Airbus employee, to manage contracts and find new sponsors. “It’s a classic sports marketing partnership: for a certain amount of money, we offer visibility on the jersey, online or offline.”Puts the person concerned in perspective the world.

However, Parliamentary XV is not a club like any other. What should we understand when the news site Eryl reported in March 2023 that he promises specifically to his potential partners “Meetings with MPs and Senators during a friendly match” ? “Everything is limited to the sports aspect of the association and nothing else”, deletes Mr. Lemason. requested by the worldFirms Engie and Airbus, the first sponsors of the team, also ensure that these contracts comply with applicable ethical rules.

Source: Le Monde



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