The National Assembly voted, Friday evening February 5, in favor of a “Republican contract of engagement” for the associations, central to fight against separatism according to the majority, but strongly fought by the oppositions for whom it will weigh on the whole of the associative world without penalizing the Islamists.
Adopted by 81 votes to 20, this provision appears in article 6 of the bill “Reinforcing respect for the principles of the Republic”, debated at first reading since Monday in the National Assembly.
This article provides that any association or foundation requesting a public subsidy “Undertakes, by a republican contract of engagement, to respect the principles of freedom, equality, fraternity, respect for the dignity of the human person”. This commitment also covers respect for public order as well as “Minimum requirements of life in society and the fundamental symbols of the Republic”.
“Not a penny of the Republic will go to the enemies of the Republic”
If these commitments are not kept, public money is not paid. When the subsidy has already been granted, it must be reimbursed, and this within a maximum period of six months, according to an LRM amendment by Florence Granjus. “Not a penny of the Republic will go to the enemies of the Republic”, summarized the “Walker”, Guillaume Vuilletet.
Breaking with the unanimity of the day before to approve the creation of a crime of “separatism”, the oppositions of the left and the right have gone online to try, in vain, to block this article.
“Let’s not add new constraints to the associative world, let’s ensure that it regains vitality”, launched the former Communist Minister Marie-George Buffet. “Associations feel a spirit of mistrust” against them, added the socialist Boris Vallaud.
“As you are not targeting Islamist radicalism, you are reaching everyone”, said Marc Le Fur (LR). The elected representative of Côtes-d’Armor joked about the “Ridiculous” of situations that could arise: “Can you imagine asking for a certificate of republicanism from a veterans association? “.
Darmanin steps up to the plate
Many elected officials were also alarmed at the creation of a breach in the 1901 law on associations, which established a particularly open regime in France. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin stepped up to stress that this provision met the expectations of many local elected officials, by providing them with a weapon to deny subsidies to suspicious associations.
Without specifying the city or the association concerned, the Minister took for example a city of “92” (Hauts-de-Seine), where an association has reserved “Slots” in “Swimming pool of a public establishment” to women “Bathing in full suits” and distributing “On several occasions at the exit of leaflets inviting lectures by Swiss Islamologist Tariq Ramadan”.
In the evening, the deputies began the examination of article 8 which aims to facilitate and broaden the grounds for administrative dissolution of associations seriously disturbing public order or infringing fundamental rights and freedoms.