A bill to regulate the electoral expenses of advisers to French people abroad

Senators Mathilde Ollivier and Mélanie Vogel (environmental group) presented on February 29, 2024 a bill “relating to the financing and limitation of electoral expenses of advisors of French people abroad.” The purpose of this text? Avoid excesses as long as the rules relating to financing and the limitation of electoral expenses do not apply, for the moment, to the electoral campaigns of the advisors of French people abroad.

“For example, a candidate could benefit today from a large donation from a private company or a third country, which would give him a disproportionate advantage to the detriment of a candidate with modest financial means that would prevent him from communicating with his potential electorate.” , the two parliamentarians estimate in the explanatory statement, however highlighting “the honesty and sincerity of the vast majority of the candidates.”

“The same requirements”

In the same explanatory statement they also recall that consular elections have a direct impact at the national level, since the advisors of the French abroad participate in the senatorial elections. “Just to take into account their ability to participate in national decision-making processes, it is necessary to ensure that the choice (of the advisors of French men and women abroad meets) at least the same requirements of transparency and fairness as other elections. »

They also compare the role of these advisors, who represent French people abroad before the consular administration, with the functions of local elected officials. However, the latter are subject to financing rules and maximum limits on their electoral expenditures.

Mandatory campaign account

In their bill, made up of a single article, the senators intend to make “the designation of a financial agent and the opening of a campaign account” mandatory in constituencies with at least 5,000 people registered on the consular electoral list. This will allow financial operations to be centralized and then controlled more easily. The text also aims to “expand the scope of competence of the National Commission of Campaign Accounts and Political Financing (CNCCFP)” in the election of advisors for French people residing abroad.

The bill also seeks to limit election spending. This limit is set based on the number of people registered in the consular district. It evolves “like the household consumer price index”: its amount is set each year by decree.

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