top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

MPs vote to clean up politics

Elected officials will no longer be able to employ family members after MPs adopt wide-ranging ethics bill 

MPs and senators will be banned from employing family members after the National Assembly adopted a bill to help clean up national politics.

The French parliament last night made good on a top campaign promise of President Emmanuel Macron, approving legislation preventing MPs and ministers from hiring family members by 412 votes to 74 against. There were 62 abstentions.

It was the second of two public ethics bills to pass through parliament. The first was approved last week by a similarly large majority. In combination, the two bills prohibit ministers, MPs and locally elected officials from employing family members, prevent anyone with a criminal record seeking elected office, and bar parliamentarians from holding advisory roles during their terms in office.

Under the new law, hiring a spouse, partner, parents or children will be punishable by three years in prison and a fine of €45,000. Any salaries or payments to family members may also be refunded.

Moreover, any elected official who fails to declare any interests or pay their taxes in full can be removed from office and be barred from seeking election for three years.

The vote came after the government performed a u-turn on Mr Macron's proposal to give his wife, Brigitte, an official First Lady role, complete with an official budget, paid for by public funds.

There will no "modification to the constitution, new resources nor any remuneration" for Mrs Macron, government spokesman Christophe Castaner said in a series of Twitter posts on Tuesday.

Les Republicains' Presidential candidate Francois Fillon was hamstrung by allegations in January that he had employed his wife Penelope as a publicly-funded assistant for years despite little evidence of any work. He was charged with misusing public money in March and failed to reach the second round of voting. He denies any wrongdoing.

 

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now