The big congress of the Association of Mayors of France is held in Paris for three days in Paris from November 19th. President Emmanuel Macron had to give it up last year, in full crisis of yellow vests. This time, a few months before the municipal elections, this Tuesday, the head of state will make the opening speech of the association which brings together seven thousand of the 35,000 mayors of France.
Senator "The Republicans" Pierre Herisson, former mayor of Sevrier, near Annecy, councilor of the municipality of Annecy, former vice president of the association of mayors of France, attended almost half of the congress! 43 out of 102! He is always advisor to the president of the powerful association, Francois Baroin. The arrival of the President of the Republic is not a surprise for him. She is very political.
A president in campaign
Pierre Herisson: – The arrival of the Head of State at our congress is not a tradition. In 102 years, Mitterrand came once, Chirac one or two … and before no president. Nothing prevents it. Last year, the appointment was missed. It was the Prime Minister who replaced him in the midst of the crisis of yellow vests. The President's concern or strategy is not to leave Baroin alone in the gallery. It is clear that there are considerations related to the presidential election.
France Bleu Pays de Savoie: – Are we still going to talk about mayors?
Obviously, we will only talk about that! I would not be surprised if the speech was, "I understood you." What mayors will appreciate. It's up to them to see if it's credible
A more peaceful congress is announced.
Because many are at the end of their term and do not represent themselves. It's emotional, emotional. It is probably also why the President comes. Last year, he probably would have moved a little more.
The situation of mayors is not so dramatic but we must help small towns.
Precisely, a few months before the municipal elections, we talk a lot about the blues of the mayors, these elected representatives who will not represent again.
In all polls, the only elected one who is always esteemed and respected is the mayor. As General de Gaulle said, "There are me and the mayors." This is my 43 rd congress. Nothing new. We have always talked about those 40% who do not represent themselves. There are always people taking over.
This is not worse than before?
A little on certain points. Insecurity, immigration or urban violence that distance us from living together.
Mayors have been deprived of their prerogatives because of intercommunality.
In a nutshell, 1,500 municipalities have merged. We still have 35,000. It must be remembered that these intercommunal elected representatives are elected by universal suffrage. So, it's true that there can be competition. But there is a logic of rationalization. You have to manage the water, the sanitation, the planning of the territory, etc. … We can not just take care of the marriage and civil status fairs. The intercommunality is still a majority of municipalities that make important choices.
The status of the mayor, it does not seem or more a priority?
Not for the 500 largest municipalities that have service directors and chiefs of staff. But for the majority of the 7,000 mayors who come to the congress, it is a need, a central subject. We have 32,000 communes with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants in France, we must never forget it. We need a status that is not perceived as a privilege by the population, but as a means to properly exercise its mandate, to be what must be called "the village chief".