• Votre député européen

    Alain Lamassoure

    Région Île de France

    Mes actualités
  • Votre député européen

    Alain Lamassoure

    Région Île de France

    Mon parcours

September 11, one year on


The hundreds of millions of viewers who watched the collapse of the Twin Towers on live television had the feeling that they were experiencing the first act in a new type of war.


One year on, the most extraordinary thing is that, while this immediate intuitive assessment has proved accurate, we know very little more. Who is at war with whom? The United States is at war. It reacted to its terrorist Pearl Harbor with dignity, composure and determination. But now that Afghanistan’s Islamic regime has been eliminated, is there still an enemy? Whose enemy is it, and who are its targets? Has al-Qaeda lost the war or only the Battle of Kabul? Is Europe still in the war? Is it a fight against fanatical Islamism, against ‘rogue states’ or against every terrorist organisation on the planet – are we all in it together against bin Laden, Arafat and ETA? Who can tell?


In the face of this unprecedented situation, it is time for the main players on the international stage to emerge from the stupor that followed the bolt from the blue of September 11 and to overcome the temptations to which they are liable to succumb. Lire la suite…

Give common sense a chance


This has been an insurmountable obstacle for successive governments over the past twenty years’. How often have we heard this refrain from the mouths of commentators and often politicians too – at least those of the Centre and Right, the Left being less prone to self-criticism?


Does this mean that the policies of Pierre Mauroy and Jacques Chirac, of Pierre Bérégovoy and Édouard Balladur, of Alain Juppé and Lionel Jospin have all been the same and that their governments have found themselves in identical political situations? Certainly not!


Over the twenty-one years since the double transfer of power in 1981, the Left has been in government for fifteen years – three quarters of the entire period. Three times it has had the benefit of a full legislative term of five years, giving it the necessary continuity to apply its ideas. On each occasion, the electorate has delivered a damning verdict on its performance. Socialism, French style, is definitely not good for France.


The RPR-UDF alliance has also been in power three times, but each of its terms of office has lasted for only two years. For two of these three truncated terms, it was in a situation of uncompromising cohabitation with a President, François Mitterrand, who prevented his Prime Ministers, particularly Jacques Chirac, from using executive orders (ordonnances) to fast-track reforms. In spite of this, each of the RPR-UDF governments initiated radical reforms. In each instance, there was insufficient time for their benefits to be appreciated by the general public. The great reformers in other countries, such as Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl or Ronald Reagan, would have been swept out of office if they had been required to face the electorate after two years in power, for two years is enough time to grimace at the bitterness of the medicine but not enough to appreciate its healing properties. Lire la suite…

What is the role of Europe ?


The first task of the Convention on the Future of Europe will be to answer the question ‘What is the role of Europe?’. It is now fifty years since work began on the construction of Europe in the very specific context of the aftermath of the world war and at a time when Cold War tension was at its highest. In the meantime the scars of war have been healed. The Soviet Union has disappeared, and the entire continent has been liberated from Communism. The six founding nations have been joined by nine others, and the whole of Eastern Europe is now knocking on the door of a union which was commercial, then economic, then monetary and which now aspires to become fully political. What tasks should be entrusted to the united Europe, and what policies should remain a matter for national governments? In order to prepare the ground for the deliberations of the Convention, the European Parliament asked me to compile a report. The conclusions I reached in that report were adopted on 16 May by 71% of the MEPs who were present in the House. It was a significant result.


In fact, the debate itself was a ‘first’. Since the conclusion of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, neither the European governments nor the European institutions had ever seen fit to review the distribution of roles within the Community. Lire la suite…

L’Europe, pour quoi faire ?


Le premier travail de la Convention européenne sera de répondre à la question : l’Europe, pour quoi faire ? Voilà cinquante ans que la construction européenne a été engagée, dans le contexte très particulier du lendemain de la guerre mondiale et du plus chaud de la guerre froide. Entre-temps, les plaies de la guerre sont pansées. L’Union soviétique a disparu et tout le continent est libéré du communisme. Les six pays fondateurs ont été rejoints par neuf autres, et toute l’Europe de l’Est frappe aujourd’hui à la porte d’une Union qui était commerciale, puis économique, puis monétaire et qui ambitionne maintenant de devenir pleinement politique. Quelles tâches confier à l’Europe unie, quelles politiques conserver au niveau national ? Pour préparer les réflexions de la Convention, le Parlement européen m’avait chargé d’un rapport, dont les conclusions ont été adoptées le 16 mai par 71% des députés présents. C’est un résultat important.


En effet, le débat lui-même a été une « première ». Depuis le Traité de Rome de 1957, jamais les gouvernements ni les institutions européennes n’avaient jugé utile de faire le point sur la répartition des rôles au sein de l’Union.


En outre, le texte finalement adopté est le fruit d’un vrai travail collectif, qui dépasse largement la personne du rapporteur ou l’opinion d’un groupe politique. Il a pris en compte 170 amendements, émanant d’une trentaine d’auteurs différents appartenant à tous les groupes. Lire la suite…

Donner sa chance au bon sens


« Sur ce point, les gouvernements successifs ont échoué depuis vingt ans… ». Combien de fois n’avons-nous pas entendu ce refrain, dans la bouche des commentateurs, et souvent aussi dans celle des hommes politiques – du moins, ceux du centre et de la droite, la gauche ayant moins d’inclination à l’autocritique.


Est-ce à dire que les politiques de Mauroy et de Chirac, de Bérégovoy et de Balladur, de Juppé et de Jospin aient été les mêmes ? Et que ces gouvernements se soient trouvés dans une situation politique identique ? Absolument pas !


Depuis la grande alternance de 1981, sur une période de vingt et un ans, la gauche a été au pouvoir pendant quinze ans – les trois quarts du temps. A chaque fois, elle a pu disposer d’une législature complète de cinq ans, lui permettant d’agir dans la durée en appliquant ses idées. A chaque fois, elle a été condamnée sans appel par le corps électoral : non, décidément, le socialisme « à la française » n’est pas bon pour la France.


De son côté, l’alliance RPR-UDF a exercé le pouvoir à trois reprises, mais à chaque fois seulement pour une période limitée à deux ans. Et deux fois sur trois dans une situation de cohabitation « dure » avec le Président MITTERRAND, qui empêcha notamment Jacques CHIRAC de réformer en utilisant la procédure accélérée des ordonnances. A chaque fois, malgré cela, des réformes profondes ont été engagées. A chaque fois, le temps a manqué pour que les bénéfices aient pu apparaître à l’opinion. Comparons avec quelques-uns des grands réformateurs étrangers de la période, Margaret THATCHER, Helmut KOHL ou Ronald REAGAN : s’ils avaient eu, eux aussi, à affronter le suffrage universel après deux ans de pouvoir, ils auraient été balayés. Car c’est un délai suffisant pour grimacer de l’amertume de la potion, mais trop court pour sentir les bienfaits de la guérison. Lire la suite…

After All Fools’ Day


Let us be brave enough to recognise that not one pollster, not one political analyst, not a single political leader – in short, no one at all – had imagined that the outgoing Prime Minister would be left trailing by Jean-Marie Le Pen in the presidential election. Nothing will ever be the same again in French politics.


Disappointed to the point of exasperation by the mediocrity of this strange presidential campaign at a time when they really needed clear landmarks and definite choices, the French expressed themselves with a cry of despair. No, 20% of the French population are not Fascist sympathisers, nor are 15% of them Stalinists and Trotskyites; but a good third of our compatriots are crying for help.


Most of them are victims of unemployment, people living in all sorts of precarious circumstances, victims of intolerable living conditions in what we call sensitive housing estates or of the unbridled urbanisation of rural areas. The others are their geographical neighbours, who, though unaffected by these misfortunes, are afraid that they might spill over. Twenty years of crisis, of slow growth, of unemployment that has been rather ineptly treated with early retirements, training schemes leading nowhere and casual jobs, have created huge pockets of social deprivation and hopelessness, widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots, the ‘fracture sociale’, as Jacques Chirac called it in 1995. In this type of soil, insecurity has flourished, boosted by the powerful fertiliser of virtually guaranteed impunity. Lire la suite…

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