Passing Laws without a Vote: the French Labour Reform and Art. 49-3 of the Constitution

While the Brits debate over whether a referendum result compels a Sovereign Parlament to call for Article 50, the French have their own doubts on the role of voting: lately, they choose to do without. Yesterday, the National Assembly passed the incendiary labour reform without vote, albeit in full respect of the Constitution. Article 49-3 of the 1958 Constitution reads that the Government may engage its liability on a text and thus pass it through the Assembly without vote and without debate, provided that no motion of no-confidence succeeds. Once the Government chooses to call upon Article 49-3, there can only be two outcomes: either the law passes through the Assembly, or Government is overthrown.

This is the second time Prime Minister Manuel Valls invokes this paragraph to force the labor law reform through the lower house of parliament. The alternative left-wing movement „Les Frondeurs“ yesterday failed to introduce a motion of no-confidence; they had refused to rally with the opposition.

The reform to justify it all brings three main alterations: it allows work up to 46 hours a week (as opposed to 35 hours before), it permits employers to lower the salary for extra hours and facilitates lay-offs for economical reasons.

Not only did the law provoke large demonstrations in Paris, violent more often than not, which caused extensive damage to private and public property. It also led to strong divisions in the left-wing majority and caused some members to create their own political movements and groups (among them, „Les Frondeurs“ and Emmanuel Macron’s „En marche!“). Owing to Article 49-3, the controversial reform passed through the lower house after the first reading.

Les violences institutionnelles réciproques, 49.3 et défiance, sont toujours un échec. Sans débat, la démocratie est un astre mort. ChT — Christiane Taubira (@ChTaubira) 5 ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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