Acknowledging the controversy created by its desire to cumulate presidency of the Constitutional Council and the COP21, the ex-Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius threw in the towel on Monday night by waiving follow the climate record, success of its passage the Quai d’Orsay.
His decision, taken in the day, he announced in a letter to François Hollande , leaving the field open to the successor as the head of state could decide to appoint.
The Environment Minister Segolene Royal , who saw his portfolio expanded last week to “international relations climate”, had said Friday he was “clarifying the rules of the game” regarding the dual role which Mr Fabius aspired .
“You have done me the honor of sense to me to chair the Constitutional Council and I thank you very much. In my view, there is no incompatibility with the Presidency of the last phase of the COP21” wrote Monday evening the applicant in his letter to Mr. Holland, which AFP had copy.
“However, given the signs of internal debate on this subject, I judge best to give you my term as President of the COP,” he adds.
Mr. Fabius “considered that neither the Chair of the COP or the presidency of the Constitutional Council did not deserve this degree of controversy,” says one in his entourage.
“Deeply attached to this great cause (climate, Ed), I hope that the implementation of the historic agreement of Paris will be as successful as its adoption”, concludes in his letter Mr Fabius, who was elected November 30, 2015 at the climate conference at Le Bourget, by acclamation by delegates from 195 countries.
France must hand over to Morocco in November for COP22 in Marrakech, to begin to realize the great principles of the global agreement against global warming, obtained in Paris under UN auspices.
The President of the COP21 will aim to support the implementation of the pact.
By Marrakech, few formal appointments are planned, including the launch of the signing of the agreement at the UN in New York on 22 April. Day by day, it is especially Laurence Tubiana, kingpin of the Paris agreement, which will monitor them.
In Mr. Fabius, there was not impossible for him neither legal nor term schedule, because this voluntary and temporary function is not within the “public service” prohibited area members Constitutional Council.
At its handover to the Quai d’Orsay Friday questioned about his intention to keep an office for the presidency of the COP, he replied without blinking: “?. An office Yes, surely”
– ‘Unimaginable’ –
But the controversy had continued to swell within the government.
For Ms Royal, a political rival of long standing, it was necessary to “clarify the rules (…) so that our counterparts worldwide to be clear about the procedures to be followed,” she said, at the end of a meeting in Paris of European environment ministers on the consequences of the COP21.
On Monday, another member of the Government, the Secretary of State for Research Thierry Mandon, had found “unimaginable” that he could preside the two entities: “The Constitutional Council is above all powers, it can not have missions that fall under the executive, “he had said.
Constitutionalists were divided, expressing some doubts.
“This is a somewhat mysterious feature (President of the COP), you have a real legal thinking,” said Frederic Rolin, Professor of Public Law at Paris-Sud, recalling that in 2013 the law on transparency public life has further restricted the plurality of positions for members of the Council.
“It is the Council (constitutional) will decide in the absence of the person concerned,” asserted the current chairman of this body, Jean-Louis Debre, who suggested that this combination was impossible to look past examples .