Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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MEPs vote on the Pact Act

The bill led by the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire, which focuses on the privatization of Aéroports de Paris, will go back to the Senate

White night for the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire and about fifty deputies. Saturday, March 16, in the early morning, the National Assembly has validated in new reading, the draft Pact on businesses which includes privatizations, simplification of the tax and social thresholds, and still relaxed rules for retirement savings.

After three long days of debate and a full night, the deputies adopted the text "Business growth and transformation" by 27 votes against 15 and 3 abstentions. Unsurprisingly, the elected LREM, MoDem voted for while all of the left voted against. The right, on the other hand, pronounced itself in dispersed order. Center-right MPs UDI-Agir voted for and LR's elected representatives split as deputies of the Libertés et territoires group.

Encourage investment

Like several opposition politicians, the leader of the LFI deputies Jean-Luc Mélenchon protested in fine against these conditions of nocturnal examination. The text will now make an ultimate shuttle with the Senate before its final adoption by the Assembly which has the last word.

The bill, in line with the social dialogue ordinances adopted at the beginning of the five-year period, aims at giving companies more freedom to create more jobs: fewer constraints for SMEs, simplification of obligations related to thresholds to allow them to grow …

To encourage investment, the text profoundly transforms the current retirement savings schemes. As far as life insurance contracts are concerned, MEPs have planned better information for subscribers on the real share of their savings allocated to the ecological transition or the solidarity sector. In addition, the possibility of transferring a life insurance policy to a retirement savings plan without tax consequences has been extended until 1 January 2023.

Prohibition of pesticides

PACTE also redefines the economic role of the state with provisions to allow the sale of public holdings. After nine hours of fierce debate, the Assembly had given Thursday, March 14, the green light for the privatization of Aéroports de Paris (ADP) by 42 votes against 17. Since the first reading of the bill in October, this privatization has become after his rejection in the Senate, the main bone of contention.

Another subject of tension is the ban on pesticides. On Friday evening, the Assembly postponed for three years the ban on certain products such as glyphosate, from 2022 to 2025. The Senate voted to abolish the measure outright. After lively debates, the Assembly voted by 27 votes to 3 with 7 abstentions what rapporteur Roland Lescure (LREM) described as "compromise", greeted by the Secretary of State for the Economy Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

To read Act PACT and duty of care: a missed appointment?

Bernard Gorce

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