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In the light of a historical comparison with previous governments, the current French executive comes second in the use of a legislative tool that limits Parliamentary prerogatives.
French newspaper Le Monde published an analysis that uncovers the massive use by President Emmanuel Macron’s government of the so-called ordonnance , a legislative tool that reduces Parliamentary discussions about laws and, thus, limits the Parliament’s capacity to affect the content of the former. According to the data retrieved by Mathilde Damgé, if the ratio of “ordonnaces over months in power” is considered, the current French government comes second only to the preceding one, under the presidency of Francois Hollande (centre-left). In absolute terms, the Presidency of Jacques Chirac (centre-right) features the highest amount of ordonnances.
Le Monde’s article makes a point for those who claim that our parliamentary democracies risk becoming a stronghold of the executive powers. Crucially, data relative to the French case prove that ordonnances have become quite relevant also because of the European integration process, as many European laws approved in Strasbourg and Brussels, are automatically turned into national laws. Another interesting insight concerns the fact that, overall, French left-wing governments - theoretically less prone to limit Parliamentary prerogatives - have actually been more active in the use of ordonnances.