Inspired by the American model of the spoil system, is Emmanuel Macron getting his hands on the administration? At least that is what suggests the appointment by the Head of State of 18 new prefects on Wednesday. Among them, many advisers from the ranks of Macronie.
The spoil system – in French, spoil system – is a political tradition rooted in the United States. At each alternation, the executive is called upon to renew the entire upper administration, with the idea that officials must be loyal to political power to facilitate the implementation of reforms. A practice praised by Emmanuel Macron, in 2017: “In the next two months of the quinquennium, I will change or confirm all management positions in the public service. “
The 61 appointments made during the last Council of Ministers suggest that the President has accelerated the establishment of such a system. 18 personalities have entered or returned to the prefectural body, and 15 other prefects have been moved to another department. This is the largest movement of appointments since the start of his term.
And it is clear that the executive was keen to promote several employees of the majority. Thus, Jean-Marie Girier, until then Richard Ferrand’s chief of staff at the National Assembly, was propelled to the prefect of the Territoire de Belfort, when Laurent Hottiaux, interior and security adviser to the presidency since 2017, became prefect of Hauts- de-Seine. Jupiter has not abandoned the former collaborators of Édouard Philippe either, by appointing Xavier Brunetière, former overseas advisor to the Prime Minister, in the Gers, and Eric Jalon, in charge of the interior pole in Matignon, in Essonne. The businesswoman Salima Saa, new prefect of Corrèze, constitutes a new take on the right. She was notably national secretary of the “Republicans” .
Even if the establishment of an American-style spoiler system (4,000 departures at each alternation) still seems a long way off, the fact that Emmanuel Macron appoints several collaborators to these positions is not trivial. The latter occupy a key position in the network of the territory, responsible for implementing the “Government development and planning policies at the department level”. The president therefore has every interest in securing their support. All the more so since they will have a major role to play in the future law of territorial differentiation.