France will enter new democratic territory next month when 150 randomly selected citizens will be asked to overhaul the country’s environmental policies, President Macron’s government announced yesterday. The group will draw up plans on issues ranging from global warming to biodiversity which Mr Macron has pledged to implement, to put to a referendum or to turn into legislation that will go before parliament. The Citizens’ Convention for the Climate is being organised in an attempt to meet yellow-vest protesters’ demands for MPs to be bypassed in a move towards direct democracy. Yet the initiative is fraught with dangers for Mr Macron, who risks losing control of the political agenda. Some of his supporters fear that far from appeasing the campaigners, the process could inflame their anger by reintroducing the fuel duty rises that ignited the protest movement in November.
Times 20th May 2019 read more »