we summarize the controversy over the debate with Emmanuel Macron and Les Uprisings of the Earth



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Emmanuel Macron visiting the Agricultural Show, in Paris, February 25, 2023. (CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON / AFP)

The Elysée had announced the participation of the environmentalist collective in this time of discussions on Saturday. Before turning back.

The cancellations come one after the other. Debate wish by Emmanuel Macron with actors from the agricultural world, Saturday February 24, in the aisles of the Agricultural Show, turns into controversy. The FNSEA, the main agricultural union, refuses to participate. The headquarters of the Young Farmers will also remain empty, just like that of the Peasant Confederation. Reason given: the invitation launched by the Elysée (then withdrawn) to the Earth Uprising collective. Franceinfo you resum this ibroglio.

1 The Elysée organizes a debate

Emmanuel Macron planned to inaugurate “the largest farm in France” differently this year. To appease a sector in the midst of a crisis, the Head of State proposed, Thursday afternoon, to take advantage of his visit to organize a debate with the farmers, their unions but also representatives of mass distribution and environmental associations. Among them: the Earth Uprisings.

This collective, which presents itself as a group of “young rebels” who have “grew up with ecological disaster in the background”of “peasant” And of“inhabitants in struggle attached to their territory”was especially talked about during the demonstrations against the “mega-basins” in Sainte-Soline (Deux-Sèvres). The government declared its dissolution in the Council of Ministers in June 2023, before the Council of State annulled this decision in November.

2 The FNSEA refuses to participate

The FNSEA, which had initially agreed to debate, backed down. Thursday evening, Arnaud Rousseau,he president of the first French agricultural union, describes the presence of the environmentalist collective as “unacceptable provocation for farmers”. “I agreed to participate in a debate. Under these conditions, I refuse to take part in what will only be a charade”he writes on the social network, qualifying in passing the environmental movement “small group”.

3 The presidency uninvites the collective

At 10 p.m., Thursday evening, the Elysée backpedals in turn. While maintaining the organization of the debate “to confront points of view, even very opposing ones, is essential”the presidency assures journalists that The Earth Uprisings are ultimately not “not invited”. The Elysée justifies this decision by a desire to “guarantee the serenity of the debates”.

4 The FNSEA does not change its mind

Even though the night gives advice, the FNSEA does not change its mind. Friday morning, the union says he refuses “for the moment” to participate in this discussion with the President of the Republic. His boss Arnaud Rousseau judges that the invitation from the Elysée shows that the Elysée has not “no understanding of the issues” farmers. He deplores the invitation “particularly cynical” of the collective.

Same story with the Young Farmers. “We did not understand the method of selection and the timing of this debate”regret Union board member Pol Devillers on franceinfo. The show is an event made for and by farmers in order to communicate about the profession.”

The Peasant Confederation also has no intention of honoring the invitation. Its spokesperson Laurence Marandola evokes “a masquerade to highlight the President of the Republic”. “This whole sketch diverts attention from the main subject, which is that of farmers’ income”she reacts on franceinfo.

5 The Elysée explains itself but does not convince

Friday noon, the Elysée is forced to explain itself again. In a message published at midday on the social networkthe presidency assures that The Uprisings of the Earth were not “neither invited nor contacted” to participate in the debate with Emmanuel Macron. “This was an error made during the press interview ahead of the event”affirms the executive.

But these explanations do not convince the FNSEA. At the end of a cboard of directors, the union act Friday noon that“no representative” notHe would participate in the debate. The conditions for a more peaceful dialogue are not met and the dignity of farmers is violated by this approach which bears the hallmark of provocation.writes Arnaud Rousseau on. The union is not the only one to criticize the organization of this debate. “I did not wait for the lame announcement of a ‘big debate’ to discuss with farmers in our regions. I will not participate in what I consider to be gross manipulation”also reacts Michel-Edouard Leclerc on the social network.

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