This is one of the aspects of the government-initiated reform of the higher civil service, wanted by Emmanuel Macron and planned for 2022. A decree issued on Monday, April 18 Official Newspaper act the abolition of the diplomatic corps that gave generations of ambassadors to France. A measure announced in late 2021 that had stirred up the Foreign Ministry, an otherwise secretive place in French diplomacy.
Six days before the second round of presidential elections, this repression was criticized by the opposition. On Twitter, Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon in particular denounced the formalization of this measure. “A few days before the end of his mandate, Emmanuel Macron published the decree abolishing our diplomatic corps. He wants to replace impartial civil servants with nepotism.”particularly regretted the candidate of the National Rallywho promises, if elected, to restore “Diplomatic status based on merit and national interest”.
For Jean Luc Melenchon, “France sees its diplomatic network destroyed after several centuries. The second worldwide. Promo friends can be named. Great sadness. » Deputy LR Eric Ciotti also points out ” The end of an era. Macron paints a new pillar of our sovereign state on this day”.
At the State Department, the noose began to tighten in October as the issue became clearer. The measure affects two bodies that are at the heart of the work of French diplomacy: that of the advisers on foreign affairs and that of the ministers plenipotentiary, “extinguished” from 2023. These senior civil servants will then be appointed to a new appointment “Board of State Administrators”, where leaders previously trained by the National School of Administration (ENA) will gather, replaced by the National Institute of the Civil Service since January 2022.
Senior foreign policy officials are therefore drawn into a common pool of state officials who are destined to move from one ministry to another over the course of their careers. In this future pool of personnel, diplomats will stand alongside prefects, sub-prefects or inspectors general of finance.
800 senior officials affected
In all, about 800 senior State Department officials are affected, out of 1,800 Category A executives. Selective Oriental competition. You can stay in your old body “die out”, but are encouraged to move to the new interagency entity for the rest of their careers without much visibility, which they fear in either case. A development that goes down badly with those affected.
“The reform causes a deep wound and great concern among ministry officials,” expressed in December Olivier Da Silva, a permanent CFDT Quai d’Orsay, strongly opposed to the project. “We don’t improvise diplomacy. It is really a learning acquired in the field, according to the tasks “protested an ambassador abroad interviewed by Agence France-Presse.
In the eyes of its architects, however, the reform aims to boost careers by drawing from and consisting of a broader pool of candidates “From status logic to employment logic”. “Civil servants, like employees in the private sector, are not interchangeable”had replied a group of diplomats gathered under the name of Théophile Delcassé, the foreign minister who, in the early 20th century,and Century.