On 16-17 November, the High Authority participated in the annual general meeting of the Francophone Network of Parliamentary Ethics and Deontology. Founded in October 2019, this network brings together experts in parliamentary ethics from the French-speaking world.
The first day of the General Assembly opened with introductory remarks by Jacques Saint-Laurent, former Ethics and Deontology Commissioner of the National Assembly of Québec, and Ferdinand Mélin-Soucramanien, Professor of public law. The first day shed light on the origins of the constitution of the network, its usefulness for exchanging good practices and disseminating a concerted approach to parliamentary ethics. The network expanded to include new members and adopted its future action plan.
On the second day of the General Assembly, participants held very rich presentations and discussions on the terminology of ethics and professional conduct, on conflicts of interest and the different approaches depending on the country. After an introductory statement by Agnès Roblot-Trozier, ethics officer of the National Assembly, Guillaume Tusseau, Professor of public law at Sciences Po, presented the origin and development of the concept of ethics. Cécile Guérin-Bargues, Professor of public law at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas, presented the different approaches to conflicts of interest in the French, British and Canadian parliamentary systems.
Participants compared the mechanisms of incompatibility to prevent these conflicts of interest. Finally, Senator Arnaud Bazin, chairman of the Senate parliamentary ethics committee, closed the general assembly by quoting the words of the former president of the High Authority, Jean-Louis Nadal, according to whom « ethics cannot be imposed but results from a process of appropriation by the agent ».