Published in French on 13 July 2016
Since December 2015, the abolition of nuclear arms has been on the agenda of the UN. An Open-Ended Working Group is bringing together governments and NGOs in Geneva to recommend to the General Assembly “ways to advance multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament, with a view to eventually achieving a world completely free from nuclear weapons”. But France and the other nuclear-armed states have stayed away.
Now, on the initiative of ACDN (Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire) 60 French MPs and senators are calling for a referendum on this question, which has never been debated by the French people, and are proposing a bill to organise it. They need to lift their number to 185 (20% of parliamentarians) according to article 11 of the Constitution. If their colleagues respond to this call and if subsequently 10% of voters support their proposition, it will be France’s first “referendum by shared initiative” (i.e. parliament and people).
The law proposed formulates the referendum question thus:
« Do you want France to negotiate and ratify with all the States concerned a treaty to ban and completely eliminate nuclear weapons under international and mutual control that is strict and effective? »
To this question 74% of French citizens would respond YES, according to an IFOP poll carried out in October 2015. Similarly, 74% of them wish to be consulted by referendum on this question, and 74% say they are willing to support the parliamentary initiative if it goes ahead.
The first MPs and Senators to sign this call for a referendum and this bill are named here (with the département of each):
Laurence ABEILLE (94), Brigitte ALLAIN (24), Sylviane ALAUX (64), Pouria AMRSHAHI (HdF 9°Circ.)*, Isabelle ATTARD (14), Danielle AUROI (63), Serge BARDY (49), Michel BILLOUT (S.77)**, Christophe BOUILLON (76), Kheïra BOUZIANE-LAROUSSI, Jean-Pierre BOSINO (S60), Sabine BUIS (07), Jean-Jacques CANDELIER (59), Fanélie CARREY-CONTE (75), Jean-Michel CLEMENT (86), Laurence COHEN (S94), Sergio CORONADO (HdF3°C)**, Jean-Jacques COTTEL (62), Pascale CROZON (69), Cécile CUKIERMAN (S42), Yves DANIEL (44), Ronan DANTEC (S.44), Michelle DEMESSINE (S.59), Fanny DOMBRE COSTE (34), Cécile DUFLOT (75), William DUMAS (30), Martine FAURE (33), Hervé FERON (54), Geneviève GAILLARD (79), André GATTOLIN (92), Joël GIRAUD (05), Linda GOURJADE (81), Jean GRELLIER (79), Edith GUEUGNEAU (71), Conchita LACUEY (33), François-Michel LAMBERT (13), Jérôme LAMBERT (16), Pierre LAURENT (S75), Annick LE LOCH (29), Bernard LESTERLIN (03), Serge LETCHIMY (972), Noël MAMERE (33), Jean-René MARSAC (35), Véronique MASSONNEAU (86), Paul MOLAC (56), Philippe NOGUES (56), Dominique ORLIAC (46), Hervé PELLOIS (56), Philippe PLISSON (33), Elisabeth POCHON (93), Christophe PREMAT (HdF2°C)*, Catherine QUERE (17), Marie-Line REYNAUD (16), Barbara ROMAGNAN (25), Jean-Louis ROUMEGAS (34), Maina SAGE (987), Eva SAS (91), Gabriel SERVILLE (973), Suzanne TALLARD (17), Cécile UNTERMAIER (71).
(*) French Overseas Territories
(**) S = Senator