He was Édouard Philippe’s main intermediary within the Palais-Bourbon. Five years after leaving the National Assembly to devote himself to his city, the mayor of Ajaccio, Laurent Marcangeli, finds the hemicycle, propelled to the head of the Horizons group. A Juppeist like the former head of government, the MP for Corse-du-Sud was among the first to join the party of the former Prime Minister. At the head of the third group of the presidential majority, he intends to carry the voice of the center right in a hemicycle reflecting the complexity of a fragmented political landscape. Faced with this unprecedented configuration, the parliamentarian defends himself from any desire to “poach” other right-wing political forces but calls for building “compromises” with the opposition in the making of the law, including by adapting the presidential project to this new configuration. Without compromises.

Le Point: With thirty deputies, Horizons is both the new appendix and the smallest group of the majority in the National Assembly. How do you plan to weigh in the Ensemble device?

Laurent Marcangeli: The state of the forces present can only satisfy me insofar as we are a very young party which had, I recall, fifty-eight candidates invested in the legislative elections. We have thirty deputies, which means that our work has paid off. I also believe that our trajectory is absolutely clear. We are members of the presidential majority with a very simple watchword: loyalty to the government and the President of the Republic, but also the affirmation of principles and values ​​that we have upheld since the founding of ‘Horizons, in October 2021. This is, in particular, to produce concrete, project and reflection by trying to take a little height so as not to succumb to the temptation of the small sentence. Because our country does not need a punchline, but a strategy to get out of these crises.

There is no disappointment when the situation reflects a decision by the French. The particularity of the composition of this unprecedented Assembly is that all the groups are pivotal. This calls us to define a new method in the making of the law to enter into a logic of co-production between Parliament and the government, more assertive than in the past. We have a group of experienced elected officials who, for the most part, have exercised executive responsibilities in their territories. This gives us completely objective reasons to think that we will be able to enrich the texts that will be proposed to us by the government.

Our fellow citizens obviously wanted to give Parliament a leading role.

How do you conceive of your political space between the left wing of the majority and the right represented by LR?

Since the beginning of the Macron era, center-right figures like me have felt comfortable with the politics led by the executive. Since the birth of Horizons, we have wanted to position ourselves as the right wing of the majority by relying on assets: rootedness in the territories, knowledge of the field and values ​​based on work, a certain idea of ​​the sovereign and the management of public finances. We have our own sensibility which does not necessarily come from the same heritage as the Renaissance group or the MoDem, which has a more centrist tradition.

This unprecedented situation with a National Assembly without a majority handed over power to Parliament. Should this be seen as the consequence of a too Jupiterian first term of President Macron?

It is the consequence of an electoral process. The president was re-elected in April by a clear majority of French people against the RN candidate and a high score from La France insoumise in the first round, but our fellow citizens obviously wanted to give Parliament a leading role. Some may have forgotten, as presidents have often enjoyed absolute majorities, but the Fifth Republic is a parliamentary system, not a presidential one. The French returned the church to the center of the village. This particular situation will force the executive and parliamentarians of all persuasions to develop a different approach in the preparation of the law and in the control of government action. We are ready for it.

The president did, in reality, only note that these two political parties totally ruled out working with him and belonging to the majority. As far as I am concerned, as a deputy of the nation, I will systematically encourage the examination of amendments or legislative texts when they are struck at the corner of common sense, and even to support them if they are compatible with the of values ​​that we defend. Including if they come from the ranks of the National Rally or La France insoumise. I believe that is the state of mind in which we must be, turning our backs on this somewhat Pavlovian way of dealing with amendments from opposition groups. This is, in my humble opinion, what the French expect of us.

I am one of those who think that the less we legislate, the better we legislate.

Is this case by case sustainable over time?

This will essentially be based on the method. I am one of those who think that the less we legislate, the better we legislate. Today we have a mass of legislative texts that are sometimes obsolete and unapplied. The law does not necessarily need to be talkative to be effective. From my point of view, simplification also involves fewer standards, fewer texts. Let’s focus on the essentials. There have been frequent complaints in this country, and sometimes rightly so, that the role of the National Assembly has been reduced to that of a recording chamber. It can no longer be in view of its configuration today. It’s up to us to demonstrate that it can be a driving force.

The majority being relative, can your group play the role of an airlock to rally center right MPs?

I am not at the head of a team that looks like poachers who come to hunt on the lands of such and such a group. On the other hand, those who wish to join us will never be rejected ex abrupto if they are in phase with the idea that we have of our mandate and of political life. Our objective is first to convince that we are in the right direction. If we can convince deputies who do not currently qualify as being in the majority, but recognize themselves in the values ​​defended by the Horizons group, we will welcome them. Only on sound bases.

LR has its place in majority participation.

Some LR figures advocate right-wing participation in government as part of a coalition. As a former member of this party, could you play matchmaker?

Even if I left this political family, I kept good relations with its representatives and elected officials in the territories. Appellations have never been a source of division for me, when we share certain values. Two presidents of LR regions, Christelle Morançais and Jean Rottner, have indeed reached out. Like many local elected officials, they know what the art of compromise is. It’s not compromise. Given its political DNA, which is that of a party of government and builders, LR has its place in majority participation in one form or another. With Édouard Philippe, we defend the idea of ​​a coalition based on a clearly defined mandate contract. In any case, LR will be a source of proposals that must be listened to and above all respected.

The situation forces us to seek consensus. Otherwise, we are headed for a diet crisis. In such a case, the first to have to make efforts are the majority parties and the executive. The presidential program was ratified by the French in April. Some will say that it was more of a rejection vote for the president’s competitor. But this project was relatively majority in the legislative elections. We must now know how to adapt to it, otherwise it would be a form of democratic denial.

What are the points on which you will not compromise?

The method for which I am advocating will not work if one begins by laying down prerequisites. Obviously, there will always be lines that cannot be crossed. It is very clear that we will not compromise on Marine Le Pen’s economic proposals which would take us out of the European Union. Ditto when the Nupes calls for disobedience to treaties. Our European commitment is infallible. When Mr. Mélenchon proposes to disarm the police, we will never validate this position. Compromise is not denial. It’s being able to come to an agreement based on a disagreement with formations that don’t want to see their ideas given up either. Crucial subjects await us, such as pension reform. We will not be in a totemic vision concerning the starting age. But we have the firm intention of dealing effectively with this fundamental issue for the future of our country.

The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, considered that the “alert mark” had been crossed regarding public finances. How to reduce expenses in an inflationary environment?

As early as October 2021, we were talking with Horizons about restoring order in the streets as well as in the public accounts. Without limiting ourselves to an exclusively accounting vision, because the times we live in demand that we be reactive to the difficulties encountered by the French. However, each time we take a decision generating expenditure, we must bear in mind that the sovereignty of our country remains linked to its indebtedness. The exceptional measures that were taken during the pandemic, given the risks it poses to our economy, cannot be extended ad vitam aeternam. It is up to us, on the other hand, to make the right decisions to meet the priority of the French, namely purchasing power and the fight against inflation.

When you’re part of a team, you always want those around you to be in the best possible position. Christophe Béchu is an excellent minister in the making. We obviously want him to be confirmed in his duties. The President and the Prime Minister have the possibility of calling on members of our party to join the government. I believe that we benefit from a good breeding ground, both at the level of parliamentarians and local elected officials, who have skills to contribute.

Is your group intended to be a stable at the service of Édouard Philippe’s presidential ambition?

This is a subject that we never discuss with Édouard Philippe, despite the great closeness we have on a personal level. I believe that the situation of the country requires that we take care of 2022 before 2027.

Éric Coquerel was elected deputy, so he has legitimacy. Since 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy has established that the presidency of this commission is attributed to the opposition. If the RN has the largest group, the Nupes and the four other opposition groups held more commissioners. For our part, we have scrupulously respected the rule, namely that commissioners from the majority do not take part in the vote. It is a tradition, a custom. We cannot be blamed for everything and its opposite. Our responsibility is to make the institutions work, and our duty is to respect the voters’ choice. Each of the 577 deputies holds a share of legitimacy but also a share of responsibility. I hope that Mr Coquerel will assume his responsibilities and chair the work of this commission as he should.

With great pragmatism and the constant ambition to seek a point of balance. Corsica needs a peaceful, frank, fruitful dialogue, and a political project for the next thirty years, which is built with the State. I said during the legislative campaign that this process had to go beyond the single institutional question. Corsica has economic, social and cultural difficulties to which concrete answers must be provided. Without dogmatism.