On 30 May, French citizens around the world will be asked to vote at the consular elections.
The role of these councillors is to support the French community in dealing with the consulate across a number of issues, including social benefits, scholarships for French education, security, association grants. These councillors also form an electoral college, which will elect six senators in indirect elections in September.
There are a total of 22 seats representing the circa 250,000-strong French community living in England and Wales. For the first time, the French Green party (Europe Écologie Les Verts) is running an independent list and is in a position to make some strong wins.
Our EELV election manifesto includes many proposals that aim to shape and improve the practices in place by the French authorities in the UK.
making French education more accessible and more inclusive. School fees to French schools are high and comparable to public schools. Despite scholarships being available, children from low-income families or from minority groups often cannot access these schools.
ensuring that the curriculum and content taught in French schools is more environmentally focused and better connected with the local UK initiatives.
providing proactive support for the most vulnerable households (affected by the pandemic or at risk of not applying for the ‘settled status’). EELV would like to make access to special social benefit packages easier for these people.
reviewing the French institutions’ procurement policies currently in place (carbon footprint impact, local sourcing, and so on).
Based on the 2019 European elections results, our expectations are high (21 per cent of the votes in the UK compared to 13 per cent in the rest of France). In June 2020, the local elections in France were swept by a green wave as EELV candidates won many major cities: Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Grenoble and Poitiers.
However, here in the UK, the turn-out of the consular elections is typically low (11 per cent at the 2014 elections compared to 50 per cent at the second round of the 2017 presidential elections).
Therefore, we want to encourage all readers of Green World, who are French nationals themselves or who have French friends, colleagues or neighbours, to take interest in the upcoming consular elections and help us raise our share of votes.
Anyone who is not already registered to vote at the French Consular needs to do so by 23 April on the French Government website.
Voters will then have the choice to choose their representatives in person, by proxy, or via the Internet (one week before).
A win from the EELV at the consular elections will pave the way for the next senatorial, presidential and legislative elections. Thank you for your support.
Isabelle Blanchot and Rémi Vazeille are EELV candidates in the French consular election. Henry Tran is the co-secretary for EELV London.