Strike in sight at Ministry of Foreign Affairs

A notice must be filed with the Quai d’Orsay, where the reform of the high hierarchy, acted by decree, does not pass.


The chosen moment is most symbolic while Emmanuel Macron, all re -elected fresh, prepares his new government. A strike notice is about to be filed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to protest against the reform of his high hierarchy, acted by decree, in a certain precipitation, between the two towers of the presidential election. According to our information, the movement, scheduled for a day at this stage, could take place on May 31 or June 2. Even if Jean -Yves Le Drian – who could not oppose the reform despite his initial reserves – was to be replaced in this sensitive post in the middle of war in Ukraine.

The date and the methods of the movement should be specified by the end of the week by an inter -union during the constitution for the occasion. CFTC, CGT, FSU, Solidaires and the home unions support the principle of the strike, which should however be shunned by the CFDT.

The young generation mobilized

Beyond this almost complete union front, the dispute of the reform has mainly come in recent months of a young generation of diplomats worried about the impact on their profession and their career of the announced disappearance of the two main bodies historical ministry, as part of the reform of the high public service led under the leadership of the Elysée. Foreign Affairs Advisers and Plenipotentiary Ministers – some eight hundred people – are indeed supposed to join, from next year, a new pool of senior interministerial officials, the body of state administrators, likely to be recruited in the various ministries. Diplomats will rub shoulders there among others the prefects, whose body has also been “extinction”.

Faced with this evolution, the fears of the executives of the Quai d’Orsay are double: being not only forced to leave diplomacy to continue their careers, possibly in other ministries, but also to face competition, for Embassy posts, non-diplomats. Certain figures of the ministry, like the former ambassador to the United States and the UN Gérard Araud, thus fear the generalization in France of political appointments, inspired by American practice. And denounce a risk of dismantling the French diplomatic tool.

The various guarantees negotiated by Jean-Yves Le Drian and his cabinet in recent months, such as the maintenance of the prestigious and very selective Eastern competitions, have not managed to appease the spirits. The secretaries of foreign affairs, who so far had to integrate the two bodies suppressed at a time of their professional career, are among the most concerned and mobilized. “Becoming a diplomat is a vocation, we are not interchangeable, explains one of these young agents on condition of anonymity. A career is built over the positions in embassy and negotiations.”

You have 23.1% of this article to read. The continuation is reserved for subscribers.

/Media reports.