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The National Assembly passes the bill on the Olympic Games, despite criticism of its security component


A rare moment of consensus in a National Assembly that is usually so conflictual. MPs broadly passed the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games (JOP) Bill at first reading on Tuesday, March 28 with 400 votes for, 93 against and 54 abstentions. In addition to the three groups of the presidential coalition, the text received the support of the National Rally (RN), the Republicans and the elected representatives of the LIOT group (Freedom, Independents, Overseas and Territories). Within the left, the “rebellious” and ecologists opposed it, while the communists and socialists defended a “vigilant abstention” on this text, which includes an important security component. Which is criticized in particular by associations for the defense of individual freedoms.

After the adoption of the nuclear acceleration bill in the National Assembly also by a large majority (402 votes for, 130 against) on March 21, the presidential camp wants to see in it the demonstration that its method of seeking majorities “project by project” – which failed on the pension reform – can still function in this Hemicycle fragmented into ten groups.

At the end of the solemn ballot early Tuesday evening, the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, welcomed the adoption of this bill. It is “an essential step that you allow us to take”, she said, in view of the organization of the Olympic Games (scheduled for July 26 to August 11, 2024) and Paralympics (August 28 to September 8). After the vote obtained in the Senate on January 31, a joint joint committee, bringing together seven deputies and seven senators, must now meet in April to try to find a common version for the two Chambers.

“Risks of acts of terrorism”

As at the Luxembourg Palace, the examination of the bill in the National Assembly and the explanations of vote before the solemn ballot on Tuesday mainly revolved around its article 7. This authorizes “on an experimental basis”and this from the promulgation of the law, the processing by algorithms of surveillance images captured by cameras or drones to “detect, in real time, predetermined events” for’“ensure the security of sporting, recreational or cultural events which (…) are particularly exposed to the risk of acts of terrorism or serious threats to the safety of persons”. If the list of these events must be defined in a decree, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, mentioned during the examination of the text some of them as “a fire outbreak, population bottlenecks, an abandoned package or bag”.

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