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Young Socialists: Olivier Faure’s War Prize


A 30-year-old legacy definitively erased. 1er January, the Movement of Young Socialists (MJS) became The Young Socialists (JS) then, at the beginning of April, a congress ratified its new functioning. More than a change of name and graphic charter, the organization is experiencing a revolution in its structure and finances. The old statutes of the MJS consecrated the autonomy of the movement vis-à-vis the Socialist Party (PS) as a “intangible principle”, and specified that ties with the party should be subject to “accurate statement” at each congress. From now on, the JS is no longer an autonomous association, and its new rules simply indicates that “Young Socialists are the youth movement of the Socialist Party”.

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It is also the end of the dual membership of the PS and the MJS. Today, any member of the PS under the age of 30 is considered a member of the Young Socialists. In the past, young people managed their cash flow relatively independently, although most of the organization’s funding came from the annual grant allocated by the SP. From now on, all funding, locally or nationally, is decided by the PS federations or the party’s national office, led by Olivier Faure. “Financial autonomy never really existed”, shade Emma Rafowicz, president of the organization since 2022 and deputy mayor of 11e district of Paris, close to the first secretary of the PS.

Present in Montpellier, June 3, on the occasion of the colloquium of Refondations, the current anti-Nupes of the PS, the former presidential candidate Benoît Hamon should probably not taste this other restructuring. And for good reason, for twenty-five years he was the architect of the MJS. In 1993, in the company of Olivier Faure, he obtained from Michel Rocard, then first secretary of the PS, the political and financial autonomy of the movement, one year after its foundation, before multiplying by six the number of members.

“The movement was decapitated”

In 2017, the patient construction of this political apparatus, historically anchored to the left of the PS leadership, bore fruit. The victory of the slinger against Manuel Valls in the socialist primary is very much due to the support and ideas of young activists. After Hamon’s departure from the PS and the creation of Génération.s, in 2018, many members and officials of the MJS will follow him there, and in particular its then president, Roxane Lundy.

Benoît Hamon, director of the NGO Singa, during the meeting of the Refondation movement, in Montpellier, on June 5, 2023.

For Emma Rafowicz, it is at this time that the socialist youths sink. “We lost 80% of the organization, there were barely 150 people left”, remembers the one who joined the MJS at 17. “The movement was beheaded and then, from 2019, almost all national leaders had to resign for cases of aggression or harassment”, especially sexist, says Nathan Abou, national secretary of the MJS between 2019 and 2020. “We also had to manage the catastrophic state of finances after the presidencies of Benjamin Lucas [actuellement député Génération.s des Yvelines] and Roxane Lundy, who cost us the approval of the National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Funding. »

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