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Former minister Emmanuelle Wargon appointed head of energy regulator despite opposition from a majority of parliamentarians
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Former minister Emmanuelle Wargon appointed head of energy regulator despite opposition from a majority of parliamentarians

Former Minister Emmanuelle Wargon was formally appointed head of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) by President Emmanuel Macron, according to a decree published on Wednesday August 17, the opposition of a majority of parliamentarians having been insufficient to block this appointment.

“By decree of the President of the Republic dated August 16, 2022, Mme Emmanuelle Wargon is appointed President of the Energy Regulatory Commission »can we read in this brief text published in the Official newspaper.

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Mme Wargon, 51, was, during the last five years, Secretary of State for Ecology (2018-2020), then Minister of Housing (2020-2022). Candidate for the legislative elections in Val-de-Marne in June, she had been beaten in the first round. In accordance with the rule enacted by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, the ministers beaten during this election had to leave their functions in the government.

The former minister had been proposed in July by the Elysée to chair the CRE, the independent authority responsible for guaranteeing the proper functioning of the French energy markets “for the benefit of the consumer”, a mission all the more important with the energy crisis on international markets. It is this commission which proposes the regulated tariffs for gas and electricity in France.

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Appointed for six years

Mme Wargon is named “for a non-renewable term of six years”, specifies the Energy Regulatory Commission in a press release. She replaces Jean-François Carenco, who has become Minister Delegate for Overseas France.

At the beginning of August, the parliamentarians had expressed a majority against his arrival at the head of the energy regulator, but they had not gathered the qualified majority necessary to derail this appointment desired by the Elysée.

She had received 43 votes for and 48 against her appointment to both chambers. According to the Constitution, parliamentarians must, however, bring together “at least three-fifths of the votes cast” to oppose a nomination proposed by the President.

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During his hearings before parliamentarians, Wargon had assured them of his independence. “I am politically committed, this commitment ends with this appointment”she said, adding that she wanted to lead the CRE ” freely “. “This appointment (…) leads me to turn the page on politics. In accordance with the commitment made during the parliamentary hearings, I will exercise my mandate in complete independence, at the service of the French people.she repeated, quoted in the CRE press release.

During her hearings, she outlined three issues: “security of supply and energy sovereignty”the “consumer protection and the competitiveness of our businesses” and “accelerating the ecological transition”. “To achieve all these objectives, we must work on sobriety and efficiency, the development of renewable energies and support for nuclear power”she explained.

“I am in favor of nuclear electricity, clearly”, “both on the maintenance of existing reactors and on the development of new nuclear”, she had specified. In this regard, she had justified herself about the final shutdown of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant in 2020, while she was in government, much criticized by the right in particular. “The decision to close Fessenheim had been taken a long time before”she argued.

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