A renegotiation of a Franco-Algerian agreement of 1968, which confers a favorable status to Algerians for their conditions of movement, stay and employment in France, is on the "agenda", said Wednesday (December 6th) Elisabeth Borne.
"In the conclusions of the fourth High-Level Intergovernmental Committee France-Algeria, held in October 2022, we mentioned the opening of discussions for a fourth amendment to this agreement. We have demands and the Algerian government has demands on its side. So it's actually on the agenda," the prime minister said in an interview with Le Figaro, when asked if the treaty should be renegotiated.
The right-wing opposition but also members of the Macronist majority want France to call into question this agreement that they consider too favorable to Algerians in terms of immigration.
The debate comes just days before the National Assembly begins its consideration of a controversial immigration bill on Monday.
An agreement called into question by the right
It is in this context that Les Républicains deputies will propose on Thursday, in a resolution on the agenda of the National Assembly, "the denunciation, by the French authorities, of the Franco-Algerian agreement of 27 December 1968".
This has caused some turmoil within the presidential majority. The Renaissance deputies did not take a dim view of sending a "signal" to Algeria by calling into question the favourable status granted to its nationals.
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After an internal debate, the Macronist group finally voted against, but MPs from former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's allied Horizons party voted in favour.
President Emmanuel Macron himself has warned parliamentarians. "It is not up to the National Assembly to decide on France's foreign policy," he said Wednesday at the Council of Ministers, according to a participant.
A favourable immigration regime for Algerians
This bilateral agreement, signed on 27 December 1968, creates a single status for Algerian nationals in terms of movement, residence and employment.
This text, which is part of international law and therefore takes precedence over French law, excludes Algerians from ordinary immigration law.
Algerians have since not had a residence permit in France but "residence certificates for Algerians", of which 600,000 were issued in 2022.
It was signed at a time when France needed hands to support its economy. Algerians remain the largest foreign nationals today.
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