“We are not in pieces,” insisted the president of the MoDem at the end of the party’s Summer Universities in Guidel (Morbihan). “Take three or four months to reflect together and put options and proposals on the table, I think that would be good, not only for civil peace – that counts – but for the reform itself”.

The hypothesis of a flash reform of pensions via an amendment to the Social Security budget divides the majority. Mr. Bayrou had already warned against a “forced passage” which his deputies threaten to oppose. Emmanuel Macron, with Élisabeth Borne, will bring together the ministers and leaders of the majority on the subject this week.

“We will not let go”, insisted a deputy who underlines that “in the renaissance group, there is not unanimity to pass the pension reform by the PLFSS” (social security financing bill).

“It is a duty, when one is a ruler, to share the reasons for action with those who have given you the mission to govern them”. “Because behind all this, there is not only the question of pensions. There is the question of the method of reform that we can follow for this country”, insisted Mr. Bayrou.

“I hear critics who say: it’s going to drag on, we won’t do anything anymore. I take the liberty of pointing out that by refusing this method, we have blocked reforms for decades,” he said, quoting the great strikes of 1995 (he was then minister of the Juppé government) “until the last under the government of Édouard Philippe”, he noted.

– “Consul for life” –

At the time of the yellow vests crisis, “I said: we do not govern against the people”. “Society is so eruptive that you have to set yourself the goal of convincing it before dragging it on,” argued the president of the Modem.

With “a work of consultation”, “I think that we are taking a decisive step in a more respectful method”, that of “democratic reformism”, insisted Mr. Bayrou.

This speech closed four days of work in Guidel, the party having this year joined its parliamentary days and its Summer universities. Several outside speakers fueled the debates, from Academician Erik Orsenna to Ministers François Braun (Health) and Gabriel Attal (Action and Public Accounts).

“I feel good at the MoDem”, launched the Minister of Budget to a delighted audience, while at Renaissance the positions revolve around “the right wing or the left wing” and not the “central block”.

“We are the pivot of the majority,” savored a leader.

The former minister and regional stage Jean-Yves Le Drian hailed the “strategic awakening of Europe” with the Ukrainian conflict.

“Thank you for having offered to speak to me, I am sensitive to it”, began the former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe (Horizons) in the presence of Stéphane Séjourné (Renaissance), making the room warp a week after the meeting of Renaissance which Mr. Philippe had attended without being able to intervene. Promised to the same treatment, Mr. Bayrou had finally decided to dry out.

The MoDem has 11,000 up-to-date members, according to its new general secretary Maud Gatel, 49 deputies and four government representatives including Jean-Noël Barrot, engaged next Sunday in a partial legislative in the Yvelines.

The next Congress is scheduled for the end of 2023 but at the MoDem, “Bayrou is consul for life”, laughs a party leader.