The case of Marianne Fund has not finished tormenting the current Secretary of State for the Social and Solidarity Economy. Marlène Schiappa’s former chief of staff, Sébastien Jallet, ured the Senate on Wednesday that he had not solicited the main beneficiary ociation of the Marianne fund, contrary to the ertions of one of his officials.
Launched on April 20, 2021 by Marlène Schiappa, then Minister Delegate for Citizenship after the shock caused by the ination of Professor Samuel Paty, this fund, initially endowed with 2.5 million euros, aimed to finance ociations carrying out speeches promotion of the values of the Republic to fight against separatism. Only, according to revelations from France 2, it would have mainly benefited an ociation: the USEPPM (Federative Union of Physical Education and Military Preparation Societies). This ociation obtained an endowment of 355,000 euros for few actions thereafter.
Christian Gravel, the boss of the CIPDR (Interministerial Committee for the Prevention of Delinquency and Radicalization), administrative structure managing this fund, announced his resignation on Tuesday after the publication of a report by the General Inspectorate of Administration (IGA). This one denounces the “privileged treatment” granted by Christian Gravel to the USEPPM.
Heard by the Senate commission of inquiry launched after the first revelations about the Marianne Fund, Sébastien Jallet denied having pushed the leaders of the USEPPM to apply for a grant. “The USEPPM project is not a project that the firm and I went to look for,” he ured.
Mohamed Sifaoui, one of the two leaders of the USEPPM, had nevertheless ured in April that he had been encouraged to apply “by members of Marlène Schiappa’s cabinet and by itself”. “I did not take this initiative spontaneously,” he wrote.
Marlène Schiappa “erased herself from the process”
In its report, the IGA also considers that the CIPDR’s call for projects, on April 20, “was neither transparent nor fair”. Sébastien Jallet replied that he was “fair” because all the candidates according to him saw “their requests appreciated”. The former chief of staff of Marlène Schiappa also considered that the Marianne Fund was “a project which, once past the impulse and validation phase, essentially fell under administrative missions”.
The project selection committee, in which Marlène Schiappa did not participate, “has essentially validated the proposals made by the administration”, he ured, conceding that a file subsequently received a “adverse adjudication by the Minister”. The IGA noted that “all the testimonies collected indicate that the Minister Delegate withdrew from the process, once the official launch had ped” on April 20.
Last May, Marlène Schiappa defended herself in an interview with the magazine Closer, saying that the “suspicions of favouritism” for some of the ociations selected in the fund were “completely unfounded”. “Not only was it not me who decided on the breakdown of the funds, but I have no friends among the winners,” she ured.
Marlène Schiappa will in turn be auditioned next Wednesday (10 a.m.), as well as her successor as Secretary of State for Citizenship Sonia Backes (4 p.m.).