A look at the next twelve months. Major trials, regional elections, Thomas Pesquet back in space … The year 2021 will be marked in France by several eagerly awaited events, unless the coronavirus pandemic comes as in 2020 upset the entire agenda.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s trial in the Bygmalion affair (March 17-April 15, 2021)
A busy judicial year for Nicolas Sarkozy. The former President of the Republic will be determined on his fate on March 1 in the “tapping” case, the trial of which was held at the end of last year. A four-year prison sentence, including two suspended sentences, was required against the former boss of the UMP then LR, tried for “corruption” and “influence peddling”. Two weeks later, Nicolas Sarkozy will again face justice. From March 17 until April 15, he will be tried for “illegal financing of the electoral campaign” in the “Bygmalion” case. The former head of state is accused of having exceeded the legal ceiling of electoral expenses of more than 20 million euros during the presidential campaign of 2012.
Judgment at the Mediator trial (March 29, 2021)
The end of a judicial soap opera. On March 29, the Servier laboratories and the Medicines Agency will know the judgment in the Mediator trial, which ended in July 2020. The pharmaceutical group has continued to reject any criminal fault, while the Mediator is accused of having caused hundreds of deaths. As a reminder, 6,500 people have become civil parties.
Thomas Pesquet returns to the ISS (spring 2021)
The Frenchman is back in space. In the spring, Thomas Pesquet will take off towards the International Space Station (ISS) in a SpaceX rocket. He will be the first European to take control of Elon Musk’s Crew Dragon capsule. This is the second time that the French astronaut has participated in this type of mission. This time, his stay will be longer since he has to stay 6 months on board the ISS.
Trial of Nordahl Lelandais for the murder of Arthur Noyer (May 3-14, 2021)
Indicted for the murder of Maëlys de Araujo and sexual assault on three of his cousins, Nordahl Lelandais will find himself in court from May 3 to 14 to explain the murder of Corporal Arthur Noyer. The 23-year-old soldier, a member of the 13th Alpine Chaser Battalion, died in April 2017 in a fight with the former dog handler. The Chambéry prosecutor’s office is prosecuting him for murder.
Regional and departmental elections (June 2021)
Scheduled for March, regional and departmental elections will finally take place next June. The French will go to the polls one year before the presidential election to elect their regional and departmental advisers. While the coronavirus pandemic does not yet appear to be ending, the Senate studied and then rejected a vote by mail or by internet. “We are not able to secure the entire system and the chain by this date of the elections,” declared François-Noël Buffet, rapporteur for the mission on the subject.
World Conservation Congress in Marseille (3-11 September 2021)
Often overlooked in environmental policies, biodiversity will benefit from a spotlight in France in 2021, with the organization of the World Conservation Congress in Marseille, from September 3 to 11. Organized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) every four years, this summit will bring together 1,400 entities, including states, civil society organizations and indigenous peoples, to “democratically determine the issues most urgent matters in terms of nature conservation ”.
Trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015 (September 8, 2021-end of March 2022)
After the trial of the January 2015 attacks at the end of last year, another major terrorism trial will take place in 2021: that of the attacks of November 13, 2015, which left 130 dead in Paris and Saint-Denis. Twenty people will be tried before the special assize court in Paris, including the Franco-Belgian Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the commandos. This trial promises to be extraordinary, with 110 hearing days scheduled until the end of March 2022, 1,750 civil parties and a room with 550 seats under construction in the heart of the historic courthouse in Paris, on the island of the city.
The presidential race (fall 2021)
Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen. Here are the names of the main candidates known for the next presidential election, in April 2022. Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) has already announced that a candidate would be chosen during a primary before September 2021. He does not It is not impossible for the Socialist Party (PS) to ally with the ecologists, as was the case in 2017 or during the municipal elections of 2020. The Republicans (LR), for their part, have still not announced whether a primary would be organized, or if another selection process would be chosen.
Beginning of the restoration of Notre-Dame (second half of 2021)
A new stage of the work of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, devastated by a fire on April 15, 2019, should start in the second half of 2021. The work to secure and consolidate the Gothic building, launched the day after the tragedy , should in theory be completed in spring 2021, to then make way for the actual restoration phase. An identical reconstruction was finally chosen and ratified last July. The goal is to return the cathedral to worship on April 16, 2024, five years after the fire.
Climate referendum (date to be determined)
In 2021, the French may have to vote on a referendum for the first time in sixteen years and the consultation on the European constitutional treaty. In mid-December, Emmanuel Macron indeed undertook to organize a referendum on the inclusion of the defense of the climate and the preservation of the environment in Article 1 of the Constitution, a proposal resulting from the Citizens’ Convention for the climate. Despite the government’s desire to schedule it in 2021 according to the Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili, nothing is certain yet. This constitutional reform must first be voted on in the same terms by the National Assembly and the Senate, before it can be submitted to a referendum.
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