The name of Didier Migaud’s successor at the head of the Court of Auditors is expected in the middle of next week. Former European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici is still a favorite. But the name of LR chairman of the Assembly’s Finance Committee, Eric Woerth, is circulating.
It is a soap opera whose epilogue is long overdue for nearly a year. Emmanuel Macron should finally choose in the middle of next week who will take over from Didier Migaud at the head of the Court of Auditors. “The latter’s departure schedule is now set for January 29”, explains a source familiar with the matter.
While he was already given a starting point for the Constitutional Council at the beginning of last year before seeing himself prefer Alain Juppé, the former socialist elected official finally found a way out after ten years spent in the prestigious post of First President of the Court: the Elysee has appointed him president of the High Authority for the transparency of public life (HATVP) to take over from Jean-Louis Nadal.
Didier Migaud proposed to chair the High Authority for the transparency of public life
Emmanuel Macron will now have to find an answer to the question that has been revolving for a year and the first rumors of the departure of Didier Migaud: what is the best profile to lead the Court? A senior official with confirmed technical skills, or a personality from the political world? For more than thirty years, successive governments have almost all opted for the second option, with the exception of the sole mandate of François Logerot – who had spent much of his career at the Court – between 2001 and 2004.
Connected to the political world
Didier Migaud himself took over from Philippe Seguin, while two ministers – Pierre Arpaillange and Pierre Joxe – had succeeded each other in the 1990s. “The decisions of the Court are collegial, so there is no need to have a techno profile already well equipped internally. On the other hand, having someone well connected with the political world is precious ”, analyzes a good connoisseur of the house.
Between an executive who sometimes wants to have a say on the program of reports and their publication date, and local elected officials who complain about the conclusions of the regional courts, it is indeed better to count on a personality experienced in power games and political pressure.
By this yardstick, a name has been coming back for a year for the post: that of Pierre Moscovici, the former European Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the Juncker team. Since his departure from Brussels at the end of 2019, he has just returned to the Court in December, which is his original body. He displayed in front of his new colleagues the prudence and serenity of a man who saw the precipice up close: critical comments on Emmanuel Macron that appeared in the press this summer had seemed to seriously compromise his chances.
Among his strengths, his proximity to the Secretary General of the Elysee Palace Alexis Kohler, who was his deputy chief of staff at Bercy when he was Minister of the Economy and Finance of François Hollande. Within the Court, some seem won over by the suspicions of dilettantism that accompanied his arrival in Brussels in 2014 before dissipating.
In the aisles of power, another name is whispered, that of Eric Woerth. The current LR chairman of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, and former Budget Minister, presents the technical profile of the position. His position as an opponent is similar to that of Didier Migaud when he was appointed in 2010 by Nicolas Sarkozy. But he has been the subject since July of a new investigation by the Court of Justice of the Republic, which seeks to know if the elected official did not grant in 2009 an undue tax advantage to Bernard Tapie when he was budget minister. In his entourage, we refuse to comment on the succession of Didier Migaud.