Falling! The Elysee Palace was less spending in 2019 than the previous year, according to an annex to the budget regulation bill posted online on May 18 on the site of the Ministry of Finance and which peeled on his blog this Wednesday l former socialist deputy René Dosière. The Presidency of the Republic spent 105.4 million euros last year, 4.4% less than in 2018 (110.3 million euros).
It is not the first time in ten years that the Elysée budget has dropped from year to year. This was already the case in 2014 and 2017, in particular. In contrast, in 2018, for the first full year of Emmanuel Macron's tenure, spending had increased by 6.5%.
Here is what explains this sharp drop in 2019.
The main reason relates to the lower number of trips, and particularly those abroad, which are very expensive. Emmanuel Macron traveled 108 times, including 32 times outside our borders last year, against 135 times (including 46 abroad) in 2018.
In total, the presidential trips cost 13.9 million euros, against 20 million euros a year earlier. The reason seems obvious: with the yellow vests crisis and the Great debate conducted during the first half of 2019, the Head of State has moved much less, especially abroad.
The Elysée also highlights “the intensification of efforts to anticipate reservations, both in terms of transport, accommodation and rental of resources on site (vehicles in particular), as well as rationalization work travel preparation and realization processes ”.
We imagine that the decline will continue in 2020, as many trips have been canceled due to the coronavirus crisis.
Staff costs on the rise ... but lower
Conversely, the personnel expenditure item, which is by far - and by far - the largest, is increasing. 71 million euros were spent for this purpose in 2019, compared to 69.6 million the year before. Or an increase of 2%.
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However, this increase has been limited compared to previous years. "This variation marks a clear deceleration in the pace of development of this item of expenditure if we compare it with the increase recorded in 2018 (+ 4.61 M €, or + 7.1% between 2017 and 2018)", reads in the budgetary annex.
This can be explained in particular by the fact that "the Elysée worked with 33 vacant positions," said Parisian René Dosière, specialist in public finance.
Surplus of 134,000 euros
To finance these expenses, the Elysée used the state grant of 103 million euros (which will increase to 105.3 million in 2020), voted in the finance law. But also 2.53 million euros in own revenue.
About half of this sum, or 1.2 million euros, comes from the reimbursement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by that of the Armed Forces of costs of organizing the G7 (in Biarritz, end of August 2019) and commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the landings in Normandy and Provence (in June and August 2019).
In the end, the Elysée budget in 2019 is in surplus by around 134,000 euros. "Contrary to an era, we know it, we control it, we control it", judge René Dosière, referring in particular to the two terms of Jacques Chirac.
As soon as he entered the Elysée Palace in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy had instituted an annual control of the Elysée budget by the Court of Auditors. His next full and detailed report is expected this summer, as every year.