In March 2016, a dozen French MPs in favour of abolishing nuclear weapons have written to their fellow-parliamentarians (MPs and Senators) inviting them to join them in signing a Bill to organise a referendum on the following question:
« Do you want France to negotiate and ratify with all the States concerned a treaty to ban and completely eliminate nuclear weapons, under mutual and international control that is strict and effective? »
They observed that « a poll conducted in October 2015 by IFOP on the request of Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire (ACDN), found with representative sample of the population aged over 18, that 74% of those polled answered YES to this question. »
They noted that « according to article 11 of the Constitution, there need to be 185 of us signing this bill, out of 925 MPs and senators (20%) », and they said « we are convinced that this is feasible. »
This is the first time since the constitutional reform of 2008 that the possibility of organising a referendum « on shared initiative » (shared by parliamentarians and citizens) has been taken. According to this provision, the bill must first be endorsed by 20% of Parliamentarians and then within 9 months must gain – by electronic means supervised by the Ministry of the Interior – the support of 10% of registered voters, i.e. over 4.5 million voters.
That threshold, a priori hard to attain, is not so difficult, since that same IFOP poll tells us that three of four French citizens declare themselves ready to support such a bill – 27% « certainly » and 47% « probably ». And we know by a recent experience that a national petition can gather over a million signatures in under two weeks.
Thus, in the words of these MPs, « the French citizenry can open the path to a world without nuclear weapons. We call on the Members of Parliament to give it the opportunity to do so, and we call on all French voters to support this initiative at the appropriate time by electronic means. Deliverance from the atomic « sword of Damocles » hanging over us will bring reinforcement both to our security and to our freedom, in the best tradition of France – that of Human Rights and of the republican motto : liberty, equality, fraternity. »
All people around the world are invited to support this initiative by endorsing the Appeal for a French Referendum. Pls. Look at the Appeal for a French Referendum