McKinsey case: 5 questions to understand the accusations against Emmanuel Macron on his links with the consulting firm

McKinsey case: 5 questions to understand the accusations against Emmanuel Macron on his links with the consulting firm


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The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday that it had opened two judicial investigations at the end of October relating to the intervention of consulting firms in the 2017 and 2022 electoral campaigns, after the numerous accusations which targeted Emmanuel Macron on his links with McKinsey.

What is the McKinsey firm?

The American consulting firm McKinsey is nicknamed “the Firm”. For 100 years, this shadow company has been providing strategy advice for CAC 40 bosses, heads of state and ministers. One of his missions that have become “famous” in France: the logistics of vaccination against Covid-19 in France. The role of society had been revealed by The chained Duck notably. “It is quite classic and consistent to rely on the expertise of the private sector”, Olivier Véran replied to the question of the usefulness of calling on McKinsey in this case. The firm does not intervene in medical or political choices.

What are the links between Macron and McKinsey?

The links between Emmanuel Macron and the McKinsey cabinet date back to 2007. Then a young finance inspector, he became deputy general rapporteur of the Attali commission, whose role was to propose economic reforms to President Nicolas Sarkozy. Emmanuel Macron impresses and in particular Eric Labaye, then director of McKinsey in France. Once Minister of the Economy, Emmanuel Macron aims to become president. In April 2016, he created En Marche and a dozen McKinsey employees are thinking about proposals on the economy or major sovereign issues, says an article The world. Did McKinsey employees work on their own time or on a voluntary basis? The company had not responded to our colleagues. In any case, no trace appears in the invoices of candidate Macron filed with the National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Funding.

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Once Emmanuel Macron was elected in 2017, young consultants from McKinsey joined the power: deputy director of the cabinet of the Secretary of State for Digital, head of the “projects center” of the Republic in March, director general of the Republic in March. Éric Labaye, the leader of McKinsey whom Emmanuel Macron had met in 2007, was appointed president of Polytechnique in 2018. For his part, the former boss of Young People with Macron, Martin Bohmert, joined the McKinsey cabinet in 2020.

Why was an investigation opened?

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office announced on Thursday November 25 that it had opened two judicial inquiries at the end of October relating to the intervention of consulting firms in the 2017 and 2022 election campaigns. During the last presidential election, a Senate report had sparked heated controversy over the use of public funds for the benefit of these firms and the opposition had demanded an investigation into the possible favoritism which McKinsey would have benefited from on the part of the Macronist majority. After an article from Parisian, the PNF issued a statement to “clarify the situation of various criminal proceedings” initiated after the Senate report and various complaints and reports. The prosecution specifies that “following several reports and complaints from elected officials and individuals, a judicial investigation was opened on October 20, 2022, in particular of the heads of non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in an account of campaign, relating to the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022”. The public prosecutor also adds that “following several complaints from elected officials and associations”, another information “was opened on October 21, 2022 from the heads of favoritism and concealment of favouritism”.

What exactly is the McKinsey firm accused of?

Published on March 16, the report of the Senate inquiry committee assured that the contracts signed between the State and the cabinets had “more than doubled” between 2018 and 2021, for a record amount of more than 1 billion euros. in 2021. The opposition immediately demanded the opening of an investigation into the links between the Macronist majority and McKinsey. According Mediapart, some members of the cabinet could have worked for free during the victorious presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron in 2017. The senatorial report also pointed to a possible tax arrangement of the French entities of McKinsey, which would have allowed them to pay no corporate tax between 2011 and 2020. In his press release, Jean-François Bohnert recalled that a preliminary investigation had already been underway on these facts since March 31 for “aggravated money laundering of aggravated tax evasion”. It resulted in a search of McKinsey’s French headquarters on May 24.

How does Emmanuel Macron react?

“It is up to justice to conduct these investigations independently”, soberly commented the Elysée Thursday evening, after having “read the communication” of the PNF. The head of state, whose name does not appear in the PNF press release, is protected by his criminal immunity. If the investigating magistrates were to consider that Emmanuel Macron must explain himself on these questions, they could summon him at the end of his second term at the Elysée. During the 2022 presidential election, in the midst of controversy, Emmanuel Macron had estimated that the non-payment of corporate tax by McKinsey was explained by the tax rules in force. “If there is evidence of manipulation, let it go to the criminal court,” he said.

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