French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said he would offer proposals to widen referendums to allow a possible voting on immigration, yielding to the demands of conservatives and the far right.
This promise contained in a letter to party leaders comes after a 12-hour meeting last week designed to reach a middle ground in the National Assembly, or lower house.
Macron does not control a majority of supporters in the legislature.
The President promised a detailed proposal, which would imply changing referendum rules laid out in France’s constitution “in the coming weeks”.
That would “allow us to continue our talks, which I hope will reach conclusion when we next meet” in the autumn, he added.
Immigration has been a major political agenda over the summer. The President’s camp had failed to bring aboard conservatives for a proposed reform that would toughen conditions for irregular arrivals but would allow some undocumented people working in critical industries to remain in France.
Macron wrote that the law would be debated in parliament “from this autumn” ahead of any possible public vote.
There are “known disagreements” on the subject but “it cannot be avoided”, he added.
Macron added that he would hold a “social conference” in October to discuss improving the lot of people on low incomes.
He promised a roadmap on planning for climate protection measures in the week of September 18.
Reactions were slow to arrive from a political class still seemingly weighing up the possible benefits and risks of cooperating with the president.
Greens chief Marine Tondelier charged on X — formerly Twitter — that environmental policy had “a minuscule place in this letter” but promised more detailed responses in the coming days.