05.18.18

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Système Battistelli (ENArque) at the EPO is Inspired by Système Lamy in Saint-Germain-en Laye

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Party political infighting and intrigues in Saint-Germain-en Laye…

Express coverSummary: Has the political culture of Battistelli’s hometown in France contaminated the governance of the EPO?

THIS is a guest post based on informed individuals. We never thought that writing about patents would lead us to covering politics in France, but the topics are inherently connected because Battistelli’s EPO appointment is believed to be largely political (a French President) and his successor, Campinos, was aided by politicians like Battistelli himself. Politics are inevitable in this context. It’s all intertwined. Below is a new analysis from readers who prefer to remain anonymous.


A recent post on Techrights refers to a split in the right wing party in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and it is speculated that this may have something to do with Battistelli.

Independent research into this has confirmed that there has indeed been a lot of factional infighting within the right-wing UMP camp in Saint-Germain-en-Laye over the last decade or so.

This internal party political squabbling seems for the most part to have been the result of personal rivalries and/or local political “turf wars” and it does not appear to have any direct links to Battistelli. Of course it is possible that he may have had some involvement in the background but nothing about this has appeared in published press reports.

The information about the political culture of Saint-Germain-en-Laye which has been uncovered so far is however very interesting because it suggests that the governance of the EPO under Battistelli has become contaminated by the type of political practices prevalent in his home town.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a municipality in the administrative department of “Les Yvelines” located to the west of the French capital, Paris.

In the political domain Les Yvelines has always been a traditional stronghold of the right-wing UMP (now rebranded as “Les Républicains”).

But the strong majority which the UMP enjoys in this region doesn’t mean that everything is harmonious within the party camp.

On the contrary, as noted by Arnaud Péricard in 2008, the solidity of the UMP vote in the region has tended to whet the appetite for inter-party rivalry and squabbles.

Battistelli as DEPUTY MAYOR 2008See Election 2008 [PDF] material, along with Battistelli’s public profile on the right.

Arnaud Péricard the current Mayor of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is the son of the local political “boss” Michel Péricard who held the position of Mayor from 1977 until his death in 1999. Péricard Senior, who was also a parliamentary deputy for the region, was a controversial and divisive figure and opinions about him in his home town are strongly polarised. His admirers speak of him as a “visionary” while his critics denounce him as a “dictator”. [PDF]

Péricard’s wife, Catherine, was also politically active and was an elected municipal councillor for many years.

Their son Arnaud who pursued law studies in the USA decided to return to Saint-Germain-en-Laye and get involved in local politics following his father’s death.

According to well-informed local sources Catherine Péricard did not get along with her husband’s political successor, Emmanuel Lamy, and she seems to have had difficulty in coming to terms with her family’s loss of political power and prestige following the death of Péricard Senior.

When local elections were due in 2008 she encouraged her son Arnaud to form a “dissident” UMP list and to challenge Lamy’s supremacy.

This one-horse-town political dog-fight was widely reported in the French press at the time and Le Figaro published a detailed article about it under the title “Saint-Germain-en-Laye: La querelle des héritiers” (“Saint-Germain-en-Laye: the quarrel of the heirs”).

At around this this time Péricard Junior got into trouble with the UMP and was suspended for a year as reported on the blog of the Saint-Germain Socialist Party.

It seems that this dispute had something to with the unauthorised use of the UMP party logo on Péricard Junior’s election literature.

The attempt of the “young pretender” to dislodge Lamy and assume what he considered to be his rightful inheritance as Mayor of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was unsuccessful.

Lamy was reelected with a comfortable majority and Battistelli who was on his majority list was appointed as Deputy Mayor in charge of culture.

A couple of years later in September 2011 the French current affairs weekly l’Express published a very comprehensive and uncompromising cover page report on Lamy’s regime at Saint-Germain-en-Laye under the title “Le système Lamy” (see image at the top and some pages at the bottom; PDF copies can be found in [1, 2]).

See “Arnaud Péricard est suspendu de l’UMP pour un an !” (Translation: L’Express puts the spotlight on “the Lamy system” in Saint-Germain-en-Laye).

The in-depth report which described Lamy as “the ENArque who doesn’t like politics” included detailed accounts of a number of local scandals which were in the news at that time such as alleged mismanagement at the local hospital and a controversy surrounding the financing of waste management services using high-risk speculative derivative instruments based on “toxic loans” [1, 2].

Despite the whiff of scandal and allegations of irregularities surrounding the “système Lamy”, Lamy and Péricard Junior managed to patch up their differences by the end of 2013 and they agreed to run on a joint ticket for the 2014 local elections.

Battistelli as COUNCILLOR 2014See Election 2014 [PDF] coverage and Battistelli’s public profile at the time.

However, in the run-up to the 2014 elections another split emerged in the UMP ranks. This time the leading “dissident” was one of Lamy’s Deputy Mayors, Ms Anne Gommier, who defected to the rival UMP splinter group “Agir pour Saint-Germain”.

“The challenger, who has also been Deputy Mayor in charge of human resources for the municipal majority since 2008, rejects the suggestion that her candidature is motivated by political manoeuvring. She refers to Emmanuel Lamy’s methods of operation and management. “The disconnect [with the locals] is unacceptable. There is a problem of [lack of] transparency and consultation,” she explains. “The citizens are poorly informed but, in addition to this, they are not being listened to.” (See “Municipales: une dissidente en lice à Saint-Germain-en-Laye”)

Gommier’s challenge to the “Lamy machine” was unsuccessful and Lamy once again managed to secure reelection in 2014.

As usual Battistelli was on the majority list but this time round he was only appointed as a delegated councillor for cultural affairs and it was Péricard Junior who got the plum position of Deputy Mayor in charge of culture as a reward for his return to the Lamy fold.

Lamy continued to hold the office of Mayor until his sudden and unexpected death at the age of 69 in May 2017.

The local press reported in moving terms about the winged departure of “the soul of Saint-Germain”.

During his long “reign” as Mayor from 1999 to 2017 Lamy was a controversial and divisive figure very much in the mould of his predecessor and political mentor Péricard Senior.

Ms Gommier’s 2014 comments on the style of politics under the “système Lamy” at Saint-Germain-en-Laye – in particular the lack of transparency and consultation and the disconnect with ordinary citizens – are likely to have an all too familiar ring for observers of the “système Battistelli” at the EPO.

In the end one is left with the distinct impression that during the last eight years of Battistelli’s “reign of terror” at the EPO the governance of this important European inter-governmental institution has been strongly influenced – if not seriously contaminated – by the political culture developed and cultivated by the latter-day Sun-King’s mentors Michel Péricard and Emmanuel Lamy in his home town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.


Express article

Express article

Express article

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