In a video dated March 8, the President of the Republic affirms his intention to include the notion of consent in matters of rape in French law. When questioned, the Élysée, however, did not wish to react.

“I will enshrine it in French law.” These words are attributed to Emmanuel Macron. They were spoken during an exchange with the president of the feminist association Choisir, Violaine Lucas, on the sidelines of International Women’s Rights Day, Friday March 8. And the President of the Republic added in this same exchange filmed and posted on Instagram: “That we integrate it into French law, that consent can be registered, I completely understand that.”

While Agence France-Presse was able to recover the original video and formally authenticate the exchange between the head of state and the president of the association founded by Gisèle Halimi, as relayed in particular by Le Figaro, the palace of ‘Élysée has been contacted. Questioned about the video, he however did not wish to comment on the comments made by Emmanuel Macron.

To date, the French Penal Code does not expressly mention the notion of consent. It defines rape as “any act of sexual penetration, of whatever nature, or any oral-genital act committed on the person of another or on the person of the perpetrator by violence, coercion, threat or surprise”.

In this same video, Emmanuel Macron also defended the position of France which, last December, was firmly opposed, alongside around ten other countries, to agreeing on a common European definition of rape. For the President of the Republic, rape would not fall into the category of “Eurocrimes”.