French law targets foreign (Russian) interference amid rising tensions –

French Lawmakers are ready to find a final solution law today aimed at strengthening the country’s legal framework to counter foreign attacks interferenceespecially amid heightened tensions over conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, according to a report by AFP.

The proposed law Constance Le Grip, an MP from President Emmanuel Macron’s party and one of the authors of the bill, has been defended as essential and timely. Citing incidents such as the defacement of public property with symbols such as the Star of David and red hands, as well as the placement of ‘fake coffins’ at the Eiffel Tower, Le Grip attributes these destabilizing acts to potential interference orchestrated by Moscow.

The main provisions of the draft law include the creation of a national register of influence, mechanisms for freezing financial assets and an experimental initiative to interference through algorithmic surveillance, which currently focuses exclusively on counter-terrorism efforts.

Under the proposed lawindividuals or entities lobbying in France, especially those holding elected positions, would be mandated to register in a national database, with sanctions imposed for non-compliance.

The legislation is aimed at both natural and legal persons who attempt to influence public decisions French policies, including interactions with parliamentarians, ministers, local officials and even former presidents.

Entities identified as potential influencers include state-controlled companies, political parties outside the EU or foreign powers outside the European Union.

In addition, the bill contains provisions for the freezing of financial assets of individuals, companies or organizations engaged in activities deemed to constitute interference.

The register is managed by the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP) and is expected to be operational on July 1, 2025, to allow the institution sufficient time to secure the necessary resources and staff.

Le Grip, member of the parliamentary intelligence delegation, expresses concern about public perception of foreign interventions, underscoring the importance of raising awareness on this issue.

After approval by the Senate on Monday following negotiations between deputies and senators, the bill proposed by President Emmanuel Macron’s majority is expected to go to the lower house for final approval just days before the European elections.