French senators reveal their outside interests online – but will it make a difference?


Members of the French Senate have recently begun publishing their outside business affairs on a new online register of members' interests. The aim is to prevent conflicts of interest between a senator’s public and private lives. The first register has thrown up a fascinating array of outside activities. But senators are under no obligation to make the declarations and there is no provision for them to publish details of how much they earn from other sources. So will self-regulation work? Mathilde Mathieu reports.

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The Senate, France's upper parliamentary chamber, has recently put online a list of its members' outside interests. The aim is to provide transparency and reduce the risk of a conflict of interest when senators are involved in legislating on subjects they have a personal or financial stake in.