Politics in France

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Charles Hauss

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  • ALSO AVAILABLE FROM CQ PRESS:

    Politics in Britain (2007)

    Bruce F. Norton

    Politics in Germany (forthcoming)

    M. Donald Hancock

    Henry Krisch

    Copyright

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    Dedication

    To Amy Mazur and the memory of J. D. Lewis and Roy Pierce

    Tables, Figures, Map, and Boxes

    Preface

    It has taken an embarrassingly long time—seven years, in fact—to write this book. I'd like to claim that the product you hold in your hands is the book world's equivalent to the “slow food” movement—where quality is paramount and measured by the time and attention paid to the process—but the truth of the matter is that, well, global conflict got in the way.

    In spring 2000, Charisse Kiino of CQ Press asked me to meet with her to discuss a series of country studies on Western Europe that she and her team wanted to commission. Forgetting that there is never such a thing as a free lunch, I met with her shortly before I was to head to the West Bank to teach some young Palestinians about conflict resolution. Despite my fears about being overextended, Charisse talked me into writing this book. After I'd returned from the Middle East, I decided to make matters worse by joining the staff of Search for Common Ground, a conflict resolution organization, in order to become more than just a dilettante in the field. With that new commitment, for the next couple of years I was focused on countries that are significantly more turbulent than France. But things have a way of coming full circle. As the CQ Press list grew, Charisse handed me off to Elise Frasier, who not only is a Michigan football fan (as am I) but also has a husband who studied conflict resolution experts and actually interviewed me for his PhD thesis. Ultimately, this handoff brought me back to the study of France.

    Despite the abnormal route this book took toward publication, the subject herein is anything but. In fact, that's the very theme of the book: a shift toward “normal” politics in France. From my point of view, French politics now has more in common with other Western democracies than ever. Like Britain, Canada, Germany, or the United States, France has had a stable and legitimate representative regime for some time now. But as you will see, that has not always been the case. More than anything else, viewing France as a stable democratic regime makes the study of its politics interesting and enjoyable. Nevertheless, readers will also find that, unlike most existing textbooks, which do not focus on controversial elements of French politics, this one takes some of the current controversies head on. Like it or not, we live at a time when French politics is controversial in most Anglophone countries if for no other reason than because of France's opposition to the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    Whether discussing the normal or the controversial, this book is nonetheless organized the way most textbooks are. I start with an overview of French society and history leading up to the present day and also talk about some of the methods and approaches this book will use along the way, paying special attention to some of the basic premises of systems theory. This is followed by analyses of French political culture, particularly with respect to recent changes in demographics, the new diversity, and the impact of globalization. Two historical chapters help readers put the current political system into context, and then subsequent chapters cover public participation in elections and beyond, look at the way the state functions, and examine its public policies at home and abroad. I also place special emphasis on the role the European Union plays in France's political life. As far as I know, no author has tried to do all of this in a reasonably short and readable book, one that contains at least a few funny stories about such things as French fries and French toast.

    I've equipped this book with a series of boxes called “Comparative Perspectives,” which feature information about other Western and non-Western countries in order to highlight substantive differences between France and the rest of the world. Most of those boxes have photographs, some of which reflect the whimsical side of French politics. Each chapter also contains bolded key terms (both conceptual in nature as well as of important people, entities, and events) that are then listed at the end of each chapter along with questions for discussion. At the back of the book are a copy of the French constitution, reference lists for suggested readings and suggested Web sites should you want to learn more about this fascinating and often frustrating country, and a glossary of terms.

    Acknowledgments

    Needless to say, over time I've accumulated a lot of intellectual debts.

    The first is to the very patient staff at CQ Press. Charisse, Elise, and everyone else have been extremely supportive even when asking the embarrassing question, “When will it really be done?”

    I also have a group of colleagues who started working on France when I did in graduate school. Many of us have broadened our interests, but David Cameron, Jim Hollifield, Anne Meyering, David Rayside, Rand Smith, and others too numerous to name have tried to convince me that this was a project worth doing. So too have Bill Safran and Marty Schain, who have written the leading books this one will compete against.

    I'd like to thank my reviewers who took the time to assess my early proposal and then later manuscript chapters, including Paul Abramson, Michigan State University; Steven Majstorovic, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; and Mark Sachleben, Shippensburg University.

    My colleagues in the conflict resolution field at Search for Common Ground and the Alliance for Peace Building have also helped me see things I might have missed as a conventional political scientist (that is, once they got over their shock that I was doing this book, at which point they typically tried out their French with their Burundian or Congolese accents). Thanks also have to go to my friends in and near the Department of Defense, most of whom despise France as much as I love it. In particular, Dick O'Neill of the Highlands Forum and a friend since nursery school days helped me think through the issues in the last three chapters.

    The book is dedicated to three people who have shaped my thinking on France in ways I could never fully document.

    Amy Mazur is my one former student who ignored my advice and became a student of French politics. She has taught me almost everything I know about feminism in France. We first worked together in the 1980s when she was a college senior; she and three of her classmates came with me to Caen to do a research project, some of which found its way into these pages. Amy is living proof that students and professors can later become colleagues and friends.

    John (J. D.) Lewis taught the first course I took on European politics even though he was actually a specialist on American political thought. We truly got to know each other one day when I fell asleep in his class; I had been up for three days planning antiwar protests. In his odd combination of a Welsh and Wisconsin accent, he asked, “Mr. Hauss, was it you or was it me?” The next week we discovered that my off campus apartment was a few doors from his house. Since we both headed to the college at about six (I stupidly had agreed to be breakfast cook at my co-op), he started giving me rides. John came from a good left-wing family but had doubts about those of us who were majoring in ending the war in Vietnam. So he suggested I do a senior honors thesis on Christian Democracy in France and Italy to see a different side of the Left. Despite my arrogance in using French, Italian, and (who knows how) Russian sources, John passed me on the thesis and did not laugh too hard during my oral exam.

    My academic stewardship was then passed on to Roy Pierce at the University of Michigan. Despite my incredibly boring senior thesis, I actually went to Michigan to do survey research and American politics. A week into the first semester, I realized I was too political to work on American issues in a department in which most members were obsessed with methodology. So I shifted to European politics and started working with Roy, first in his introductory seminar and then as a research assistant on the book he did with Phil Converse on elections and representation in France. Roy was even less of a fan of the 1960s Left than John, but when he learned that I needed to find a job to perform my alternative service as a conscientious objector, he hired me. Even though we argued a lot about politics, we discovered we shared a number of passions: baseball, Airedales (we each had several), and the novels about Inspector Maigret written by Georges Simenon, which also find their way into these pages.

    Finally, I have to thank the two- and four-legged females I share my life with. Gretchen Sandles, also a Michigan PhD, was a longtime foreign policy analyst for the American government. We are now writing a book together on rethinking national security inspired by the bewildering events in the nearly twenty years since the Cold War ended. Jessie is our beloved half border collie and half who knows what. Border collies are among the world's smartest dogs (watch reruns of One Man and His Dog on BBC America). I use Jessie to help sort through a passage I can't quite get right. She thinks I'm taking her for a walk.

    CharlesHauss
    chiphauss@gmail.com
    Falls Church, Virginia September 2007
  • Notes

    Chapter 1 Notes

    1. Words in bold can be found in the lists of key terms at the end of each chapter and in the glossary at the end of the book.

    2. Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky, The Real New World Order: Zones of Peace/Zones of Turmoil (Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House Publishers, 1996).

    Chapter 2 Notes

    1. Hans Koning, “A French Mirror,” Atlantic Monthly 276 (December 1995), 95–106.

    2. John Ardagh, The New French Revolution (New York: Harper and Row, 1968). This book has been revised and expanded under different titles several times, the most recent of which is France in the New Century (London: Penguin, 1999).

    3. The MTV France Web site: http://www.mtv.fr.

    4. Philip H. Gordon and Sophie Meunier, “Globalization and French Cultural Identity,” French Politics, Culture, and Society 19 (Spring 2001).

    5. Richard Bernstein, Fragile Glory: A Portrait of France and the French (New York: Penguin, 1990), 110ff.

    Chapter 3 Notes

    1. Seymour Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan, “Party Systems and Vote Alignments,” in Party Systems and Voter Alignments, ed. Lipset and Rokkan (New York: Free Press, 1967), chap. 1.

    2. See the Web site http://www.europeanhistory.about.com/od/france/.

    3. The rest of this chapter draws heavily on Charles Hauss, Politics in Gaullist France: Coping with Chaos (New York: Praeger, 1991), chap. 2.

    4. Philip M. Williams, Crisis and Compromise (London: Longman, Green, 1964), 36.

    5. Stanley Hoffmann, In Search of France (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963).

    6. See Michel Crozier, The Stalled Society (New York: Viking Press, 1973); and Michel Crozier, The Bureaucratic Phenomenon (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964).

    7. Philip Converse and Georges Dupeux, “Politicization of the Electorate in France and the United States,” in Elections and the Political Order, ed. Angus Campbell, Philip Converse, Warren Miller, and Donald Stokes (New York: Wiley, 1966), 269–291.

    8. William Schonfeld, Obedience and Revolt (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1976), 30–31.

    Chapter 4 Notes

    1. This version of the famous quote is from Bernard Brown, Comparative Politics: Notes and Readings, 9th ed. (Belmont, Calif.: ITP Learning, 2000), 147.

    2. John Ambler, “Trust in Political and Non-Political Authorities in France,” Comparative Politics 8 (1975): 31–58.

    3. Giscard is the true family name. The “d'Estaing” was added in the nineteenth century when one of his ancestors bought a noble title.

    Chapter 5 Notes

    1. Philip Converse and Georges Dupeux, “Politicization of the Electorate in France and the United States,” in Elections and the Political Order, ed. Angus Campbell, Philip Converse, Warren Miller, and Donald Stokes (New York: Wiley, 1966).

    2. Russell Dalton. Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrialized Democracies (New York: Chatham House/Seven Locks Press, 2001).

    Chapter 6 Notes

    1. Otto Kirchheimer, “The Transformation of the West European Party Systems,” in Political Parties and Political Development, ed. Joseph LaPalombara and Myron Weiner (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966), 177–200.

    2. Wilson, Frank L., “When Parties Refuse to Fail,” in Political Parties and Linkages, ed. Kay Lawson (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980).

    3. Jean Charlot, The Gaullist Phenomenon (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971), 14.

    4. It is also a statement about the importance of anticlericalism on the French left that the SFIO was actually meeting on Christmas.

    5. Jonathan Marcus, “The Long March of Bruno Mégret,” New Statesman, February 14, 1997, 26.

    6. This material is drawn from a poll by CSA-TMO conducted in April 2002, http://www.csa-tmo.fr/fra/dataset/data2002/opi20020404b.htm (accessed October 28, 2002).

    7. The data that follow are drawn from http://www.tns-sofres.com/etudes/pol//12072_elections_r.htm (accessed December 20, 2006).

    8. The one exception came in 1986, when a modified version of proportional representation was used. The fact that the Front won thirty-five seats was one of the main reasons the Gaullist-led National Assembly voted to return to the two-ballot system for the 1988 election.

    Chapter 7 Notes

    1. The full text of the constitution is included at the end of this book as Appendix A. The official version of the constitution, of course, is in French, and there are some minor differences in the available translations. The one in the appendix was published by the National Assembly at http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/english (accessed November 12, 2002).

    2. Charles de Gaulle, quoted in Vincent Wright, The Government and Politics of France, 3d ed. (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1989), 134.

    3. See http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/2002/0422/cover/ena3.html (accessed January 3, 2007).

    4. Quotations in this paragraph come from, Ezra Suleiman, Politics, Power, and Bureaucracy in France (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974), 329–334.

    Chapter 8 Notes

    1. See “Life Expectancy of 14 Nations in Europe,” Medical News Today, July 9, 2006, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/46767.php. For more related data, see http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/.

    2. These data are drawn from David Natali, “La méethode ouverte de coordination (MOC) en matièere des pensions et de l'intégration européenne,” http://www.ose.be/natali/default.htm (accessed March 17, 2007).

    3. Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).

    4. Stephen S. Cohen, Modern Capitalist Planning: The French Model, 2d ed. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1977), 229–237.

    5. New York Times, June 14, 2007, A25.

    Chapter 9 Notes

    1. David Cameron, “The 1992 Initiative: Causes and Consequences,” in Euro-Politics, ed. Alberta Sbragia (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1992), 73.

    2. http://discover.npr.org/rundowns/rundown.jhtml?prgId=3&prgDate=May/9/2003.

    3. Cited in Derek W. Urwin, The Community of Europe, 2d ed. (Harlow, UK: Longman, 1995), 111–112.

    4. David Howarth, The French Road to European Monetary Union (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, 2001).

    5. The data in this section are all taken from the European Commission, Eurobarometer 57, (Spring 2002). Some of the data are also available at the Eurobarometer Web site: http://europa.eu.int/comm/public_opinion.

    6. David Howarth, “The French State in the Euro-Zone: ‘Modernization’ and Legitimizing Dirigisme,” in European States and the Euro, ed. Kenneth Dyson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 152–153.

    1. David Ignatius, A Firing Offense (New York: Ballantine Books, 1997). Truth in advertising: I have worked with Ignatius on a number of projects involving American foreign policy.

    2. http://www.64-baker-street.org/organisations/orgs_the_bbc_de_gaulle.html. The 64 Baker Street Site was created by several women who worked in the Secret Service during World War II.

    3. The very term, “third world” (tiers monde) is French in origin. It was coined in a 1952 article in L'Observateur by the economist and demographer Alfred Sauvy, who used it to designate the parts of the planet not part of the first (democratic) and second (Communist) worlds. In 1956, a group of social scientists associated with Sauvy's National Institute of Demographic Studies in Paris published a book entitled Le Tiers-Monde.

    4. It should be pointed out that the term “chauvinist” has distinctly French and nationalist origins. It seems (much of this is clouded in uncertainty) that a certain Nicolas Chauvin was born in France about 1780. He was drafted into the French army during the Revolution, probably in 1793. He served with distinction and later became one of Napoléon's most devout supporters. Toward the end of the Napoleonic wars, he was gravely wounded and received a sword and a pension from the emperor to honor his service. Later, his intense loyalty became a source of derision (some of the first vaudeville plays were critiques of him), and the word that bears his name came to be political shorthand for extreme nationalism and, today, more generally, prejudice, as in “male chauvinist pig.”

    5. France's interest in Louisiana resurfaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. It was the first country to send condolences to the United States people and their government. It made its initial offer of aid two days later on August 31. The Bush administration initially turned France down but changed its mind on September 3. France already had humanitarian supplies pre-positioned in its remaining Caribbean islands and cargo planes ready to leave from metropolitan France. The U.S. government took two more days before providing France with landing information. But then, on September 5, relief supplies donated by the French military, some of its nongovernmental organizations, and its multinational corporations with operations in the United States began to arrive.

    6. Dominique Moisi, “Mitterrand's Foreign Policy: The Limits to Continuity,” Foreign Affairs, Winter 1981–1982, http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19811201faessay8274/dominique-moisi/mitterrand-s-foreign-policy-the-limits-of-continuity.html (accessed January 16, 2007).

    7. Cited in Guardian (London), February 10, 2006.

    8. Philip Gordon and Sophie Meunier, The French Challenge: Adapting to Globalization (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2001).

    9. See the 2006 Report on Foreign Direct Investment, put out by the Invest in France Agency. A copy of the report can be found at “Foreign Direct Investments in France Rises in 2006,” 2/28/2007, Reuters press release, http://www.investinfrance.org/north-america/en/in-the-press.html?page=5.

    10. See “The Global Peace Index,” http://www.visionofhumanity.com. Truth in advertising again: I was heavily involved in publicizing this project, “The Global Peace Index,”among both policy wonks and the conflict resolution community in the United States. The GPI, a ranking of 121 nations according to their peacefullness was developed by an international team of academics and peace experts.

    1. Nicolas, Sarkozy, Testimony: France in the Twenty-First Century (New York: Pantheon, 2007).

    Constitution of 4 October 1958

    This text incorporates the constitutional statutes of 1 March 2005, which modify Title XV of the Constitution and pertain to the Charter for the Environment.

    This English translation was prepared under the joint responsibility of the Press, Information and Communication Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the European Affairs Department of the National Assembly. The French original is the sole authentic text.

    CONTENTS
    PREAMBLE

    TITLE I. On sovereignty (art. 2 to 4)

    TITLE II. The President of the Republic (art. 5 to 19)

    TITLE III. The Government (art. 20 to 23)

    TITLE IV. Parliament (art. 24 to 33)

    TITLE V. On relations between Parliament and the Government (art. 34 to 51)

    TITLE VI. On treaties and international agreements (art. 52 to 55)

    TITLE VII. The Constitutional Council (art. 56 to 63)

    TITLE VIII. On judicial authority (art. 64 to 66–1)

    TITLE IX. The High Court (art. 67 and 68)

    TITLE X. On the criminal liability of members of the government (art. 68–1 to 68–3)

    TITLE XI. The Economic and Social Council (art. 69 to 71)

    TITLE XII. On territorial units (art. 72 to 75)

    TITLE XIII. Transitional provisions relating to New Caledonia (art. 76 to 77)

    TITLE XIV. On association agreements (art. 88) TITLE XV. On the European Communities and the European Union (art. 88–1 to 88–5)

    TITLE XV. On the European Union (art. 88–1 to 88–7)

    TITLE XVI. On the amendment of the Constitution (art. 89)

    TITLE XVII. (Repealed)

    Charter for the environment

    PREAMBLE

    The French people solemnly proclaim their attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789, confirmed and complemented by the Preamble to the Constitution of 1946, and to the rights and duties as defined in the Charter for the Environment of 2004.

    By virtue of these principles and that of the self-determination of peoples, the Republic offers to the overseas territories that express the will to adhere to them new institutions founded on the common ideal of liberty, equality and fraternity and conceived with a view to their democratic development.

    Article 1

    France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralised basis.

    Title I - on sovereignty
    Article 2

    The language of the Republic shall be French.

    The national emblem shall be the blue, white and red tricolour flag.

    The national anthem shall be La Marseillaise.

    The motto of the Republic shall be “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”.

    Its principle shall be: government of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Article 3

    National sovereignty shall belong to the people, who shall exercise it through their representatives and by means of referendum.

    No section of the people nor any individual may arrogate to itself, or to himself, the exercise thereof.

    Suffrage may be direct or indirect as provided by the Constitution. It shall always be universal, equal and secret.

    All French citizens of either sex who have reached their majority and are in possession of their civil and political rights may vote as provided by statute.

    Article 4

    Political parties and groups shall contribute to the exercise of suffrage. They shall be formed and carry on their activities freely. They must respect the principles of national sovereignty and democracy.

    Title II - the President of the Republic
    Article 5

    The President of the Republic shall see that the Constitution is observed. He shall ensure, by his arbitration, the proper functioning of the public authorities and the continuity of the State.

    He shall be the guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity and observance of treaties.

    Article 6

    The President of the Republic shall be elected for five years by direct universal suffrage.

    The manner of implementation of this article shall be determined by an institutional Act.

    Article 7

    The President of the Republic shall be elected by an absolute majority of the votes cast. If such a majority is not obtained on the first ballot, a second ballot shall take place on the fourteenth day thereafter. Only the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes in the first ballot, account being taken of any withdrawal of candidates with more votes, may stand in the second ballot.

    Balloting shall be begun by a writ of election issued by the Government.

    The election of the new President shall be held not less than twenty days and not more than thirty-five days before the expiry of the term of the President in office.

    Should the Presidency of the Republic fall vacant for any reason whatsoever, or should the Constitutional Council on a reference from the Government rule by an absolute majority of its members that the President of the Republic is incapacitated, the duties of the President of the Republic, with the exception of those specified in articles 11 and 12, shall be temporarily exercised by the President of the Senate or, if the latter is in turn incapacitated, by the Government.

    In the case of a vacancy, or where the incapacity of the President is declared permanent by the Constitutional Council, the ballot for the election of the new President shall, except in the event of a finding by the Constitutional Council of force majeure, be held not less than twenty days and not more than thirty-five days after the beginning of the vacancy or the declaration that the incapacity is permanent. If, in the seven days preceding the last day for lodging presentations of candidature, any of the persons who, less than thirty days prior to that day, have publicly announced their decision to be a candidate dies or becomes incapacitated, the Constitutional Council may decide to postpone the election.

    If, before the first ballot, any of the candidates dies or becomes incapacitated, the Constitutional Council shall declare the election postponed.

    In the event of the death or incapacitation of either of the two candidates in the lead in the first ballot before any withdrawals, the Constitutional Council shall declare that the electoral procedure must be repeated in full; the same shall apply in the event of the death or incapacitation of either of the two candidates remaining standing for the second ballot.

    All cases shall be referred to the Constitutional Council in the manner laid down in the second paragraph of article 61 or in that manner laid down for the presentation of candidates in the institutional Act provided for in article 6.

    The Constitutional Council may extend the time limits set in the third and fifth paragraphs, provided that polling takes place no later than thirty-five days after the decision of the Constitutional Council. If the implementation of the provisions of this paragraph results in the postponement of the election beyond the expiry of the term of the President in office, the latter shall remain in office until his successor is proclaimed.

    Neither articles 49 and 50 nor article 89 of the Constitution shall be implemented during the vacancy of the Presidency of the Republic or during the period between the declaration that the incapacity of the President of the Republic is permanent and the election of his successor.

    Article 8

    The President of the Republic shall appoint the Prime Minister. He shall terminate the appointment of the Prime Minister when the latter tenders the resignation of the Government. On the proposal of the Prime Minister, he shall appoint the other Members of the Government and terminate their appointments.

    Article 9

    The President of the Republic shall preside over the Council of Ministers.

    Article 10

    The President of the Republic shall promulgate Acts of Parliament within fifteen days following the final adoption of an Act and its transmission to the Government.

    He may, before the expiry of this time limit, ask Parliament to reconsider the Act or sections of the Act. Reconsideration shall not be refused.

    Article 11

    The President of the Republic may, on a proposal from the Government when Parliament is in session or on a joint motion of the two assemblies, published in either case in the Journal officiel, submit to a referendum any government bill which deals with the organization of the public authorities, or with reforms relating to the economic or social policy of the Nation and to the public services contributing thereto, or which provides for authorization to ratify a treaty that, although not contrary to the Constitution, would affect the functioning of the institutions.

    Where the referendum is held in response to a proposal by the Government, the latter shall make a statement before each assembly which shall be followed by a debate.

    Where the referendum decides in favour of the government bill, the President of the Republic shall promulgate it within fifteen days following the proclamation of the results of the vote.

    Article 12

    The President of the Republic may, after consulting the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the assemblies, declare the National Assembly dissolved.

    A general election shall take place not less than twenty days and not more than forty days after the dissolution.

    The National Assembly shall convene as of right on the second Thursday following its election. Should it so convene outside the period prescribed for the ordinary session, a session shall be called by right for a fifteen-day period.

    No further dissolution shall take place within a year following this election.

    Article 13

    The President of the Republic shall sign the ordinances and decrees deliberated upon in the Council of Ministers.

    He shall make appointments to the civil and military posts of the State.

    Conseillers d’État, the grand chancelier de la Légion d'Honneur, ambassadors and envoys extraordinary, senior members of the Audit Court, prefects, State representatives in the overseas territories to which article 74 applies and in New Caledonia, general officers, recteurs des académies and heads of central government services shall be appointed in the Council of Ministers.

    An institutional Act shall determine the other posts to be filled in the Council of Ministers and the manner in which the power of the President of the Republic to make appointments may be delegated by him to be exercised on his behalf.

    Article 14

    The President of the Republic shall accredit ambassadors and envoys extraordinary to foreign powers; foreign ambassadors and envoys extraordinary shall be accredited to him.

    Article 15

    The President of the Republic shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He shall preside over the higher national defence councils and committees.

    Article 16

    Where the institutions of the Republic, the independence of the Nation, the integrity of its territory or the fulfilment of its international commitments are under serious and immediate threat, and where the proper functioning of the constitutional public authorities is interrupted, the President of the Republic shall take the measures required by these circumstances, after formally consulting the Prime Minister, the Presidents of the assemblies and the Constitutional Council.

    He shall inform the Nation of these measures in a message.

    The measures must stem from the desire to provide the constitutional public authorities, in the shortest possible time, with the means to carry out their duties. The Constitutional Council shall be consulted with regard to such measures. Parliament shall convene as of right.

    The National Assembly shall not be dissolved during the exercise of the emergency powers.

    Article 17

    The President of the Republic has the right to grant pardon.

    Article 18

    The President of the Republic shall communicate with the two assemblies of Parliament by means of messages, which he shall cause to be read and which shall not be the occasion for any debate.

    Outside sessions, Parliament shall be convened especially for this purpose.

    Article 19

    Acts of the President of the Republic, other than those provided for under articles 8 (first paragraph), 11, 12, 16, 18, 54, 56 and 61, shall be countersigned by the Prime Minister and, where required, by the appropriate ministers.

    Title III - the Government
    Article 20

    The Government shall determine and conduct the policy of the Nation.

    It shall have at its disposal the civil service and the armed forces.

    It shall be responsible to Parliament in accordance with the terms and procedures set out in articles 49 and 50.

    Article 21

    The Prime Minister shall direct the operation of the Government. He shall be responsible for national defence. He shall ensure the implementation of legislation. Subject to article 13, he shall have power to make regulations and shall make appointments to civil and military posts.

    He may delegate certain of his powers to ministers.

    He shall deputize, if the case arises, for the President of the Republic as chairman of the councils and committees referred to in article 15.

    He may, in exceptional cases, deputize for him as chairman of a meeting of the Council of Ministers by virtue of an express delegation of powers for a specific agenda.

    Article 22

    Acts of the Prime Minister shall be countersigned, where required, by the ministers responsible for their implementation.

    Article 23

    The duties of a Member of the Government shall be incompatible with the exercise of any parliamentary office, any position of occupational representation at national level, any public employment or any occupational activity.

    An institutional Act shall determine the manner in which the holders of such offices, positions or employment shall be replaced.

    The replacement of Members of Parliament shall take place in accordance with the provisions of article 25.

    Title IV - Parliament
    Article 24

    Parliament shall comprise the National Assembly and the Senate.

    The deputies to the National Assembly shall be elected by direct suffrage.

    The Senate shall be elected by indirect suffrage. The representation of the territorial units of the Republic shall be ensured in the Senate. French nationals settled outside France shall be represented in the Senate.

    Article 25

    An institutional Act shall determine the term for which each assembly is elected, the number of its members, their allowances, the conditions of eligibility and the terms of disqualification and of incompatibility with membership.

    It shall likewise determine the manner of election of those persons who, in the event of a vacancy, are to replace deputies or senators whose seats have become vacant, until the general or partial renewal by election of the assembly to which they belonged.

    Article 26

    No Member of Parliament shall be prosecuted, investigated, arrested, detained or tried in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of his duties.

    No Member of Parliament shall be arrested for a serious crime or other major offence, nor shall he be subjected to any other custodial or semi-custodial measure, without the authorization of the Bureau of the assembly of which he is a member. Such authorization shall not be required in the case of a serious crime or other major offence committed flagrante delicto or a final sentence.

    The detention, subjection to custodial or semi-custodial measures, or prosecution of a Member of Parliament shall be suspended for the duration of the session if the assembly of which he is a member so requires.

    The assembly concerned shall convene as of right for additional sittings in order to permit the preceding paragraph to be applied should circumstances so require.

    Article 27

    Any binding instruction shall be void.

    The right to vote of Members of Parliament shall be personal.

    An institutional Act may, in exceptional cases, authorize voting by proxy. In that event, no member shall be given more than one proxy.

    Article 28

    Parliament shall convene as of right in one ordinary session which shall start on the first working day of October and shall end on the last working day of June.

    The number of days for which each assembly may sit during the ordinary session shall not exceed one hundred and twenty. The sitting weeks shall be determined by each assembly.

    The Prime Minister, after consulting the President of the assembly concerned, or the majority of the members of each assembly may decide to meet for additional sitting days.

    The days and hours of sittings shall be determined by the rules of procedure of each assembly.

    Article 29

    Parliament shall convene in extraordinary session, at the request of the Prime Minister or of the majority of the members of the National Assembly, to consider a specific agenda.

    Where an extraordinary session is held at the request of members of the National Assembly, the decree closing it shall take effect once Parliament has dealt with the agenda for which it was convened, or twelve days after its first sitting, whichever shall be the earlier.

    Only the Prime Minister may request a new session before the end of the month following the decree closing an extraordinary session.

    Article 30

    Except where Parliament convenes as of right, extraordinary sessions shall be opened and closed by decree of the President of the Republic.

    Article 31

    Members of the Government shall have access to the two assemblies. They shall address either assembly whenever they so request. They may be assisted by government commissioners.

    Article 32

    The President of the National Assembly shall be elected for the duration of the term for which the Assembly is elected. The President of the Senate shall be elected after each partial renewal by election.

    Article 33

    The sittings of the two assemblies shall be public. A verbatim report of the debates shall be published in the Journal officiel.

    Each assembly may sit in camera at the request of the Prime Minister or of one tenth of its members.

    Title V - on relations between Parliament and the Government
    Article 34

    Statutes shall be passed by Parliament.

    Statutes shall determine the rules concerning:

    • civic rights and the fundamental guarantees granted to citizens for the exercise of their public liberties; the obligations imposed for the purposes of national defence upon citizens in respect of their persons and their property;
    • nationality, the status and legal capacity of persons, matrimonial regimes, inheritance and gifts;
    • the determination of serious crimes and other major offences and the penalties applicable to them; criminal procedure; amnesty; the establishment of new classes of courts and tribunals and the regulations governing the members of the judiciary;
    • the base, rates and methods of collection of taxes of all types; the issue of currency.

    Statutes shall likewise determine the rules concerning:

    • the electoral systems of parliamentary assemblies and local assemblies;
    • the creation of categories of public establishments;
    • the fundamental guarantees granted to civil and military personnel employed by the State;
    • the nationalization of enterprises and transfers of ownership in enterprises from the public to the private sector.

    Statutes shall determine the fundamental principles of:

    • the general organization of national defence;
    • the self-government of territorial units, their powers and their resources;
    • the preservation of the environment;
    • education;
    • the regime governing ownership, rights in rem and civil and commercial obligations;
    • law, trade-union law, and social security.

    Finance Acts shall determine the resources and obligations of the State in the manner and with the reservations specified in an institutional Act.

    Social security finance Acts shall determine the general conditions for the financial balance of social security and, in the light of their revenue forecasts, shall determine expenditure targets in the manner and with the reservations specified in an institutional Act.

    Programme Acts shall determine the objectives of the economic and social action of the State.

    The provisions of this article may be enlarged upon and complemented by an institutional Act.

    Article 35

    A declaration of war shall be authorized by Parliament.

    Article 36

    Martial law shall be decreed in the Council of Ministers.

    Its extension beyond twelve days may be authorized only by Parliament.

    Article 37

    Matters other than those that fall within the ambit of statute shall be matters for regulation.

    Acts of Parliament passed concerning these matters may be amended by decree issued after consultation with the Conseil d’État. Any such Acts which are passed after this Constitution has entered into force shall be amended by decree only if the Constitutional Council has declared that they are matters for regulation as defined in the preceding paragraph.

    Article 37–1

    Statutes and regulations may contain provisions enacted on an experimental basis for limited purposes and duration.

    Article 38

    In order to carry out its programme, the Government may ask Parliament for authorization, for a limited period, to take measures by ordinance that are normally a matter for statute.

    Ordinances shall be issued in the Council of Ministers, after consultation with the Conseil d’État. They shall come into force upon publication, but shall lapse if the bill to ratify them is not laid before Parliament before the date set by the enabling Act.

    At the end of the period referred to in the first paragraph of this article, ordinances may be amended only by an Act of Parliament in those areas which are matters for statute.

    Article 39

    The Prime Minister and Members of Parliament alike shall have the right to initiate statutes. Government bills shall be discussed in the Council of Ministers after consultation with the Conseil d’État and shall be introduced in one of the two assemblies.

    Finance bills and social security finance bills shall be presented first to the National Assembly. Without prejudice to the first paragraph of article 44, bills having the primary purpose of organising territorial units and bills relating to bodies representing French nationals settled outside France shall be presented first to the Senate.

    Article 40

    Bills and amendments introduced by Members of Parliament shall not be admissible where their adoption would have as a consequence either a diminution of public resources or the creation or increase of an item of public expenditure.

    Article 41

    Should it be found in the course of the legislative process that a Member's bill or amendment is not a matter for statute or is contrary to a delegation granted by virtue of article 38, the Government may object that it is inadmissible.

    In the event of disagreement between the Government and the President of the assembly concerned, the Constitutional Council, at the request of one or the other, shall rule within eight days.

    Article 42

    The discussion of government bills shall pertain, in the assembly which first has the bill before it, to the text introduced by the Government.

    An assembly which has before it a text passed by the other assembly shall deliberate upon that text.

    Article 43

    Government and Members’ bills shall, at the request of the Government or of the assembly having the bill before it, be referred for consideration to committees specially set up for this purpose.

    Government and Members’ bills concerning which such a request has not been made shall be referred to one of the standing committees, the number of which shall be limited to six in each assembly.

    Article 44

    Members of Parliament and the Government shall have the right of amendment.

    Once the debate has begun, the Government may object to the consideration of any amendment which has not previously been referred to committee.

    If the Government so requests, the assembly having the bill before it shall decide by a single vote on all or part of the text under discussion, on the sole basis of the amendments proposed or accepted by the Government.

    Article 45

    Every Government or Member's bill shall be considered successively in the two assemblies of Parliament with a view to the adoption of an identical text.

    If, as a result of a disagreement between the two assemblies, it has proved impossible to adopt a Government or Member's bill after two readings by each assembly or, if the Government has declared the matter urgent, after a single reading by each of them, the Prime Minister may convene a joint committee, composed of an equal number of members from each assembly, to propose a text on the provisions still under discussion.

    The text drafted by the joint committee may be submitted by the Government to both assemblies for approval. No amendment shall be admissible without the consent of the Government.

    If the joint committee does not succeed in adopting a common text, or if the text is not adopted as provided in the preceding paragraph, the Government may, after a further reading by the National Assembly and by the Senate, ask the National Assembly to make a final decision. In that event, the National Assembly may reconsider either the text drafted by the joint committee, or the last text passed by itself, as modified, if such is the case, by any amendment or amendments adopted by the Senate.

    Article 46

    Acts of Parliament that the Constitution characterizes as institutional shall be passed and amended as provided in this article.

    A Government or Member's bill shall not be debated and put to the vote in the assembly in which it was first introduced until fifteen days have elapsed since its introduction.

    The procedure set out in article 45 shall apply. Nevertheless, in the absence of agreement between the two assemblies, the text may be adopted by the National Assembly on final reading only by an absolute majority of its members.

    Institutional Acts relating to the Senate must be passed in identical terms by the two assemblies.

    Institutional Acts shall not be promulgated until the Constitutional Council has declared their conformity with the Constitution.

    Article 47

    Parliament shall pass finance bills in the manner provided by an institutional Act.

    Should the National Assembly fail to reach a decision on first reading within forty days following the introduction of a bill, the Government shall refer the bill to the Senate, which must rule within fifteen days. The procedure set out in article 45 shall then apply.

    Should Parliament fail to reach a decision within seventy days, the provisions of the bill may be brought into force by ordinance.

    Should the finance bill establishing the resources and expenditures for a financial year not be introduced in time for promulgation before the beginning of that year, the Government shall as a matter of urgency ask

    Parliament for authorization to collect taxes and shall make available by decree the funds needed to meet the commitments already voted for.

    The time limits set by this article shall be suspended when Parliament is not in session.

    The Audit Court shall assist Parliament and the Government in monitoring the implementation of finance Acts.

    Article 47–1

    Parliament shall pass social security finance bills in the manner provided by an institutional Act.

    Should the National Assembly fail to reach a decision on first reading within twenty days following the introduction of a bill, the Government shall refer the bill to the Senate, which must rule within fifteen days. The procedure set out in article 45 shall then apply.

    Should Parliament fail to reach a decision within fifty days, the provisions of the bill may be implemented by ordinance.

    The time limits set by this article shall be suspended when Parliament is not in session and, as regards each assembly, during the weeks when it has decided not to sit in accordance with the second paragraph of article 28.

    The Audit Court shall assist Parliament and the Government in monitoring the implementation of social security finance Acts.

    Article 48

    Without prejudice to the application of the last three paragraphs of article 28, precedence shall be given on the agendas of the assemblies, and in the order determined by the Government, to the discussion of Government bills and of Members’ bills accepted by the Government. At one sitting a week at least precedence shall be given to questions from Members of Parliament and to answers by the Government. At one sitting a month precedence shall be given to the agenda determined by each assembly.

    Article 49

    The Prime Minister, after deliberation by the Council of Ministers, may make the Government's programme or possibly a statement of its general policy an issue of its responsibility before the National Assembly.

    The National Assembly may raise an issue of the Government's responsibility by passing a motion of censure. Such a motion shall not be admissible unless it is signed by at least one tenth of the members of the National Assembly. Voting may not take place within forty-eight hours after the motion has been introduced. Only the votes in favour of the motion of censure shall be counted; the motion of censure shall not be adopted unless it is voted for by the majority of the members of the Assembly. Except as provided in the following paragraph, a deputy shall not sign more than three motions of censure during a single ordinary session and more than one during a single extraordinary session.

    The Prime Minister may, after deliberation by the Council of Ministers, make the passing of a bill an issue of the Government's responsibility before the National Assembly. In that event, the bill shall be considered adopted unless a motion of censure, introduced within the subsequent twenty-four hours, is carried as provided in the preceding paragraph.

    The Prime Minister may ask the Senate to approve a statement of general policy.

    Article 50

    Where the National Assembly carries a motion of censure, or where it fails to endorse the programme or a statement of general policy of the Government, the Prime Minister must tender the resignation of the Government to the President of the Republic.

    Article 51

    The closing of ordinary or extraordinary sessions shall be postponed by right in order to permit the application of article 49, if the case arises. Additional sittings shall be held by right for the same purpose.

    Treaties or agreements duly ratified or approved shall, upon publication, prevail over Acts of Parliament, subject, in regard to each agreement or treaty, to its application by the other party.

    Title VI - on treaties and international agreements
    Article 52

    The President of the Republic shall negotiate and ratify treaties.

    He shall be informed of any negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement not subject to ratification.

    Article 53

    Peace treaties, commercial treaties, treaties or agreements relating to international organizations, those that commit the finances of the State, those that modify provisions which are matters for statute, those relating to the status of persons, and those that involve the cession, exchange or addition of territory, may be ratified or approved only by virtue of an Act of Parliament.

    They shall not take effect until they have been ratified or approved.

    No cession, exchange or addition of territory shall be valid without the consent of the population concerned.

    Article 53–1

    The Republic may conclude, with European States that are bound by commitments identical with its own in the matter of asylum and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, agreements determining their respective jurisdictions in regard to the consideration of requests for asylum submitted to them.

    However, even if the request does not fall within their jurisdiction under the terms of these agreements, the authorities of the Republic shall remain empowered to grant asylum to any foreigner who is persecuted for his action in pursuit of freedom or who seeks the protection of France for some other reason.

    Article 53–2

    The Republic may recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court as provided by the treaty signed on 18 July 1998.

    Article 54

    If the Constitutional Council, on a reference from the President of the Republic, from the Prime Minister, from the President of one or the other assembly, or from sixty deputies or sixty senators, has declared that an international commitment contains a clause contrary to the Constitution, authorization to ratify or approve the international commitment in question may be given only after amendment of the Constitution.

    Article 55

    Treaties or agreements duly ratified or approved shall, upon publication, prevail over Acts of Parliament, subject, in regard to each agreement or treaty, to its application by the other party.

    Title VII - the Constitutional Council
    Article 56

    The Constitutional Council shall consist of nine members, whose term of office shall be nine years and shall not be renewable. One third of the membership of the Constitutional Council shall be renewed every three years. Three of its members shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, three by the President of the National Assembly and three by the President of the Senate.

    In addition to the nine members provided for above, former Presidents of the Republic shall be ex officio life members of the Constitutional Council.

    The President shall be appointed by the President of the Republic. He shall have a casting vote in the event of a tie.

    Article 57

    The office of member of the Constitutional Council shall be incompatible with that of minister or Member of Parliament. Other incompatibilities shall be determined by an institutional Act.

    Article 58

    The Constitutional Council shall ensure the proper conduct of the election of the President of the Republic.

    It shall examine complaints and shall declare the results of the vote.

    Article 59

    The Constitutional Council shall rule on the proper conduct of the election of deputies and senators in disputed cases.

    Article 60

    The Constitutional Council shall ensure the proper conduct of referendum proceedings as provided for in articles 11 and 89 and in Title XV and shall declare the results of the referendum.

    Article 61

    Institutional Acts, before their promulgation, and the rules of procedure of the parliamentary assemblies, before their entry into force, must be referred to the Constitutional Council, which shall rule on their conformity with the Constitution.

    To the same end, Acts of Parliament may be referred to the Constitutional Council, before their promulgation, by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate, or sixty deputies or sixty senators.

    In the cases provided for in the two preceding paragraphs, the Constitutional Council must rule within one month. However, at the request of the Government, if the matter is urgent, this period shall be reduced to eight days.

    In these same cases, reference to the Constitutional Council shall suspend the time limit for promulgation.

    Article 62

    A provision declared unconstitutional shall be neither promulgated nor implemented.

    No appeal shall lie from the decisions of the Constitutional Council. They shall be binding on public authorities and on all administrative authorities and all courts.

    Article 63

    An institutional Act shall determine the rules of organization and operation of the Constitutional Council, the procedure to be followed before it and, in particular, the time limits allowed for referring disputes to it.

    Title VIII - on judicial authority
    Article 64

    The President of the Republic shall be the guarantor of the independence of the judicial authority.

    He shall be assisted by the High Council of the Judiciary.

    An institutional Act shall determine the regulations governing the members of the judiciary. Judges shall be irremovable.

    Article 65

    The High Council of the Judiciary shall be presided over by the President of the Republic. The Minister of Justice shall be its vice-president ex officio. He may deputize for the President of the Republic.

    The High Council of the Judiciary shall consist of two sections, one with jurisdiction for judges, the other for public prosecutors.

    The section with jurisdiction for judges shall comprise, in addition to the President of the Republic and the Minister of Justice, five judges and one public prosecutor, one conseiller d’État appointed by the Conseil d’État, and three prominent citizens who are not members either of Parliament or of the judiciary, appointed respectively by the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate.

    The section with jurisdiction for public prosecutors shall comprise, in addition to the President of the Republic and the Minister of Justice, five public prosecutors and one judge, and the conseiller d’État and the three prominent citizens referred to in the preceding paragraph.

    The section of the High Council of the Judiciary with jurisdiction for judges shall make nominations for the appointment of judges in the Court of Cassation, the first presidents of the courts of appeal and the presidents of the tribunaux de grande instance. Other judges shall be appointed with its assent.

    It shall act as the disciplinary council for judges. When acting in that capacity, it shall be presided over by the first president of the Court of Cassation. The section of the High Council of the Judiciary with jurisdiction for public prosecutors shall give its opinion on the appointment of public prosecutors, with the exception of posts to be filled in the Council of Ministers.

    It shall give its opinion on disciplinary penalties with regard to public prosecutors. When acting in that capacity, it shall be presided over by the chief public prosecutor at the Court of Cassation.

    An institutional Act shall determine the manner in which this article is to be implemented.

    Article 66

    No one shall be arbitrarily detained.

    The judicial authority, guardian of individual liberty, shall ensure the observance of this principle as provided by statute.

    Article 66–1

    No one shall be sentenced to death.

    Title IX - the High Court
    Article 67

    The President of the Republic shall incur no liability by reason of acts carried out in this official capacity, subject to the provisions of Articles 53–2 and 68 hereof.

    Throughout his term of office, the President shall not be required to testify and shall not be the object of any criminal or civil proceedings, nor of any preferring of charges or investigatory measures. All limitation periods shall be suspended for the duration of said term of office.

    All actions and proceedings thus stayed may be reactivated or brought against the President no sooner than one month after the end of his term of office.

    Article 68

    The President of the Republic shall not be removed from office during the term thereof on any grounds other than a breach of his duties patently incompatible with his continuing in office. Such removal from office shall be proclaimed by Parliament sitting as the High Court.

    The proposal to convene the High Court adopted by one of the two Houses of Parliament shall be immediately transmitted to the other House which shall make its decision known within fifteen days of the receipt thereof.

    The High Court shall be presided by the President of the National Assembly. It shall give its ruling as to the removal from office of the President, by secret ballot, within one month. Its ruling shall take effect immediately.

    Rulings given hereunder shall require a majority of two thirds of the members of the House involved or of the High Court. No proxy voting shall be allowed. Only votes in favour of the removal from office or the convening of the High Court shall be counted.

    An Institutional Act shall determine the conditions for the application hereof.

    Title X - on the criminal liability of members of the government
    Article 68–1

    Members of the Government shall be criminally liable for acts performed in the exercise of their duties and classified as serious crimes or other major offences at the time they were committed.

    They shall be tried by the Court of Justice of the Republic.

    The Court of Justice of the Republic shall be bound by such definition of serious crimes and other major offences and such determination of penalties as are laid down by statute.

    Article 68–2

    The Court of Justice of the Republic shall consist of fifteen members: twelve Members of Parliament, elected in equal number from among their ranks by the National Assembly and the Senate after each general or partial renewal by election of these assemblies, and three judges of the Court of Cassation, one of whom shall preside over the Court of Justice of the Republic.

    Any person claiming to be a victim of a serious crime or other major offence committed by a Member of the Government in the exercise of his duties may lodge a complaint with a petitions committee.

    This committee shall order the case to be either closed or forwarded to the chief public prosecutor at the Court of Cassation for referral to the Court of Justice of the Republic.

    The chief public prosecutor at the Court of Cassation may also make a reference ex officio to the Court of Justice of the Republic with the assent of the petitions committee. An institutional Act shall determine the manner in which this article is to be implemented.

    Article 68–3

    The provisions of this title shall apply to acts committed before its entry into force.

    Title XI - the Economic and Social Council
    Article 69

    The Economic and Social Council, on a reference from the Government, shall give its opinion on such Government bills, draft ordinances or decrees, and Members’ bills as have been submitted to it.

    A member of the Economic and Social Council may be designated by the Council to present, to the parliamentary assemblies, the opinion of the Council on such bills or drafts as have been submitted to it.

    Article 70

    The Economic and Social Council may likewise be consulted by the Government on any economic or social issue. Any plan or programme bill of an economic or social character shall be submitted to it for its opinion.

    Article 71

    The composition of the Economic and Social Council and its rules of procedure shall be determined by an institutional Act.

    Title XII - on territorial units
    Article 72

    The territorial units of the Republic shall be the communes, the departments, the regions, the special-status areas and the overseas territories to which article 74 applies. Any other territorial unit shall be established by statute, in appropriate cases in place of one or more units provided for by this paragraph.

    Territorial units may make decisions in all matters that are within powers that can best be exercised at their level.

    In the manner provided by statute, these units shall be self-governing through elected councils and have power to make regulations.

    In the manner provided by institutional Act, where the essential conditions for the exercise of public liberties or of a right secured by the Constitution are not affected, territorial units or associations thereof may, where provision is made by statute or regulation, as the case may be, derogate on an experimental basis for limited purposes and duration from provisions laid down by statute or regulation governing the exercise of their powers.

    No territorial unit may exercise authority over another. However, where the exercise of a power requires the combined action of several territorial units, one of those units or one of their associations may be authorised by statute to organise their joint action.

    In the territorial units of the Republic, the State representative, representing each of the Members of the Government, shall be responsible for national interests, administrative supervision and the observance of the law.

    Article 72–1

    The conditions in which voters in each territorial unit may use their right of petition to ask for a matter within the powers of the unit to be entered on the agenda of its decision-making assembly shall be determined by statute.

    In the conditions determined by institutional Act, draft decisions or acts within the powers of a territorial unit may, on its initiative, be presented for a decision to be taken by the voters in that unit by referendum.

    Where there is a proposal to establish a special-status territorial unit or to modify its organisation, a decision may be taken by statute to consult the voters registered in the relevant units. Voters may also be consulted on changes to the boundaries of territorial units under the conditions determined by statute.

    Article 72–2

    Territorial units shall enjoy resources of which they may dispose freely on the conditions determined by statute.

    They may receive all or part of the proceeds of taxes of all kinds. They may be authorised by statute to determine the basis of assessment and the rates, within the limits set by such statutes.

    The tax revenue and other own resources of territorial units shall, for each category of territorial unit, represent a decisive share of their resources. The conditions for the implementation of this rule shall be determined by institutional Act.

    Whenever powers are transferred between central government and the territorial units, resources equivalent to those which were devoted to the exercise of those powers shall be transferred also. Wherever the effect of powers newly created or extended is to increase the expenditure to be borne by territorial units, resources determined by statute shall be allocated.

    Equalisation mechanisms to promote equality between territorial units shall be provided for by statute.

    Article 72–3

    The Republic shall recognise the overseas populations within the French people in a common ideal of freedom, equality and fraternity.

    Guadeloupe, Guyane, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, the Wallis and Futuna Islands and French Polynesia shall be governed by article 73 for the overseas departments and regions and for the territorial units established by virtue of the final paragraph of article 73, and by article 74 for the other units.

    The status of New Caledonia shall be governed by Title XIII.

    The legislative system and special organisation of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories shall be determined by statute.

    Article 72–4

    There may be no change for all or part of one of the units to which the second paragraph of article 72–3 applies, from one to another of the statuses provided for by articles 73 and 74, without the prior consent of voters in the relevant unit or part of a unit being sought in the manner provided for by the paragraph below. Such change of status shall be made by institutional Act.

    The President of the Republic may, on a proposal from the Government when Parliament is in session or on a joint motion of the two assemblies, published in either case in the Journal officiel, decide to consult voters in an overseas territorial unit on a question relating to its organisation, its powers or its legislative system. Where the referendum concerns a change as provided for by the foregoing paragraph and is held in response to a proposal by the Government, the Government shall make a statement before each assembly which shall be followed by a debate.

    Article 73

    In the overseas departments and regions, statutes and regulations shall be automatically applicable. They may be adapted in the light of the specific characteristics and constraints of those units.

    Those adaptations may be decided on by the units in areas in which their powers are exercised if the relevant units have been empowered to that end by statute.

    By way of derogation from the first paragraph and in order to take account of their specific features, units to which this article applies may be empowered by statute to determine themselves the rules applicable in their territory in a limited number of matters that fail to be determined by statute.

    These rules may not concern nationality, civic rights, the guarantees of public liberties, the status and capacity of persons, the organisation of justice, criminal law, criminal procedure, foreign policy, defence, public security and public order, currency, credit and exchange, or electoral law. This enumeration may be clarified and amplified by an institutional Act.

    The two foregoing paragraphs shall not apply in the department and region of Réunion.

    The powers to be conferred pursuant to the second and third paragraphs shall be decided on at the request of the relevant territorial unit in the conditions and subject to the reservations provided for by an institutional Act. They may not be conferred where the essential conditions for the exercise of public liberties or of a right secured by the Constitution are affected.

    A territorial unit taking the place of an overseas department and region or a single decision-making assembly for the two units may not be established by statute unless the consent of the voters registered there has first been sought as provided by the second paragraph of article 72–4.

    Article 74

    The overseas territorial units to which this article applies shall have a status reflecting their respective local interests within the Republic.

    This status shall be determined by an institutional Act adopted after the opinion of the decision-making assembly has been received and specifying:

    • the conditions in which statutes and regulations shall apply there;
    • the powers of the territorial unit; subject to those already exercised by it, the transfer of central government powers may not relate to the matters listed in the fourth paragraph of article 73, as specified and amplified by the institutional Act therein referred to;
    • the rules governing the organisation and operation of the institutions of the territorial unit and the electoral system for its decision-making assembly;
    • the conditions in which its institutions are consulted on Government or Members’ bills and draft ordinances or decrees containing provisions relating specifically to the unit and to the ratification or approval of international commitments entered into in matters within its powers.

    The institutional Act may also, for such territorial units as enjoy autonomy, determine the conditions in which:

    • the Council of State shall exercise specific judicial review of certain categories of acts adopted by the decision-making assembly in matters which are within its powers in the areas reserved for statute;
    • the decision-making assembly may amend a statute promulgated after the entry into force of the territorial unit's new status, where the Constitutional Council, acting notably on a referral from the authorities of the territorial unit, has confirmed that the statute governs matters that are within the powers of the relevant unit;
    • measures justified by local needs may be taken by the territorial unit in favour of its population as regards access to employment, the right of establishment for the exercise of a professional activity or the protection of the land;
    • the unit may, subject to review by the central Government, participate in exercise of the powers that it retains, in full respect for the guaranties given throughout national territory for the exercise of public liberties.

    The other rules governing the specific organisation of the territorial units to which this article applies shall be determined and amended by statute after consultation with their decision-making assembly.

    Article 74–1

    In the territorial units to which article 74 applies and in New Caledonia, the Government may, in matters which remain within its power, extend by ordinance, with the requisite adaptations, the legislative provisions applying in metropolitan France, provided the statute has not expressly excluded the use of this procedure in the specific matters.

    Such ordinances shall be issued in the Council of Ministers after receiving the opinion of the relevant decision-making assemblies and the Council of State. They shall enter into force upon publication. They shall lapse if they are not ratified by Parliament within eighteen months following their publication.

    Article 75

    Citizens of the Republic who do not have ordinary civil status, the only one referred to in article 34, shall retain their personal status so long as they have not renounced it.

    Title XIII - transitional provisions relating to New Caledonia
    Article 76

    The population of New Caledonia is called upon to vote by 31 December 1998 on the provisions of the agreement signed at Nouméa on 5 May 1998, which was published in the Journal officiel of the French Republic on 27 May 1998.

    Persons satisfying the requirements laid down in article 2 of Act No. 88–1028 of 9 November 1988 shall be eligible to take part in the vote.

    The measures required to organize the ballot shall be taken by decree adopted after consultation with the Conseil d’État and discussion in the Council of Ministers.

    Article 77

    After approval of the agreement by the vote provided for in article 76, the institutional Act passed after consultation with the deliberative assembly of New Caledonia shall determine, in order to ensure the development of New Caledonia in accordance with the guidelines set out in that agreement and as required for its implementation:

    • the powers of the State which are to be transferred definitively to the institutions of New Caledonia, at what time and in what manner such transfers are to be made, and how the costs incurred thereby are to be apportioned;
    • the rules for the organization and operation of the institutions of New Caledonia, notably the circumstances in which certain kinds of instruments passed by the deliberative assembly of New Caledonia may be referred to the Constitutional Council for review before publication;
    • the rules concerning citizenship, the electoral system, employment, and personal status as laid down by customary law;
    • the circumstances and the time limit within which the population concerned in New Caledonia is to vote on the attainment of full sovereignty.
    • Any other measures required to give effect to the agreement referred to in article 76 shall be determined by statute.

    For the purpose of defining the body of electors called upon to elect members of the deliberative assemblies of New Caledonia and the provinces, the list referred to in the Agreement mentioned in Article 76 hereof and Sections 188 and 189 of Institutional Act no 99–209 of March 19th 1999 pertaining to New Caledonia is the list drawn up for the ballot provided for in article 76 herein above which includes those persons not eligible to vote.

    Articles 78 to 87

    (Repealed)

    Title XIV - on association agreements
    Article 88

    The Republic may conclude agreements with States that wish to associate themselves with it in order to develop their civilizations.

    Title XV - on the European Communities and the European Union
    Article 88–1

    The Republic shall participate in the European Communities and in the European Union constituted by States that have freely chosen, by virtue of the treaties that established them, to exercise some of their powers in common.

    It shall participate in the European Union under the conditions provided for by the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe signed on 29 October 2004.

    Article 88–2

    Subject to reciprocity and in accordance with the terms of the Treaty on European Union signed on 7 February 1992, France agrees to the transfer of powers necessary for the establishment of European economic and monetary union.

    Subject to the same reservation and in accordance with the terms of the Treaty establishing the European Community, as amended by the Treaty signed on 2 October 1997, the transfer of powers necessary for the determination of rules concerning freedom of movement for persons and related areas may be agreed.

    Statutes shall determine the rules relating to the European arrest warrant pursuant to acts adopted under the Treaty on European Union.

    Article 88–3

    Subject to reciprocity and in accordance with the terms of the Treaty on European Union signed on 7 February 1992, the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections shall be granted only to citizens of the Union residing in France. Such citizens shall neither exercise the office of mayor or deputy mayor nor participate in the designation of Senate electors or in the election of senators. An institutional Act passed in identical terms by the two assemblies shall determine the manner of implementation of this article.

    Article 88–4

    The Government shall lay before the National Assembly and the Senate draft proposals for legislation of the European Union together with drafts of or proposals for acts of the European Communities or the European Union containing provisions which are matters for statute as soon as they have been transmitted to the Council of the European Union. It may also lay before them other drafts of or proposals for acts or any document issuing from a European Union institution.

    In the manner laid down by the rules of procedure of each assembly, resolutions may be passed, even if Parliament is not in session, on the drafts, proposals or documents referred to in the preceding paragraph.

    Article 88–5

    Any legislative proposal authorising the ratification of a Treaty pertaining to the accession of a State to the European Union and to the European Communities shall be submitted to referendum by the President of the Republic.

    [Section 3 of the Constitutional Act no 2005–204 of March 1st 2005 provides that “as from the coming into effect of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, Title XV of the Constitution shall be worded as follows”]

    TITLE XV - on the European Union
    Article 88–1

    The Republic shall, in the conditions laid down by the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe signed on 29 October 2004, participate in the European Union constituted by States that have freely chosen to exercise some of their powers in common.

    Article 88–2

    Statutes shall determine the rules relating to the European arrest warrant pursuant to acts adopted by the Institutions of the European Union.

    Article 88–3

    The right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections may be granted to citizens of the Union residing in France. Such citizens shall neither exercise the office of mayor or deputy mayor nor participate in the designation of Senate electors or in the election of senators. An institutional Act passed in identical terms by the two assemblies shall determine the manner of implementation of this article.

    Article 88–4

    The Government shall lay before the National Assembly and the Senate, drafts of or proposals for Acts of the European Union containing provisions which are of a statutory nature as soon as they have been transmitted to the Council of the European Union. It may also lay before them other drafts of or proposals for Acts or any instrument issuing from a European Union Institution.

    In the manner laid down by the rules of procedure of each assembly, resolutions may be passed, even if Parliament is not in session, on the drafts, proposals or instruments referred to in the preceding paragraph.

    Article 88–5

    The National Assembly or the Senate may issue a reasoned opinion as to the conformity of a draft proposal for a European Act with the principle of subsidiarity. Said opinion shall be addressed by the President of the Assembly involved, to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. The Government shall be informed of said opinion.

    Each Assembly may institute proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Communities against a European Act for noncompliance with the principle of subsidiarity. Such proceedings shall be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Communities by the Government.

    For the purpose of the foregoing, resolutions may be passed, even if Parliament is not in session, in the manner fixed by the rules of the National Assembly or the Senate for the tabling and discussion thereof.

    Article 88–6

    Parliament may, after a motion is passed in identical terms by the National Assembly and the Senate, oppose any modification of the rules governing the passing of Acts of the European Union under the simplified revision procedure as set forth in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.

    Article 88–7

    Any legislative proposal authorising the ratification of a Treaty pertaining to the accession of a State to the European Union shall be submitted to referendum by the President of the Republic.

    Title XVI - on the amendment of the Constitution
    Article 89

    The President of the Republic, on a proposal by the Prime Minister, and Members of Parliament alike shall have the right to initiate amendment of the Constitution.

    A Government or a Member's bill to amend the Constitution shall be passed by the two assemblies in identical terms. The amendment shall have effect after approval by referendum.

    However, a Government bill to amend the Constitution shall not be submitted to referendum where the President of the Republic decides to submit it to Parliament convened in Congress; the Government bill to amend the Constitution shall then be approved only if it is adopted by a three-fifths majority of the votes cast. The Bureau of the Congress shall be that of the National Assembly.

    No amendment procedure shall be commenced or continued where the integrity of the territory is jeopardized.

    The republican form of government shall not be the object of an amendment.

    Title XVII - (Repealed)
    CHARTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

    The French People

    Considering that

    Natural resources and equilibriums have conditioned the emergence of mankind;

    The future and very existence of mankind are inextricably linked with its natural environment;

    The environment is the common heritage of all mankind;

    Mankind exerts ever-increasing influence over the conditions for life and its own evolution;

    Biological diversity, the fulfilment of the person and the progress of human societies are affected by certain types of consumption or production and by excessive exploitation of natural resources;

    Care must be taken to safeguard the environment along with the other fundamental interests of the Nation;

    In order to ensure sustainable development, choices designed to meet the needs of the present generation should not jeopardise the ability of future generations and other peoples to meet their own needs,

    Hereby proclaim:

    Art. 1 - Everyone has the right to live in a balanced environment which shows due respect for health.

    Art. 2 - Everyone is under a duty to participate in preserving and enhancing the environment.

    Art. 3 - Everyone shall, in the conditions provided for by law, foresee and avoid the occurrence of any damage which he or she may cause to the environment or, failing that, limit the consequences of such damage.

    Art. 4 - Everyone shall be required, in the conditions provided for by law, to contribute to the making good of any damage he or she may have caused to the environment.

    Art. 5 - When the occurrence of any damage, albeit unpredictable in the current state of scientific knowledge, may seriously and irreversibly harm the environment, public authorities shall, with due respect for the principle of precaution and the areas within their jurisdiction, ensure the implementation of procedures for risk assessment and the adoption of temporary measures commensurate with the risk involved in order to preclude the occurrence of such damage.

    Art. 6 - Public policies shall promote sustainable development. To this end they shall reconcile the protection and enhancement of the environment with economic development and social progress.

    Art. 7 - Everyone has the right, in the conditions and to the extent provided for by law, to have access to information pertaining to the environment in the possession of public bodies and to participate in the public decision-taking process likely to affect the environment.

    Art. 8 - Education and training with regard to the environment shall contribute to the exercising of the rights and duties set out in this Charter.

    Art. 9 - Research and innovation shall contribute to the preservation and development of the environment.

    Art. 10 - This Charter shall inspire France's actions at both European and international levels.

    Further Reading

    Below is a list of books and articles to enhance your understanding of French politics. They are presented alphabetically, because there is no way to tie most of them to a single chapter or several adjacent ones.

    Ardagh, John. France in the New Century. New York: Penguin, 2000.
    Bell, David. François Mitterrand. Cambridge UK: Polity Press, 2005.
    Birnbaum, Pierre. The Idea of France. New York: Hill and Wang, 1998.
    Charlot, Jean. The Gaullist Phenomenon. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971.
    Chesnoff, Raymond. The Arrogance of the French. New York: Sentinel, 2005.
    Cobban, Alfred. A Short History of France, vol 3. New York: Penguin, 1990.
    Cogan, Charles. French Negotiating Behavior. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2003.
    Cohen, Steven. Modern Capitalist Planning: The French Model. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.
    Converse, Philip, and RoyPierce. Representation in France. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986.
    Elgie, Robert. French Politics. London: Routledge, 2000.
    Flynn, Gergory. Remaking the Hexagon. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1995.
    Hayward, Jack. De Gaulle to Mitterrand: Presidential Power in France. London: Hurst, 1992.
    Hoffmann, Stanley. Decline or Renewal? France Since the 1930s. New York: Viking, 1974.
    Kuisel, Richard. Seducing the French. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.
    Lewis-Beck, Michael. How France Votes. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2000.
    Marcus, Jonathan. The National Front and French Politics. London: McMillan, 1995.
    Mendras, Henri, and AlastairCole. Social Change in France. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
    Paxson, Richard. Vichy France. New York. W. W. Norton, 1977.
    Sa'adah, Annie. Contemporary France. Boulder, Colo.: Rowman and Little-field, 2004.
    Sarkozy, Nicolas. Testimony. New York: Pantheon, 2007.
    Schama, Simon. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution. New York: Knopf, 1989.
    Schmidt, Vivienne. Democratizing France. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
    Smith, Timothy. France in Crisis. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511617584
    Stovall, Tyler. France Since the Second World War. London: Pearson, 2004.
    Suleiman, Ezra. Politics, Power, and Bureaucracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974.
    Thompson, David. Democracy in France. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964.
    Tiersky, Ronald. France in the New Europe. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 2004.
    Williams, Philip. Crisis and Compromise. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1964.

    Web Resources

    At a recent conference, a young French scholar noted that in France it is possible to have a very successful career as a political scientist concentrating on French politics, and not speak English. Unfortunately for some in the Anglophone world, as far as the Web is concerned, this can mean that non-French speakers researching French politics may have a tough time finding material in English. Below are some general and focused sites on France. Most, but not all, have English versions.

    News, Politics, and Political History

    The first challenge is to get news on France. While the major American and other English-language newspapers cover France, they miss a lot. This site includes daily news from France (including lots on real estate in Provence):

    http://www.french-news.com. French News.

    There are dozens of good sites on French political history. This is the best gateway. It includes plenty of links that will take you further in your research.

    http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/france/France.htm.http://About.com's page on European history with external links.

    There are also a few sites that offer general information and links to politics in France. These four are as good as any and are designed to serve academics and policy wonks.

    http://www.wsu.edu/~frg/ The French Politics Group's Web site, a division of the American Political Science Association.

    Uncorrected page proof. Copyright © 2008 by CQ Press, a division of Congressional Quarterly, Inc. No part of these pages may be quoted, reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the publisher.

    http://www.h-france.net/ The Society for French Historical Studies’ discussion list and Web site.

    http://www.ttc.org/. The Tocqueville Connection, a resource for French news and analysis.

    Most French polling agencies have good Web sites. Here is the one with the best resources in English.

    http://www.csa-fr.com/accueil.asp?lang=en.

    For general political resources, consider these two Web sites:

    http://www.politicalresources.net/france3.htm.

    http://www.adminet.com/index_fr.html.

    Most French government agencies have Web sites with at least partial mirrors in English. These five can get you started.

    http://www.premier-ministre.gouv.fr/en/. Portal for the prime minister's office.

    http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/english/index.asp. The English-language Web site for the national assembly.

    http://www.senat.fr/lng/en/index.html. Official site for the Senate.

    http://www.elysee.fr. La Presidence de la Republique, Web site for the presidential office.

    http://www.ena.fr/en/accueil.php. Web site for L'Ecole National d'Administration. (ENA).

    All of the political parties have Web sites. Here are those for the four biggest ones. I don't know when or if English language versions will follow.

    http://www.parti-socialiste.fr/ France's Socialist Party (French only).

    http://www.u-m-p.org/site/index.php Union pour un Mouvement Populaire, France's center-right party. (French only).

    http://www.frontnational.com/ National Front (French only).

    http://www.pcf.fr France's Communist Party (French only).

    Uncorrected page proof. Copyright © 2008 by CQ Press, a division of Congressional Quarterly, Inc. No part of these pages may be quoted, reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the publisher.

    Glossary

    Key Concepts

    Agents of political socialization. Actors and institutions through which children and young people learn about political life.

    Alienation. A feeling of anger, hostility, or estrangement from politics.

    Anticlericals. People who believe that the state should not support church activities.

    Autogestion. A self-managed form of socialism that relies on the market and workers’ control of industry.

    Baccalauréat exam. Taken at the end of high school (lycée), it determines if a student can enroll in a university.

    Bloc vote. Procedure included in the 1958 constitution that allows the government to force the National Assembly to vote on a bill in its entirety without any amendments.

    Bureaucratic phenomenon. A term used to describe the importance of highly centralized and bureaucratically rigid organizations in all areas of French life.

    Catch-all parties. Parties that rely on slogans, the media, and telegenic leaders rather than ideology and activists.

    Centralization. The concentration of almost all political power in the national government.

    Charismatic leader. A leader whose popularity and power lies in the strength of his or her personality.

    Coalition. A group of political parties that come together to form a parliamentary majority and form a government.

    Cohabitation. This occurs when the presidency is controlled by one party or coalition while the opposition has the majority in the National Assembly.

    Communist Party. Traditionally the most left-wing party with close ties to the Soviet Union. In serious trouble since the end of the Cold War.

    Constitutional Consultative Commission. A body created to review the 1958 constitution in its draft forms.

    Corporatism. A term used to describe cooperative policymaking, typically involving the government and business and labor leaders.

    Crisis and compromise. A phrase used to describe how a loss of confidence (crisis) led to a compromise in the formation of the next government in the Third and Fourth Republics.

    Decentralization. Giving subnational authorities more power, important in France since 1981.

    Decision makers. All people, inside of government and outside of it, who shape public policy.

    Democracy. A form of government in which people rule either directly or through elected representatives.

    Direct election of the president. Since 1965, French presidents have been chosen through direct elections, rather than by votes in an electoral college.

    Dirigisme. The French practice of using the state to help “guide” the evolution of its capitalist economy.

    Distribution. A type of public policy that shifts resources from one group to another.

    Ecole polytechnique. One of the two leading grandes écoles that is a source for future leaders in the public and private sector.

    Ecoles maternelles. State-funded preschools open to all children from two to five years of age.

    ENA. The National School of Administration trains France's bureaucratic elite, who later take on leadership positions in politics and the private sector.

    Environment. A term used to describe those elements outside of a political system that have an impact on it.

    European Union. The international organization made up of twenty-seven member states that has tremendous impact on domestic policy in all of those countries.

    Events of May 1968. The largest protest movement in the history of the Fifth Republic; the most impressive movement of the New Left in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Family allocations. Funds given to parents to help defray the cost of raising children.

    Feedback. The processes through which people learn about politics today, which helps them shape their actions tomorrow.

    Fifth Republic. The current regime in France, founded by Charles de Gaulle and his colleagues in 1958.

    Force de frappe. France's nuclear arsenal.

    Fourth Republic. The political regime in place from 1946 to 1958.

    Gaullists. Generic term for all the political parties that have supported either General de Gaulle or his legacy.

    General Planning Commission. An advisory body created in 1946 by the president of the interim post-World War II French government to design a plan to rebuild the French economy and modernize French social and economic institutions. Through this group, Jean Monnet developed the plans leading to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the first step toward a unified European common market.

    Globalization. The processes through which the world's governments, economies, and societies are becoming increasingly interrelated and interdependent.

    Grandes écoles. Selective schools that train most of France's elite.

    Grandeur. A term used by de Gaulle and others to describe France's putative place in the world as a major power.

    Heroic leaders. Unusually popular and powerful leaders brought to power for short periods during the Third and Fourth Republics to address crises.

    Incompatibility clause. The provision of the French constitution that forbids cabinet members from retaining their seats in parliament.

    Industrial Revolution. Describes the transition from a primarily agricultural economy to one based more on manufacturing.

    Inputs. In systems theory, what groups and individuals do to try to shape public policy.

    Interest groups. Private, voluntary organizations that try to promote the “interests” of particular occupational, ideological, regional, and other groups.

    Iron triangle. The close relationship linking current and former civil servants, politicians, and business executives.

    Legitimacy. People's sense that a regime and system are acceptable, even if the current leaders are not.

    Market failures. Events that occur when markets cannot produce economically optimal results, and some group or groups are harmed.

    Means testing. Restrictions on eligibility for social service funds based on a potential recipient's income and wealth.

    Nation. The entity created through the psychological identification of people with the country they live in.

    National Assembly. The lower house of the French parliament, which can cast a vote of censure against the government.

    Nationalized firms. Formerly private firms taken into state ownership.

    Output. The public policy of any political system.

    Pantouflage. Colloquial term for the practice of leaving the top levels of the civil service for political or business careers.

    Parity law. A recent law and constitutional amendment that guarantees an equal number of male and female candidates in most elections.

    Pillars. A word used to describe the three areas in which the European Union operates in regard to public policy.

    Political culture. The values and assumptions that shape people's basic political understanding and commitment.

    Political participation. The ways individuals and the groups they form are engaged in political life.

    Political parties. Organizations that compete for votes in elections in an attempt to form a government.

    Postindustrial society. Today's society in a country like France in which information technology, office work, and the like dominate the economy.

    Provisional government. The temporary regime created and headed by de Gaulle after France's liberation in 1944.

    Public policy. The laws and other documents emerging from the decision-making process.

    Qualified Majority Voting. In the European Union, the way most decisions are made today; determined on the basis of votes assigned to each country according to its size.

    Regime. The constitutional order and other basic rules of the game that survive from one administration to the next.

    Regulatory (policies). Public policies that determine what citizens can and cannot do.

    Single-member district two-ballot system. France's unusual electoral system in which two rounds of voting normally turn a divided electorate into a majority.

    Sovereignty. The political science concept that states are free to chart their own domestic policy without outside interference.

    State. All the institutions and people who make and implement public policy; it includes the government but often much more as well.

    Symbolic (policies). Policies that use visual and other symbols to enhance compliance and legitimacy.

    Systems theory. A way of looking at politics that views the interaction of all actors over time.

    Union for a Permanent Majority. Current name of the Gaullist Party, used since 2002.

    Vote of censure. A vote by the National Assembly that can force the government from office; also a vote of confidence in the United Kingdom.

    Welfare state. The package of economic and other policies that provides a safety net for people in need.

    Key People, Entities, and Events

    Algeria. Former French colony in North Africa. Revolts there led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic.

    Article 11. Constitutional provision authorizing reference.

    Article 16. Constitutional provision authorizing emergency rule.

    Article 23. Incompatibility clause that denies members of parliament the right to retain their seats in parliament while serving in government.

    Berlin Wall. Barrier between East and West Germany that was knocked down on November 9, 1989.

    Bonaparte, Louis-Napoléon. President and later emperor from 1848 until 1871.

    Bonaparte, Napoléon. Emperor of revolutionary France until defeated in 1815.

    Chamber of Deputies. The lower house of parliament in the Third and Fourth Republics.

    Chirac, Jacques. Long-term leader on the French Right and president from 1995 to 2007.

    Cold War. The period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, stretching from 1945 until 1991.

    Colons. White settlers in Algeria, most of whom, but not all, were of French origin.

    Council of the European Union. The ultimate decision-making body in the EU. Made up of prime ministers and other representatives of member states.

    Debré, Michel. Architect of the Fifth Republic's constitution and its first prime minister.

    Declaration of the Rights of Man. The first constitutional document to affirm the human rights of all people, created in 1793.

    de Gaulle, Charles. Leader of the French resistance during World War II, head of the provisional government, and creator of the Fifth Republic.

    Delors, Jacques. Prominent Socialist politician who became president of the European Commission in 1985.

    de Villepin, Dominique. Former foreign and prime minister who is most noted for his role at the United Nations just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    Dien Bien Phu. Site of the decisive battle in the Indochinese war that led France to withdraw from the region in 1954.

    Dreyfus Affair. The trial and persecution of a Jewish French army captain that almost destroyed the Third Republic in the 1890s and early 1900s.

    European Coal and Steel Community. Original international organization that gave rise to the European Union of today.

    European Commission. Day-to-day leaders of the European Union. The most important force trying to deepen its powers.

    European Court of Justice. Central constitutional court of the European Union.

    European Economic Community. The original name of what is now the European Union.

    European Parliament. Elected assembly that is one of the weaker links among institutions of the European Union.

    European Union. The semi-state currently composed of twenty-seven European countries.

    Foccart, Jacques. Long-standing adviser charged with African affairs.

    Fourth Republic. French regime, 1946–1958.

    François Fillon. Named prime minister by Nicolas Sarkozy after the 2007 elections.

    French Section of the Workers’ International. Official name of the Socialist Party before 1971.

    Giscard d'Estaing, Valéry. Third president of the Fifth Republic.

    Giscardiens. Influential but small group of centrist politicians whose initial inspiration was the work of former president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

    Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich. President of the Soviet Union when it collapsed.

    Greens. Environmental party that has had fleeting influence since the 1980s.

    High Commission on the French Language. Determines which words can officially be used in the French language.

    Independent Republicans. One of the labels used for the parties that grew out of support for Giscard.

    Indochina. Site of the first war that would lead to the collapse of the Fourth Republic.

    Jospin, Lionel. Former Socialist prime minister and a failed presidential candidate in 1995 and 2002.

    Kohl, Helmut. German chancellor largely responsible for Germany's pragmatic response to the collapse of communism.

    Le Pen, Jean-Marie. Founder and leader of the National Front.

    Louis XIV. The “sun king” who is often seen as the “father” of the centralized French state.

    Mendés-France, Pierre. Prominent politician during the Fourth Republic; an early critic of de Gaulle's regime.

    Mitterrand, François. First and, so far, only Socialist to serve as president of the Fifth Republic.

    Monnet, Jean. A key architect of both French planning and the European Union.

    Mouvement républicain populaire. The Christian Democratic Party under the Fourth Republic.

    National Center for Independents and Peasants. Fourth Republic centrist party that was almost always in government.

    National Front. Far right party that has done well at the polls for the last twenty years.

    National Liberation Front. Arab-based freedom fighters in Algeria during the 1950s.

    National Planning Commission. Key agency that helped rebuild France after World War II and part of the iron triangle in the early years of the Fifth Republic.

    North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Alliance of countries close to the United States that was formed at the height of the Cold War and now includes most European countries.

    Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries oil embargo. Oil cartel, whose embargo brought on a recession in 1973–1974.

    Pompidou, Georges. Second president of the Fifth Republic.

    Provisional government. The ad hoc government in place from 1944 until the Fourth Republic went into effect.

    Radicals. Center left party that was central to the survival of the Third and Fourth Republics.

    Rally of the French People. Official name of the Gaullist Party during most of the time Chirac led it.

    Royal, Ségolène. Failed Socialist candidate for the presidency in 2007, but the first woman to be a serious candidate.

    Sarkozy, Nicolas. Elected president in 2007.

    Senate. Relatively powerless upper house of parliament.

    Single European Act. Removed all remaining barriers to trade among European nations.

    Socialist Party. Social democratic party that dominates the Left.

    Third Republic. Regime in place from 1875 until 1940.

    Treaty of Maastricht. Created the European Union and paved the way for adoption of the euro.

    Treaty of Rome. Initial treaty creating the European Economic Community.

    Two by four negotiations. Discussions leading to German unification that included the two Germanys and the four powers that occupied the country after World War II.

    Union for a Popular Movement. The current name of the Gaullist Party since 2002.

    Union for French Democracy. The formal name of Giscard's party for most of the last third of the twentieth century.

    Vichy regime. Government that collaborated with the Germans during World War II.


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