Politics of France
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics of France
Created and presented by: Benedict Gombocz
Location: Western Europe, with a number of overseas territories and islands on other continents and in Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Official name: French Republic (République française) Capital (and largest city): Paris Official language: French Demonym: French
Metropolitan France (which includes island of Corsica) shares boundaries with eight countries: Andorra, Spain, Monaco, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. 81.8% of France’s territory comprises Metropolitan France, together with 95.9% of the French Republic.
Founding member of United Nations. One of five permanent members of UN Security Council. Member of Francophone, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, and Latin Union. Also founding and leading member in European Union; largest EU state in terms of area.
Government (gouvernement): Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic President (Président de la République française): François Hollande (PS) Prime Minister (Premier ministre français): Jean- Marc Ayrault (PS) Legislature (Parlement français): Parliament Upper house (Sénat): Senate Lower house (Assemblée nationale): National Assembly
Born 12 August 1954 in Rouen. Member of French Socialist Party; 24th and current President of France and ex-officio Co-Prince of Andorra since 15 May 2012. Previously served as First Secretary of the French Socialist Party from 1997-2008 and as Deputy of National Assembly of France for Corrèzes 1st Constituency, having formerly represented that seat from 1988- 1993 and a second time from 1997-2012. Was Mayor of Tulle between 2001 and 2008, and subsequently President of the Corrèze General Council between 2008 and 2012. Was elected President of France on 6 May 2012, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the runoff round in presidential election, with 51.63% of the vote. Sworn in on 15 May; first Socialist President of Fifth French Republic since François Mitterrand.
Born 25 January 1950 in Maulévrier. Member of French Socialist Party; current PM of France since 15 May 2012. Served as Mayor of Nantes and President of Socialist Party’s parliamentary group in National Assembly between 1997 and 2012, prior to premiership. Son of Joseph Aryault of Maulévrier, who was formerly an agricultural worker and later was employed in textile factory, and of Georgette Uzenot, formerly seamstress who went on to become full-time home maker. His early schooling was at St. Joseph Catholic Primary School at Maulévrier; afterwards, he attended, from 1961 until 1968, Lycée Colbert, at Cholet; later studied German at Nantes University. Spent term in Würzburg, Germany, in 1969 and 1970; graduated with degree in German in 1971, receiving his graduate teaching diploma in 1972. Remained in Nantes area for probationary teaching year, which was assumed at Rezé. Worked as German language teacher in Saint- Herblain from 1973 until he was elected to National Assembly in 1986.
Lower house of bicameral Parliament of France under Fifth French Republic; upper house is the Senate. Its members are referred to as députés (“delegate” or “envoy” are closest English equivalents; députés is etymological cognate of English word deputy, typically adjoint in French). Holds 577 députés, all elected by single-member constituency through two-rounds system; this requires 289 seats for majority. Headed by a president (currently Bernard Accoyer), usually from the biggest represented party, aided by vice-presidents via represented political spectrum.
Terms in the National Assembly are five years (e.g., previous term was 2007-2012; current term is 2012- 2017); nevertheless, the President has the power to dissolve the Assembly (to call for new or early elections to be held) except if he/she has dissolved it in foregoing twelve months. This course of action has been more uncommon since the 2000 referendum limited the President’s term from seven to five years. Normally, a President holds a majority elected in the Assembly in the subsequent two months of his election because he would have no use to dissolve it on those grounds.
Union for a Popular Movement (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire , UMP) (313) Socialist Party (Parti socialiste, PS) (186) New Centre (Nouveau Centre, NC) (22) Radical Party (Parti radical ; also Parti radical valoisien, abbreviated to Rad.) (18) French Communist Party (Parti communiste français, PCF) (17) Radical Party of the Left (Parti Radical de Gauche, PRG) (8) Europe Écologie–The Greens (Europe Écologie–Les Verts) (3) Democratic Movement (Mouvement démocrate, MoDem) (3) Left Party (Parti de gauche, PG) (3) Movement for France (Mouvement pour la France, MPF) (2) Arise the Republic (Debout la République, DLR) (2) National Centre of Independents and Peasants (Centre National des Indépendants et Paysans, CNI) (2) Citizen and Republic Movement (Mouvement républicain et citoyen) (1)
Centre-right party; one of two major political parties in France alongside center-left Socialist Party (PS). Founded 17 November 2002 as fusion of various centre-right parties under then-President Jacques Chirac. Enjoys absolute majority in National Assembly, whereas plurality in Senate is claimed by rival Socialists and their associates. Jean-François Copé is party secretary-general and de facto leader of UMP; position of UMP president is, at the moment, non-existent. Member of European People’s Party (EPP), Centrist Democrat International (CDI) and International Democrat Union (IDU).
Social-democratic party and biggest French centre-left party. One of two dominating political parties in France, together with centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). Founded in 1969, becoming heir to prior French Section of the Workers’ International (SFIO); its current leader is Martine Aubry. First came to power in 1981, when candidate François Mitterrand won 1981 presidential election; under Mitterrand, PS subsequently scored ruling majority in National Assembly from 1981-1986 and once more from 1988-1993. Its leader in 1995 presidential election, Lionel Jospin, failed in his attempt to replace Mitterand as president, but was nominated to be PM in cohabitation government after 1997 legislative election; he held this post until 2002, when he was once more defeated in presidential election. Its candidate in 2007 presidential election, Ségolène Royal, lost to Nicolas Sarkozy of rival conservative UMP; secured most regional and local elections, gaining control of Senate in 2011 for first time in over 50 years (On 6 May 2012, François Hollande was elected president, winning against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in close race). Member of Party of European Socialists (PES) and Socialist International (SI).