France Political System

According to, with capital city of Paris, France is a country located in Western Europe with total population of 65,273,522. France is bordered by several countries, including Belgium and Luxembourg to the northeast, Germany and Switzerland to the east, Italy to the southeast, and Spain to the southwest. To the northwest of France lies the English Channel which separates it from the United Kingdom. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the west of France, while the Mediterranean Sea lies to the south. France also shares a border with Monaco in its southeastern corner. The country also has several overseas territories located in various parts of the world. These include French Guiana in South America, French Polynesia in Oceania and Réunion in Africa. Visit countryaah for countries that start with letter F.

Where is France

State and politics


The Constitution of France, commonly called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, was drafted in 1958 after General Charles de Gaulle formed government after the military revolt in Algeria in May. It was adopted in a referendum with 80% jar votes. In 1962, as well as by referendum, direct elections were introduced by the president of France.

The state of France is parliamentary with strong presidential power. Parliament consists of two chambers, the directly elected National Assembly with 577 members and the Senate elected by local assemblies with a maximum of 348 members. Both are involved in the legislation. If the chambers cannot agree on a decision, the National Assembly has the final say. However, in a few cases, the Senate can block a decision. Voting rights are general and voting age 18 years. The presidential election takes place in two rounds. If no candidate has received more than half of the votes in the first, in the second the two candidates who receive the most votes will meet.

The term of office was reduced in 2000 from seven years to five years and in 2008 the number of terms in succession was limited to two. The election to the National Assembly takes place in one-man constituencies in two rounds, if no candidate in the first receives over half the votes; in the second, where more than two candidates are allowed to stand, the one with the most votes wins. The term of office is five years. The government is appointed by the President but is responsible to the National Assembly. See for shopping and eating in France.

The president’s most important power is the right to call a referendum and a new election to the National Assembly. In emergency situations, he can, by virtue of § 16 of the Constitution, govern by decree (this section has only been applied once – after a military revolt in Algeria in 1961). The president has a particular influence on foreign and defense policy (decides, for example, on the use of nuclear weapons).

The government has a strong position vis-à-vis Parliament due to its influence on the chambers’ agenda and the right to use a decision-making system, according to which the budget and to a limited extent other government proposals are considered adopted unless the government falls into a distrust vote. The decisive power of the National Assembly is the opportunity to defeat the government through a declaration of confidence.

The way in which elections are held and, albeit less important, in elections to the National Assembly, has led to the division of political parties into two blocks. When the parties supporting the president have a majority in the National Assembly, the president is the real leader of government policy. This has been the case for most of the Fifth Republic.

If the opposition to the president wins a majority in the National Assembly, the president’s power will be curtailed in favor of the government. This has been the case in 1986–88, 1993–95 and 1997–2002. Ultimately, a conflict between the president and the parliamentary majority can only be resolved by the president resigning or announcing new elections to the National Assembly.

Political parties

The French political parties are to a large extent associations around individual politicians and act as their campaign organizations like other political systems with one-man constituencies. There is no party support in France. Funding comes from outside and is often tied to people rather than parties.

The Union for a People’s Movement (Union pour un mouvement populaire, UMP) was formed after Jacques Chirac’s and the bourgeois parties’ election victory in 2002 through a merger of the gaullist party RPR and parts of the right-center party UDF. In 2015, the UMP changed its name to the Republicans (Les Républicains, LR). The Gaullist Party, from 1976 known as the Rassemblement pour la republic, was originally a nationally oriented, socially progressive bourgeois party, open to government control of the economy. After de Gaulle, it was transformed into a general conservative party. In terms of opinion, it was little different from the Union for French Democracy (Union pour la démocratie française, UDF), which was an association of Christian Democrats, right-wing liberals and liberal radicals formed in 1978 to support Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. UDF leader François Bayrou (born 1951) was successful in the 2007 presidential election, but his new party Democratic Movement (Mouvement démocratie, MoDem) has never had any impact. The UMP was the dominant government party in 2002–12.

Since the 1980s, the populist, EU-critical and under its former leaders have also achieved anti-Semitic National Collection (formerly the National Front), not least because of its immigrant hostility and party leader (since 2011 Marine Le Pen, before her father Jean- Marie Le Pen) ability to attract voters. Although the 2007 elections meant a significant decline for the party, in the 2012 presidential election, almost every fifth voter voted for the UN candidate Marine Le Pen. At the 2017 presidential election, Marine Le Pen received 33.9 percent of the vote.

The Socialist Party (Parti socialiste, PS) represents socialism in France. For decades the party has been characterized by internal tensions between a more moderate, almost social-democratic, direction and a left-wing socialism with Trotskyist roots. Unlike the Swedish social democracy, the party has no organizational cooperation with the trade union movement. Party secretary has been Jean-Christophe Cambadélis (born 1951) since 2014. After great successes in local elections, PS regained government power through François Hollandes (party leader from 1997 to 2008) the victory in the presidential election in 2012. Hollande’s unpopularity meant that he did not stand for presidential elections in 2017. In the primary election organized to develop the party’s next presidential candidate elected left Socialist Benoit Hamon.

The Left Party (Parti de gauche) was formed in 2008 by defectors from PS. In the 2012 presidential election, the party and PCF collaborated in the Left Front (Front de gauche), whose candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon received just over 11 percent of the vote. In the 2017 presidential election, Mélenchon stood as candidate for the newly formed La France Insoumis movement and unexpectedly achieved great success with just under 20 percent of the vote.

The political environmental movement has grown in strength since the 1980s, but has collapsed in the late 2010s. Nowadays, the sitting party is called the National Assembly EELV and is not part of any party group. Both the left-wing radicals and the Communist Party and the Greens (Les Verts) joined forces with the Socialist Party in Lionel Jospin’s left government in 1997–2002. The Greens have since been divided and as a party are marginalized by dropouts both from and to governments as well as in and out of the party.

Only LR (formerly UMP) and PS can be designated as mass parties. In the Fifth Republic, for a long time it has been crucial for a party to have a candidate with a view to being elected President of the Republic. In practice, this is the case only with LR (formerly UMP/UDF) and PS who have had opportunities to win the presidential power. This was overthrown at the 2017 presidential election where the Socialist Party collapsed and LR’s candidate François Fillon ended up in a scandal and was investigated for misuse of public funds, which ruined his lead over the other candidates.

Ahead of the 2017 presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy announced he wanted to aim for a return, but when the Republicans held the primary in November, he was eliminated in the first round. The decisive vote was between the former two prime ministers François Fillon and Alain Juppé , with Fillon winning.

Prior to that, the Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron, appointed by François Hollande had resigned and announced that he would stand as an independent candidate for the La République en marche (formerly A marché!) And thus officially withdrew from his former party PS. Marine Le Pen candidate for the populist and EU-critical National Front. She stood in the second round of the election against Macron, who won the election with 66 percent of the vote against her 35 percent.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon resigned as party leader for the Left Party in 2014 and started the political movement La France insoumise in 2016, which he represented in the 2017 election. Mélanchon was eliminated in the first round of elections.

After President François Hollande announced that he would not stand for re-election, Prime Minister Manuel Valls resigned to run in the Socialist Party’s primary election in January. He was replaced by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. Benôit Hamon, who is for citizen pay and robot tax, unexpectedly won in the primary election held in January 2017 when he was put against former Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Hamon’s victory came to be regarded as the voters’ way of punishing Valls for what they considered to be an overly harsh political line against refugees, the country’s finances and labor legislation. In the first round of the French presidential election, Hamon received just over 6 percent, leading to a mass escape from the party to the newly formed La République a marche and open speculation that PS was about to disappear as a party.

Emmanuel Macron won the second round of the 2017 presidential election, becoming the President of France. To get through its political agenda, it was required that the hitherto politically untested movement La République en Marche gained a majority in the National Assembly. Although the final election on June 18 did not confirm the success figures received by the party in the first round, the election for the party, which had never been in parliament until now, was a success.

La République en marche received just over 43 percent of the vote in a vote that was characterized by a very low turnout (just over 43 percent). Macron’s party thus got 308 of the 577 seats of the National Assembly. This means that La République en marche together with the Modem partner (which got 42 seats) has great powers to enforce a mid-political program. The largest opposition party became the Republicans.


The French legal system is one of the world’s largest legal systems. It has exercised and continues to exert a strong influence on the law in a number of countries, primarily in the former French colonies outside Europe, but also in Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal and the Latin American countries.

Before the Revolution of 1789, France lacked a uniform legal order, especially in the field of private law. In the southern parts of the country were Roman law-inspired written laws, while in the northern parts followed several hundred different, more or less locally restricted customs, of which Coutume de Paris was the most important. The revolution made possible the realization of the old regime’s pursuit of a uniform legal regulation for France as a whole.

In 1804, the Civil Code, Code civil (also called Code Napoléon), was issued, which is still today the essence of French law. The importance of the Napoleonic Code is not limited to legal life, as it is considered to be one of the cornerstones of the entire French culture. The viability of this legislation is best shown by the fact that, with some modifications and additions, it has survived about ten French constitutions.

During the Napoleonic period were added a number of other important codifications, including the Commercial Code, the Code de Commerce, 1807, and the Criminal Code, Code pénal, 1810. A new criminal code was adopted in 1992. The procedural kodifikationerna from Napoleonic times has been replaced by the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Code de procédure penale, 1958, and (partly) Civil Procedure Law, Nouveau Code de Civil Procedure, 1975.

The highest court of the judicial organization is the Court of Cassation, the Cour de cassation, under which there are a number of appellate courts, the Cour d’appel. In the first instance, more important cases are decided by the Tribunal de grande instance, while litigation is tried by the Tribunal d’instance and the trespass offenses, contraventions, are prosecuted by the Tribunal de police. Some serious criminal cases are tried by the jury at the Cour d’assises. Certain types of business disputes are initially decided by the Tribunal de Commerce, consisting of laymen selected from among the businessmen themselves.

There are also special courts for, among other things. labor procedure. France also has a system of administrative courts with the highest authority of the Conseil d’état. Although the decisions of the higher courts are, in principle, considered to be merely an application of existing rules of law without themselves being a source of law, they are carefully studied and are usually followed in the practice of the lower courts.

French law has been affected by the adaptation requirements that follow from its membership in the EU. The death penalty was abolished in 1981; the last execution took place in 1977.

Human Rights

The fundamental freedoms and rights are respected, however, with the exception. France has not signed the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities and does not recognize minorities at all. Roma are exposed throughout society, but especially in the labor market and in the education system, where Roma children are denied access to education. Evictions of Roman settlements are common. Evictions and forced removals also affect migrants and asylum seekers who have built makeshift camps around the Calais area in connection with the Eurotunnel. In most cases, the authorities do not offer alternative housing for forced relocation.

In 2004, the government banned veils and other religious symbols in state schools. Since 2010, women have been prohibited from wearing veils that cover their entire face in public places, a legislation that mainly affects the Muslim population and has been criticized for restricting religious freedom.

Since a law change in 2013, same-sex couples can enter into civil marriage, something that was not possible before.

Purchase of sexual services was banned in 2016. France became the fifth country in the world to criminalize sex purchases.

Heads of state, governing assemblies etc.

Carolingian kings and emperors from 843
(For former Frankish kings and emperors, see merovings and Carolingians.)
843-877 Charles II (The Bald; Emperor 875–877)
877-879 Louis II (the stammering)
879-882 Louis III and Karloman
882-884 Karl Oman
885-888 Charles III (The Thick; Emperor 881–888)
888-898 Odo (roberting)
893-922 Karl III (The Foolish)
922-923 Robert I (roberting)
923-936 Rudolf of Burgundy (roberting)
936-954 Ludvig IV
954-986 Lothar
986-987 Ludvig V
House Capet
(Former members of the family are called robertings.)
987-996 Hugo Capet
996-1031 Robert II (the pious)
1031-60 Henrik I
1060-1108 Philip I
1108-37 Louis VI (the thick one)
1137-80 Ludvig VII
1180-1223 Philip II August
1223-26 Louis VIII
1226-70 Louis IX (the Holy One)
1270-85 Philip III (The Bold)
1285-1314 Philip IV (the beautiful one)
1314-16 Louis X
1316 Johan I
1316-22 Philip V (The Long)
1322-28 Charles IV (the beautiful one)
The house Valois
(really a younger branch of the house Capet)
1328-50 Philip VI
1350-64 Johan II (the good one)
1364-80 Karl V (The Wise)
1380-1422 Karl VI (The Mad)
The house Plantagenet
1422-53 Henry VI of England
The house Valois
1422-61 Karl VII
1461-83 Louis XI
1483-98 Karl VIII
The Valois-Orleans branch
1498-1515 Louis XII
The Valois-Orleans-Angoulême Branch
1515-47 French I
1547-59 Henry II
1559-60 French II
1560-74 Karl IX
1574-89 Henrik III
The House Bourbon
(really a younger branch of the House Capet)
1589-1610 Henry IV
1610-43 Louis XIII
1643-1715 Louis XIV
1715-74 Louis XV
1774-92 Louis XVI
(1793-95 Louis XVII, titular king)
First Republic
1792-95 National Convention
1795-99 Directoire
1799-1804 The Consulate
First Empire
1804-14 Napoleon I
(1814 Napoleon II, titular emperor)
The house bourbon
1814-15 Louis XVIII
First Empire (“The Hundred Days”)
1815 Napoleon I
(1815 Napoleon II, titular emperor)
The house bourbon
1815-24 Louis XVIII
1824-30 Karl X
Pine Bourbon Orleans
1830-48 Louis Philip I
Second Republic (President)
1848-52 Louis Napoléon Bonaparte
Second Empire
1852-70 Napoleon III
Third Republics (Presidents)
1871-73 Adolphe Thiers
1873-79 Patrice Maurice de Mac-Mahon
1879-87 Jules Grévy
1887-94 Sadi Carnot
1894-95 Jean Paul Casimir-Périer
1895-99 Félix Faure
1899-1906 Émile Loubet
1906-13 Armand Fallières
1913-20 Raymond Poincaré
1920 Paul Deschanel
1920-24 Alexandre Millerand
1924-31 Gaston Doumergue
1931-32 Paul Doumer
1932-40 Albert Lebrun
Vichy regime
1940-44 Philippe Pétain
Provisional Government
1944-46 Charles de Gaulle
1946 Félix Gouin
1946 Georges Bidault
1946-47 Léon Blum
Fourth Republic (Presidents)
1947-54 Vincent Auriol
1954-59 René Coty
Fifth Republic (Presidents)
1959-69 Charles de Gaulle
1969-74 Georges Pompidou
1974-81 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing
1981-95 François Mitterrand
1995-2007 Jacques Chirac
2007-12 Nicolas Sarkozy
2012-17 François Hollande
2017- Emmanuel Macron

Heads of Government (from 1914)

Third Republic
1914-15 René Viviani
1915-17 Aristide Briand
1917 Alexandre Ribot
1917 Paul Painlevé
1917-20 Georges Clemenceau
1920 Alexandre Millerand
1920-21 Georges Leygues
1921-22 Aristide Briand
1922-24 Raymond Poincaré
1924 Frédéric François-Marsal
1924-25 Édouard Herriot
1925 Paul Painlevé
1925-26 Aristide Briand
1926 Édouard Herriot
1926-29 Raymond Poincaré
1929 Aristide Briand
1929-30 André Tardieu
1930 Camille Chautemps
1930 André Tardieu
1930-31 Theodore Steeg
1931-32 Pierre Laval
1932 André Tardieu
1932 Édouard Herriot
1932-33 Joseph Paul-Boncour
1933 Édouard Daladier
1933 Albert Sarraut
1933-34 Camille Chautemps
1934 Édouard Daladier
1934 Gaston Doumergue
1934-35 Pierre Étienne Flandin
1935 Fernand Bouisson
1935-36 Pierre Laval
1936 Albert Sarraut
1936-37 Léon Blum
1937-38 Camille Chautemps
1938 Léon Blum
1938-40 Édouard Daladier
1940 Paul Reynaud
1940 Philippe Pétain
Vichy regime
1940-42 Philippe Pétain
1942-44 Pierre Laval
Provisional Government
1944-46 Charles de Gaulle
1946 Félix Gouin
1946 Georges Bidault
1946-47 Léon Blum
Fourth Republic
1947 Paul Ramadier
1947-48 Robert Schuman
1948 André Marie
1948 Robert Schuman
1948-49 Henri Queuille
1949-50 Georges Bidault
1950 Henri Queuille
1950-51 René Pleven
1951 Henri Queuille
1951-52 René Pleven
1952 Édgar Faure
1952-53 Antoine Pinay
1953 René Mayer
1953-54 Joseph Laniel
1954-55 Pierre Mendès-France
1955-56 Édgar Faure
1956-57 Guy Mollet
1957 Maurice Bourgès- Maunoury
1957-58 Félix Gaillard
1958 Pierre Pflimlin
1958-59 Charles de Gaulle
Fifth Republic
1959-62 Michel Debré
1962-68 Georges Pompidou
1968-69 Maurice Couve de Murville
1969-72 Jacques Chaban-Delmas
1972-74 Pierre Messmer
1974-76 Jacques Chirac
1976-81 Raymond Barre
1981-84 Pierre Mauroy
1984-86 Laurent Fabius
1986-88 Jacques Chirac
1988-91 Michel Rocard
1991-92 Édith Cresson
1992-93 Pierre Bérégovoy
1993-95 Édouard Balladur
1995-97 Alain Juppé
1997-2002 Lionel Jospin
2002-05 Jean-Pierre Raffarin
2005-07 Dominique de Villepin
2007-12 François Fillon
2012-14 Jean-Marc Ayrault
2014-16 Manuel Valls
2016-17 Bernard Cazeneuve
2017- Édouard Philippe