France flag France: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of France

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President : Emmanuel Macron (since 14 May 2017; re-elected for a second term on 24 April 2022)
Prime Minister: Gabriel Attal (since 9 January 2024)
Next Election Dates
Presidential elections: April 2027
Senate: September 2026
National Assembly: June 2027
Current Political Context
As the polls predicted, the 2022 presidential elections resulted in a duel between President Emmanuel Macron (La République En Marche, centre-liberal party) and Marine Le Pen (Rassemblement National, far right), amid failed attempts to unify the left. In April 2022, Macron was re-elected for an additional 5-year term, but abstention reached a 50-year record, and Le Pen managed to gather 41.46% of the votes. As Macron’s Ensemble! (Together) coalition lost its parliamentary majority at the legislative election in June, policymaking has become more challenging.
In April 2023, France's Constitutional Council approved the key elements of President Emmanuel Macron's controversial pension reform, which had triggered many protests and strikes in the preceding months. The court invalidated six measures considered non-essential to the core of the reform and rejected a request from the left for a referendum on an alternative pension law that aimed to maintain the retirement age at 62 (instead of 64).
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne's position has been precarious since an immigration bill proposed by Macron was rejected in parliament. Eventually, the bill was passed with numerous contentious amendments introduced by the centre-right opposition, sparking protests from the left-wing side of the Parliament. In an attempt to revamp his government, Macron decided to nominate the 34-year-old education minister Gabriel Attal as the new prime minister, becoming France's youngest-ever prime minister and leading a partially reshuffled government team composed mainly of political figures from the centre and centre-right.
Main Political Parties
- The Socialist Party (PS): centre-left, social democratic party that advocates for social justice, equality, and solidarity
- The Republicans: center-right party founded in 2002. It is the second-largest party in the National Assembly. The party is generally considered Gaullist, supporting a strong French state and national identity
- En Marche: centre, new liberal political movement founded by Emmanuel Macron
- National Rally (RN): far-right; first parliamentary representation in 1997 and gaining support amid growing voter scepticism towards the EU
- The Democratic Movement (MoDem): centrist
- Europe Ecology - The Greens (EELV): emphasises ecology and peaceful and sustainable lifestyles
- La France Insoumise (Unbowed France) (FI): far-left
- French Communist Party (PCF): communism, soft euro-scepticism
Executive Power
The President of the Republic is the Head of State. He/She is elected by direct universal suffrage for five years. He/She appoints the Prime Minister and his/her Government at the suggestion of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister sets the amount of the State's expenses and revenue and prepares some bills.
Legislative Power
The parliament is composed of the Senate and the National Assembly. The 348 senators are elected by indirect universal suffrage for nine years, renewable by a one-third majority vote every three years. The 577 deputies (MPs) are elected by direct universal suffrage. They examine bills and private bills successively, vote laws and monitor the Government. The economic, social and environmental council has an advisory function (optional or compulsory) within the framework of the legislative process.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
34/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Free
Political Freedom:
1/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: February 2024

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