France: Government

French Republic Flag
Coat of Arms of French Republic

Key Figures

Chief of State: President François Hollande

Head of Government: Prime Minister Manuel Valls

Overview

Government Name: French Republic

Constitution: Adopted: 1958; French constitution establishes France as a secular and democratic country. It allows for the ratification of international treaties, especially those related to the European Union, and describes the methods for its amendments.

Government Type: Republic

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The president appoints the prime minister and cabinet and, if from the same political side, he can ask for him to resign upon demand. The prime minister may issue autonomous or subordinated regulations.

The president is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system. The prime minister is appointed by the president.

5 years

Judicial

The constitutional council is elected by the president and parliament. The independent judiciary system does not answer to, and is not controlled by, the other two branches of government.

Court of cassation judges are appointed by the president of the republic from nominations from the high council of the judiciary, presided by the court of cassation and 15 appointed members. 3 constitutional council members are each appointed by the national assembly and senate presidents and another 3 are appointed by the president of the republic.

Court of Cassation no term limit; Constitutional Court: 9 years

Legislative

The national assembly has the power to force the resignation of the executive cabinet by a vote. Both the senate and assembly contain committees that write reports and can establish parliamentary inquiry commissions with broad investigative power.

The national assembly has 577 members elected by absolute majority vote in single-member constituencies. The senate has 348 members who are indirectly elected by an electoral college.

National Assembly: 5 years; Senate: 9 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: France is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, and the European Coal and Steel Community. France plays a major role worldwide as a center for international relations because of it involvement in many international organizations as well as housing the headquarters for the OECD, UNESCO, and Interpol. France still retains political and economic influence in its former African Colonies and also is a large worldwide donor of developmental aid.

Regional Trade Blocs: European Union

Treaties: NATO, Common Security and Defense Policy


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ADB AfDB Arctic Council Australia Group BDEAC BIS
BSEC CBSS CE CERN EAPC EBRD
ECB EIB EITI EMU ESA ESCAP
EU FAO FATF FZ G-10 G-20
G-5 G-7 G-8 IADB IAEA IBRD
ICAO ICC ICRM IDA IEA IFAD
IFC IFRCS IGAD IHO ILO IMF
IMO IMSO InOC Interpol IOC IOM
IPU ISO ITSO ITU ITUC MIGA
MINURSO MINUSMA MINUSTAH MONUSCO NATO NEA
NSG OAS OECD OIF OPCW OSCE
Pacific Alliance Paris Club PCA PIF Schengen Convention SELEC
SPC UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNHCR UNIDO
UNIFIL Union Latina UNMIL UNOCI UNRWA UNSC
UNTSO UNWTO UPU WCO WFTU WHO
WIPO WMO WTO ZC

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Air Pollution Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants Air Pollution-Sulfur 85 Air Pollution-Sulfur 94 Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
Antarctic Seals Antarctic Treaty Antarctic-Environmental Protocol Antarctic-Marine Living Resources Biodiversity Climate Change
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Endangered Species Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea Marine Dumping
Marine Life Conservation Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Tropical Timber 06 Wetlands Whaling

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: French Ministry of Finance

Tax Name: VAT


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary