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France Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: French Republic
conventional short form: France
local long form: Republique francaise
local short form: France
etymology: name derives from the Latin "Francia" meaning "Land of the Franks"; the Franks were a group of Germanic tribes located along the middle and lower Rhine River in the 3rd century A.D. who merged with Gallic-Roman populations in succeeding centuries and to whom they passed on their name
Government typesemi-presidential republic
Capitalname: Paris
geographic coordinates: 48 52 N, 2 20 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: applies to metropolitan France only, not to its overseas departments, collectivities, or territories
Administrative divisions18 regions (regions, singular - region); Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte (Burgundy-Free County), Bretagne (Brittany), Centre-Val de Loire (Center-Loire Valley), Corse (Corsica), Grand Est (Grand East), Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guiana), Hauts-de-France (Upper France), Ile-de-France, Martinique, Mayotte, Normandie (Normandy), Nouvelle-Aquitaine (New Aquitaine), Occitanie (Occitania), Pays de la Loire (Lands of the Loire), Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Reunion
note: France is divided into 13 metropolitan regions (including the "territorial collectivity" of Corse or Corsica) and 5 overseas regions (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion) and is subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments and 5 overseas departments (which are the same as the overseas regions)
Dependent areasClipperton Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna
note: the US Government does not recognize claims to Antarctica; New Caledonia has been considered a "sui generis" collectivity of France since 1998, a unique status falling between that of an independent country and a French overseas department
Independenceno official date of independence: 486 (Frankish tribes unified under Merovingian kingship); 10 August 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 14 July 1789 (French monarchy overthrown); 22 September 1792 (First French Republic founded); 4 October 1958 (Fifth French Republic established)
National holidayFete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - although often incorrectly referred to as Bastille Day, the celebration actually commemorates the holiday held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (on 14 July 1789) and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy; other names for the holiday are Fete Nationale (National Holiday) and quatorze juillet (14th of July)
Constitutionhistory: many previous; latest effective 4 October 1958
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic (upon recommendation of the prime minister and Parliament) or by Parliament; proposals submitted by Parliament members require passage by both houses followed by approval in a referendum; passage of proposals submitted by the government can bypass a referendum if submitted by the president to Parliament and passed by at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament’s National Assembly; amended many times, last in 2008 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law; review of administrative but not legislative acts
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of France
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017)
head of government: Prime Minister Edouard PHILIPPE (since 15 May 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president at the suggestion of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 April and 7 May 2017 (next to be held on April (first round) and May (second round) 2022); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Emmanuel MACRON elected president; percent of vote in first round - Emmanuel MACRON (EM) 24.0%, Marine LE PEN (FN) 21.3%, Francois FILLON (LR) 20.0%, Jean-Luc MELENCHON (FI) 19.6%, Benoit HAMON (PS) 6.4%, other 8.7%; percent of vote in second round - MACRON 66.1%%, LE PEN 33.9%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (348 seats - 328 for metropolitan France and overseas departments and regions of Guadeloupe, Martinque, French Guiana, Reunion, and Mayotte, 2 for New Caledonia, 2 for French Polynesia, 1 for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, 1 for Saint-Barthelemy, 1 for Saint-Martin, 1 for Wallis and Futuna, and 12 for French nationals abroad; members indirectly elected by departmental electoral colleges using absolute majority vote in two rounds if needed for departments with 1-3 members and proportional representation vote in departments with 4 or more members; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (577 seats - 556 for metropolitan France, 10 for overseas departments, and 11 for citizens abroad; members directly elected by absolute majority vote in two rounds if needed to serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held 24 September 2017); National Assembly - last held on 10 and 17 June 2012 (next to be held 11 and 18 June 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 187, PS 152, other 9; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - PS 48.5%, UMP 33.6%, miscellaneous left wing parties 3.8%, Greens 3.0%, miscellaneous right wing parties 2.6%, NC 2.1%, PRG 2.1%, FDG 1.7%, other 2.6%; seats by party - PS 280, UMP 194, miscellaneous left wing parties 22, Greens 17, miscellaneous right wing parties 15, NC 12, PRG 12, FDG 10, other 15
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of the court president, 6 divisional presiding judges, 120 trial judges, and 70 deputy judges organized into 6 divisions - 3 civil, 1 commercial, 1 labor, and 1 criminal); Constitutional Council (consists of 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges 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; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Council members appointed - 3 by the president of the republic and 3 each by the National Assembly and Senate presidents; members serve 9-year, non-renewable terms with one third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: appellate courts or Cour d'Appel; regional courts or Tribunal de Grande Instance; first instance courts or Tribunal d'instance
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Movement or MODEM [Francois BAYROU]
Europe Ecology - The Greens or EELV [David CORMAND]
Forward! (En Marche!) or EM [Catherine BARBAROUX, acting]
French Communist Party or PCF [Pierre LAURENT]
La France insoumise or FI [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]
Left Front Coalition or FDG [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]
Left Party or PG [collective leadership; main leaders Jean-Luc MELENCHON and Francois COCO, linked with the movement La France Insoumise or FI [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]]
Left Radical Party or PRG [Sylvia PINEL] (previously Radical Socialist Party or PRS and the Left Radical Movement or MRG)
Movement for France or MPF [Philippe DE VILLIERS]
National Front or FN [Marine LE PEN]
New Anticapitalist Party or NPA [collective leadership; main spokesperson Christine POUPIN; presidential candIdate Philippe POUTOU]
Rally for France or RPF [Igor KUREK]
Republican and Citizen Movement or MRC [Jean-Luc LAURENT]
Socialist Party or PS [vacant]
Stand Up France (Debout La France) [Nicolas DUPONT-AIGNAN]
The Centrists [Herve MORIN] (formerly new Center of NC)
The Republicans or LR (formerly Union for a Popular Movement or UMP) [vacant]
Union des Democrates et Independants or UDI [Jean-Christohe LAGARDE] and Democratic Movement or MoDem [Francois BAYROU] (previously Union for French Democracy or UDF); together known as UDI-Modem; Radical Party [Laurent HENART] is a member of UDI
United Republic or RS [Dominique DE VILLEPIN]
Worker's Struggle (Lutte Ouvriere) or LO; also known as Communist Union; [collective leadership; spokespersons Nathalie ARTHAUD and Arlette LAGUILLER]
Political pressure groups and leadersConfederation francaise de l'encadrement - Confederation generale des cadres (French Confederation of Management - General Confederation of Executives) or CFE-CGC [Francois HOMMERIL, president] (independent white-collar union with 140,000 members)
Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail (French Democratic Confederation of Labor) or CFDT [Laurent BERGER, secretary general] (left-leaning labor union with approximately 875,000 members)
Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens (French Confederation of Christian Workers) or CFTC [Philippe LOUIS, president] (independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 142,000 members)
Confederation generale du travail (General Confederation of Labor) or CGT [Philippe MARTINEZ, secretary general] (historically communist labor union with approximately 710,000 members)
Confederation generale du travail - Force ouvriere (General Confederation of Labor - Worker's Force) or FO [Jean-Claude MAILLY, secretary general] (independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members)
Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF [Pierre GATTAZ, president] (employers' union with claimed 750,000 companies as members)

French Guiana:
conservationists; gold mining pressure groups; hunting pressure groups

Guadeloupe:
Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG
General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers or CGT-G
General Union of Guadeloupe Workers or UGTG
Movement for an Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI
The Socialist Renewal Movement

Martinique:
Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC
Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM
Frantz Fanon Circle
League of Workers and Peasants
Proletarian Action Group or GAP

Reunion:
NA
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, FZ, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Gerard ARAUD (since 18 September 2014)
chancery: 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 944-6000
FAX: [1] (202) 944-6166
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Uzra ZEYA (since 20 January 2017) note - also accredited to Monaco
embassy: 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75382 Paris Cedex 08
mailing address: PSC 116, APO AE 09777
telephone: [33] (1) 43-12-22-22
FAX: [33] (1) 42 66 97 83
consulate(s) general: Marseille, Strasbourg
consulate(s): Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes, Toulouse
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the "Le drapeau tricolore" (French Tricolor), the origin of the flag dates to 1790 and the French Revolution when the "ancient French color" of white was combined with the blue and red colors of the Parisian militia; the official flag for all French dependent areas
note: the design and/or colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands
National symbol(s)Gallic rooster, fleur-de-lis, Marianne (female personification); national colors: blue, white, red
National anthemname: "La Marseillaise" (The Song of Marseille)
lyrics/music: Claude-Joseph ROUGET de Lisle
note: adopted 1795, restored 1870; originally known as "Chant de Guerre pour l'Armee du Rhin" (War Song for the Army of the Rhine), the National Guard of Marseille made the song famous by singing it while marching into Paris in 1792 during the French Revolutionary Wars

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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