France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Public consultation, or consultation, is a regulatory process by which the public's input on matters affecting them is sought. Its main goals are in improving the efficiency and public involvement in large-scale projects or laws and policies, it involves notification, consultation as well as participation. A used tool for understanding different levels of community participation in consultation is known as Arnstein's ladder; the process is typical of Commonwealth countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Australia, though most democratic countries have similar systems. In the United States, for example, this process is called "public notice and comment"; some organisations such as the OECD use such processes. In Canada, the word "consultation" has a special meaning among some First Nations Groups: "it is the duty of the Crown and third parties to consult with First Nations who have asserted, but not proved, aboriginal rights or title."There is great variation of public consultations.
In some countries there is a list of all consultations, or consultations are mentioned in normal news feed. Depending on the country there can be regional public consultations. Ineffective consultations are considered to be cosmetic consultations that were done due to obligation or show and not true participatory decision making. Participation Stakeholder theory
Constitutional Council (France)
The Constitutional Council is the highest constitutional authority in France. It was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958 and its duty is to ensure that constitutional principles and rules are upheld, it is housed in Paris. Its main activity is to rule on whether proposed statutes conform with the Constitution, after they have been voted by Parliament and before they are signed into law by the President of the French Republic. However, since 1 March 2010, individual citizens who are party to a trial or a lawsuit have been able to ask for the Council to review whether the law applied in the case is constitutional. In 1971, the Council ruled that conformity with the Constitution entails conformity with two other texts referred to in the preamble of the Constitution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the preamble of the constitution of the Fourth Republic, both of which list constitutional rights; this article refers extensively to individual articles in the Constitution of France.
The reader should refer to the official translation of the Constitution on the site of the French National Assembly. Another recommended reading is the Constitutional Council overview on the Council web site; the Government of France consists of an executive branch, a legislative branch, a judicial branch. The judicial branch is, unlike for instance the federal judiciary of the United States under the Supreme Court, not organized into a single hierarchy, some of its entities have advisory functions. For historical reasons there has long been a hostility to having anything resembling a "Supreme Court"—that is, a powerful court able to quash legislation. Whether the Council is a court is a subject of academic discussion, but some scholars consider it the supreme court of France; the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic distinguishes two distinct kinds of legislation: statute law, voted upon by Parliament and government regulations, which are enacted by the Prime Minister and his government as decrees and other regulations.
Article 34 of the Constitution exhaustively lists the areas reserved for statute law: these include, for instance, criminal law. Any regulation issued by the executive in the areas constitutionally reserved for statute law is unconstitutional unless it has been authorized as secondary legislation by a statute. Any citizen with an interest in the case can obtain the cancellation of these regulations by the Council of State, on grounds that the executive has exceeded its authority. Furthermore, the Council of State can quash regulations on grounds that they violate existing statute law, constitutional rights or the "general principles of law". In addition, new acts can be referred to the Constitutional Council by a petition just prior to being signed into law by the President of the Republic; the most common circumstance for this is that 60 opposition members of the National Assembly, or 60 opposition members of the Senate request such a review. If the Prime Minister thinks that some clauses of existing statute law instead belong to the domain of regulations, he can ask the Council to reclassify these clauses as regulations.
Traditionally, France refused to accept the idea that courts could quash legislation enacted by Parliament. This goes back to the French revolutionary era: pre-revolutionary courts had used their power not to register laws and thus prevent their application for political purposes, had blocked reforms. French courts were prohibited from making rulings of a general nature, it seemed that if courts could quash legislation after it had been enacted and taken into account by citizens, it would introduce legal uncertainties: how could a citizen plan his or her actions according to what is legal or not if laws could a posteriori be found not to hold? Yet, in the late 20th century, courts administrative courts, began applying the consequences of international treaties, including law of the European Union, as superior to national law. A 2009 reform, effective on 1 March 2010, enables parties to a lawsuit or trial to question the constitutionality of the law, being applied to them; the procedure, known as question prioritaire de constitutionnalité, is broadly as follows: the question is raised before the trial judge and, if it has merit, it is forwarded to the appropriate supreme court.
The supreme court submits them to the Constitutional Council. If the Constitutional Council rules a law to be unconstitutional, this law is struck down from the law books; the Council has two main areas of power: The first is the supervision of elections, both presidential and parliamentary and ensuring the legitimacy of referendums. They issue the official results, they ensure proper conduct and fairness, they see that campaign spending limits are adhered to; the Council is the supreme authority in these matters. The Council can declare an election to be invalid if improperly conducted, or if the elected candidate used illegal methods, or if he spent for his campaign over the legal limits; the second area of Council power is the interpretation of the fundamental
Politics of France
The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the French Fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an "indivisible, secular and social Republic"; the constitution provides for a separation of powers and proclaims France's "attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789." The political system of France consists of an executive branch, a legislative branch, a judicial branch. Executive power is exercised by the President of the Government; the Government consists of ministers. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, is responsible to Parliament; the government, including the Prime Minister, can be revoked by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, through a "censure motion". Parliament comprises the Senate, it passes votes on the budget. The constitutionality of the statutes is checked by the Constitutional Council, members of which are appointed by the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate.
Former presidents of the Republic are members of the Council. The independent judiciary is based upon civil law system, it is divided into the judicial branch and the administrative branch, each with their own independent supreme court of appeal: the Court of Cassation for the judicial courts and the Conseil d'Etat for the administrative courts. The French government includes various bodies. France is a unitary state. However, its administrative subdivisions—regions and communes—have various legal functions, the national government is prohibited from intruding into their normal operations. France was a founding member of the European Coal and Steel Community the European Union; as such, France has transferred part of its sovereignty to European institutions, as provided by its constitution. The French government therefore has to abide by European treaties and regulations; the Economist Intelligence Unit has described France as a "flawed democracy" in 2018. A popular referendum approved the constitution of the French Fifth Republic in 1958 strengthening the authority of the presidency and the executive with respect to Parliament.
The constitution does not contain a bill of rights in itself, but its preamble mentions that France should follow the principles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, as well as those of the preamble to the constitution of the Fourth Republic. This has been judged to imply that the principles laid forth in those texts have constitutional value, that legislation infringing on those principles should be found unconstitutional if a recourse is filed before the Constitutional Council. Recent modifications of the Constitution have added a reference in the preamble to an Environment charter that has full constitutional value, a right for citizens to contest the constitutionality of a statute before the Constitutional Council; the foundational principles of the constitution include: the equality of all citizens before law, the rejection of special class privileges such as those that existed prior to the French Revolution. France has a semi-presidential system of government, with both a Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister is responsible to the French Parliament. A presidential candidate is required to obtain a nationwide majority of non-blank votes at either the first or second round of balloting, which implies that the President is somewhat supported by at least half of the voting population; as a consequence, the President of France is the pre-eminent figure in French politics. He appoints the Prime Minister. Though the President may not de jure dismiss the prime Minister if the Prime Minister is from the same political side, he can, in practice, have him resign on demand, he appoints the ministers, ministers-delegate and secretaries. When the President's political party or supporters control parliament, the President is the dominant player in executive action, choosing whomever he wishes for the government, having it follow his political agenda. However, when the President's political opponents control parliament, the President's dominance can be limited, as he must choose a Prime Minister and government who reflect the majority in parliament, who will implement the agenda of the parliamentary majority.
When parties from opposite ends of the political spectrum control parliament and the presidency, the power-sharing arrangement is known as cohabitation. Before 2002, cohabitation occurred more because the term of the President was seven years and the term of the National Assembly was five years. With the term of the President shortened to five years, with the presidential and parliamentary elections separated by only a few months, this
France–Asia relations span a period of more than two millennia, starting in the 6th century BCE with the establishment of Marseille by Greeks from Asia Minor, continuing in the 3rd century BCE with Gaulish invasions of Asia Minor to form the kingdom of Galatia and Frankish Crusaders forming the Crusader States. Since these early interactions, France has had a rich history of contacts with the Asian continent; the Phoenicians had an early presence around Marseille in southern France. Phoenician inscriptions have been found there; the oldest city of France, was formally founded in 600 BCE by Greeks from the Asia Minor city of Phocaea as a trading port under the name Μασσαλία. These eastern Greeks, established on the shores of southern France, were in close relations with the Celtic inhabitants of France, Greek influence and artifacts penetrated northwards along the Rhône valley; the site of Vix in northern Burgundy became an active trading center between Greeks and natives, attested by the discovery of Greek artifacts of the period.
The mother city of Phocaea would be destroyed by the Persians in 545 BCE, further reinforcing the exodus of the Phocaeans to their settlements of the Western Mediterranean. Populations intermixed. Trading links were extensive, in iron, spices and slaves, with tin being imported to Marseille overland from Cornwall; the Greek settlements permitted cultural interaction between the Greeks and the Celts, in particular helped develop an urban way of life in Celtic lands, contacts with sophisticated Greek methods, as well as regular East-West trade. Overland trade with Celtic countries declined around 500 however, with the troubles following the end of the Halstatt civilization; because of demographic pressure, the Senones Gauls departed from Central France under Brennus to sack Rome in the Battle of the Allia c. 390 BCE. Expansion continued eastward, into the Aegean world, with a huge migration of Eastern Gauls appearing in Thrace, north of Greece, in 281 BCE in the Gallic invasion of the Balkans, favoured by the troubled rule of the Diadochi after Alexander the Great.
A part of the invasion crossed over to Anatolia and settled in the area that came to be named after them, Galatia. The invaders, led by Leonnorius and Lutarius, came at the invitation of Nicomedes I of Bithynia, who required help in a dynastic struggle against his brother Zipoites II. Three tribes crossed over from Thrace to Asia Minor, they numbered about 10,000 fighting men and about the same number of women and children, divided into three tribes, Trocmi and Tectosages. They were defeated by the Seleucid king Antiochus I, in a battle where the Seleucid war elephants shocked the Celts. While the momentum of the invasion was broken, the Galatians were by no means exterminated. Instead, the migration led to the establishment of a long-lived Celtic territory in central Anatolia, which included the eastern part of ancient Phrygia, a territory that became known as Galatia. There they settled, being strengthened by fresh accessions of the same clan from Europe, they overran Bithynia and supported themselves by plundering neighbouring countries.
In 189 BCE Rome sent Gnaeus Manlius Vulso on an expedition against the Galatians. He defeated them. Galatia was henceforth dominated by Rome through regional rulers from 189 BCE onward. Christianity, following its emergence in the Near-Eastern part of Asia, was traditionally introduced by Mary, Martha and some companions, who were expelled by persecutions from the Holy Land, they traversed the Mediterranean in a frail boat with neither rudder nor mast and landed at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer near Arles in 40 CE. Provençal tradition names Lazarus as the first bishop of Marseille, while Martha purportedly went on to tame a terrible beast in nearby Tarascon. Pilgrims visited their tombs at the abbey of Vézelay in Burgundy. In the Abbey of the Trinity at Vendôme, a phylactery was said to contain a tear shed by Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus; the cathedral of Autun, not far away, is dedicated to Lazarus as Saint Lazaire. The first written records of Christians in France date from the 2nd century when Irenaeus detailed the deaths of ninety-year-old bishop Pothinus of Lugdunum and other martyrs of the 177 persecution in Lyon.
In 496 Remigius baptized Clovis I, converted from paganism to Catholicism. Clovis I, considered the founder of France, made himself the ally and protector of the papacy and his predominantly Catholic subjects. In the beginning of the 5th century, various Asian nomadic tribes of Iranian origin the Taifals and Sarmatians, were settled in Gaul by the Romans as coloni, they settled in the regions of Aquitaine and Poitou, which at one point was called Thifalia or Theiphalia in the 6th century, with remaining place names such as Tiffauges. Some Sarmatians had been settled in the Rodez–Velay region. From 414, Alans who had allied and split with the Visigoths, entered into an agreement with the Romans which allowed them to settle in the area between Toulouse and the Mediterranean where they played a defensive role against the Visigoth in Spain; the Roman general Aetius settled Alans in Gaul for military purposes, first in the region of Valence in 440 to control the lower Isère valley, in 442 in the area around Orléans to counter the Armorican Bacaudae.
Some cities have been named after them, such as Allainville. In 450 Attila proclaimed his intent to attack the powerful Visigoth kingdom of Toulouse, making an alliance with Emperor Valentinian III in order to do so. Attila gathered his vassals—Gepids, Rug
Conseil d'État (France)
In France, the Council of State is a body of the French national government that acts both as legal adviser of the executive branch and as the supreme court for administrative justice. Established in 1799 by Napoleon as a successor to the King's Council, it is located in the Palais-Royal in Paris and is made up of top-level legal officers; the Vice President of the Council of State ranks 9th as the most important civil servant in France. Members of the Conseil D'État are part of a Grand Corps of the French State; the Conseil D'État recruits among the top ranking students graduating from the École nationale d'administration. A General Session of the Council of State is presided over by the Prime Minister or, in his absence, the Minister of Justice. However, since the real presidency of the Council is held by the Vice-President, he presides all but the most ceremonial assemblies; this is done for obvious reasons pertaining to the separation of powers. Other members of the Council include, by decreasing order of importance: Department heads Councillors ordinary Councillors extraordinary Masters of requests Master of requests extraordinary Senior masters Masters The Vice-President is appointed by Order-in-Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice and is selected from among the Council's department heads or councillors ordinary.
Division heads are appointed and selected from among the councillors ordinary. Councillors ordinary, masters of requests, senior masters are appointed based on seniority from the preceding rank. Appointees from outside the Council may include administrative law judges or may come from outside the justice system. Masters are recruited from among the graduates of France's National Administration Academy; the Council sits in the Palais Royal located in Paris. The Council is divided into 7 divisions: Administrative Claims — see below. Report and Studies: writes the annual report, conducts studies and helps to oversee judgments and verdicts are carried out. Finances, the Interior and Social Security, Public Works and Administrative Issues review any and all Cabinet-issued orders and statutory instruments and examine and sign off on all Orders of Council; these reviews, though mandatory, are not binding. The Council of State studies legal issues and problems brought before the Cabinet. In addition, it is responsible for carrying out administrative court inspections.
The Council of State originates from the 13th century by which time the King's Court had split into three sections, one of, the King's Council, which too broke up into three distinct parts: the Conseil secret'Privy Council', the Conseil privé'Private Council', Conseil des finances'Council of Finances'. Reorganized under Louis XIV into two major groupings, it was the Conseil d'État privé, finances et direction, the direct ancestor of the Council of State, it brought together legal experts to advise the King on claims against the Crown. Established in 1557, this was the largest of the King's Councils made up of France's High Chancellor, lords of peerage and Secretaries of State, the Comptroller-General, 30 Councillors of State, 80 masters of requests, the Intendants of Finance; the judicial portion of the Council was known as the Conseil d'État Conseil des parties. The kings, who had the power to dispense justice and hand down judgments as the court of last resort, delegated this judicial power to royal courts and parlements.
But the French king still retained the power to override them at will. French kings maintained their privilege to decide major issues and hand down judgements when administrative acts were in dispute; the judgments of the King's Council of State were regarded as being issued under the King's residual proper jurisdiction, that is, the sovereign's reserved power to dispense justice in certain matters. Legal advisors assisted the King in developing new laws and, by delegated jurisdiction, directly exercised sovereign rights. For more on French government administration during the Old Regime, see Ancien Régime in France; the current Council of State was established by the French Consulate government in 1799 as a judicial body mandated to adjudicate claims against the State and assist in the drafting of important laws. The First Consul presided over Council sessions, the Council performed many of the functions of a Cabinet. After the Bourbon Restoration, the Council was retained as an administrative court but without its former prominence.
Its role was more defined by an 1872 Act of Parliament. Certain types of statutory instruments must be examined by the Council and receive its advisory approval, including: All draft legislation proposed by non-parliamentary members and prior to being introduced before Parliament. Orders-in-council, signed by the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers. A statutory law will authorize, prescribe, or prohibit an action defined in broad terms and require a government order to define its scope and a
National Assembly (France)
The National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic, the upper house being the Senate. The National Assembly's members are known as députés. There are 577 députés, each elected by a single-member constituency through a two-round voting system. Thus, 289 seats are required for a majority; the assembly is presided over by a president from the largest party represented, assisted by vice-presidents from across the represented political spectrum. The term of the National Assembly is five years; this measure is becoming rarer since the 2000 referendum reduced the presidential term from seven to five years: a President has a majority elected in the Assembly two months after the presidential election, it would be useless for him/her to dissolve it for those reasons. Following a tradition started by the first National Assembly during the French Revolution, the "left-wing" parties sit to the left as seen from the president's seat, the "right-wing" parties sit to the right, the seating arrangement thus directly indicates the political spectrum as represented in the Assembly.
The official seat of the National Assembly is the Palais Bourbon on the banks of the river Seine. It is guarded by Republican Guards; the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic increased the power of the executive at the expense of Parliament, compared to previous constitutions. The President of the Republic can decide to dissolve the National Assembly and call for new legislative elections; this is meant as a way to resolve stalemates where the Assembly cannot decide on a clear political direction. This possibility is exercised; the last dissolution was by Jacques Chirac in 1997, following from the lack of popularity of prime minister Alain Juppé. The National Assembly can overthrow the executive government by a motion of no confidence. For this reason, the prime minister and his cabinet are from the dominant party or coalition in the assembly. In the case of a president and assembly from opposing parties, this leads to the situation known as cohabitation. While motions de censure are periodically proposed by the opposition following government actions that it deems inappropriate, they are purely rhetorical.
Since the beginning of the Fifth Republic, there has only been one single successful motion de censure, in 1962 in hostility to the referendum on the method of election of the President, President Charles de Gaulle dissolved the Assembly within a few days. The government used to set the priorities of the agenda for the assembly's sessions, except for a single day each month. In practice, given the number of priority items, it meant that the schedule of the assembly was entirely set by the executive. This, was amended on 23 July 2008. Under the amended constitution, the government sets the priorities for two weeks in a month. Another week is designated for the assembly's "control" prerogatives, and the fourth one is set by the assembly. One day per month is set by a "minority" or "opposition" group. Members of the assembly can ask oral questions to ministers; the Wednesday afternoon 3 p.m. session of "questions to the Government" is broadcast live on television. Like Prime Minister's Questions in Britain, it is a show for the viewers, with members of the majority asking flattering questions, while the opposition tries to embarrass the government.
The history of national representation for two centuries is linked to history of the democratic principle and the uneven road that it had to go before finding in the French institutions the consecration, its own today. Although the French have periodically elected representatives since 1789, the mode of appointment and the powers of these representatives have varied according to the times, the periods of erasure of the parliamentary institution coinciding with a decline in public liberties. In this respect, the names are not innocent; the name of National Assembly, chosen in the fervor of 1789, just reappears - if we except the short parenthesis of 1848 - in 1946. In the meantime, more or less reductive appellations "Instituted by the Constitution of the year III in August 1795," Chamber of deputies of the departments "," House of Representatives "," Legislative body "," Chambers of deputies ", etc.) which show, to varying degrees, the reluctance or the declared hostility of some governments or governments to the principle