President of the French Republic
The President of the French Republic is the executive head of state of France in the French Fifth Republic. In French terms, the presidency is the supreme magistracy of the country; the powers and duties of prior presidential offices, as well as their relation with the Prime Minister and Government of France, have over time differed with the various constitutional documents since 1848. The President of the French Republic is the ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, Grand Master of the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit; the officeholder is honorary proto-canon of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, although some have rejected the title in the past; the current President of the French Republic is Emmanuel Macron, who succeeded François Hollande on 14 May 2017. The presidency of France was first publicly proposed during the July Revolution of 1830, when it was offered to the Marquis de Lafayette, he demurred in favor of Prince Louis Phillipe. Eighteen years during the opening phases of the Second Republic, the title was created for a popularly elected head of state, the first of whom was Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, nephew of Emperor Napoleon.
Bonaparte served in that role until he staged an auto coup against the republic, proclaiming himself Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. Under the Third Republic and Fourth Republic, which were parliamentary systems, the office of President of the Republic was a ceremonial and powerless one; the Constitution of the Fifth Republic increased the President's powers. A 1962 referendum changed the constitution, so that the President would be directly elected by universal suffrage and not by the Parliament. In 2000, a referendum shortened the presidential term from seven years to five years. A maximum of two consecutive terms was imposed after the 2008 constitutional reform. Since the referendum on the direct election of the President of the French Republic in 1962, the officeholder has been directly elected by universal suffrage. After the referendum on the reduction of the mandate of the President of the French Republic, 2000, the length of the term was reduced to five years from the previous seven.
President Jacques Chirac was first elected in 1995 and again in 2002. At that time, there was no limit on the number of terms, so Chirac could have run again, but chose not to, he was succeeded by Nicolas Sarkozy on 16 May 2007. Following a further change, the constitutional law on the modernisation of the institutions of the Fifth Republic, 2008, a President cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac are the only Presidents to date who have served a full two terms. In order to be admitted as an official candidate, potential candidates must receive signed nominations from more than 500 elected officials mayors; these officials must be from at least 30 départements or overseas collectivities, no more than 10% of them should be from the same département or collectivity. Furthermore, each official may nominate only one candidate. There are 45,543 elected officials, including 33,872 mayors. Spending and financing of campaigns and political parties are regulated.
There is a cap on spending, at 20 million euros, government public financing of 50% of spending if the candidate scores more than 5%. If the candidate receives less than 5% of the vote, the government funds €8,000,000 to the party. Advertising on TV is forbidden, but official time is given to candidates on public TV. An independent agency regulates party financing. French presidential elections are conducted via run-off voting, which ensures that the elected president always obtains a majority: if no candidate receives a majority of votes in the first round of voting, the two highest-scoring candidates arrive at a run-off. After the president is elected, he or she goes through a solemn investiture ceremony called a "passation des pouvoirs"; the French Fifth Republic is a semi-presidential system. Unlike many other European presidents, the French President is quite powerful. Although it is the Prime Minister of France, the Government as well as the Parliament that oversee much of the nation's actual day-to-day affairs in domestic issues, the French President wields significant influence and authority in the fields of national security and foreign policy.
The President's greatest power is his/her ability to choose the Prime Minister. However, since the French National Assembly has the sole power to dismiss the Prime Minister's government, the President is forced to name a Prime Minister who can command the support of a majority in the assembly, he or she has the duty of abritrating the well-functioning of governmental authorities for efficient service, as the Head of State of France. When the majority of the Assembly has opposite political views to that of the President, this leads to political cohabitation. In that case, the President's power is diminished, since much of the de facto power relies on a supportive Prime Minister and National Assembly, is not directly attributed to the post of President; when the majority of the Assembly sides with them, the President can take a more active role and may, in effect, direct government policy. The Prime Minister is the personal choice of the President, can be replaced if the administration becomes unpopular.
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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
Separation of powers
The separation of powers is a model for the governance of a state. Under this model, a state's government is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with the powers associated with the other branches; the typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, a judiciary, the trias politica model. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in some parliamentary systems where the executive and legislative branches overlap. Separation of powers, refers to the division of responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core functions of another; the intent of separation of powers is to prevent the concentration of unchecked power by providing for "checks" and "balances" to avoid autocracy, over-reaching by one branch over another, the attending efficiency of governing by one actor without need for negotiation and compromise with any other.
The separation of powers model is imprecisely and metonymically used interchangeably with the trias politica principle. While the trias politica is a common type of model, there are governments which utilize bipartite, rather than tripartite, systems as mentioned in the article. Aristotle first mentioned the idea of a "mixed government" or hybrid government in his work Politics where he drew upon many of the constitutional forms in the city-states of Ancient Greece. In the Roman Republic, the Roman Senate and the Assemblies showed an example of a mixed government according to Polybius. John Calvin favoured a system of government that divided political power between democracy and aristocracy. Calvin appreciated the advantages of democracy, stating: "It is an invaluable gift if God allows a people to elect its own government and magistrates." In order to reduce the danger of misuse of political power, Calvin suggested setting up several political institutions which should complement and control each other in a system of checks and balances.
In this way and his followers resisted political absolutism and furthered the growth of democracy. Calvin aimed to protect the well-being of ordinary people. In 1620, a group of English separatist Congregationalists and Anglicans founded Plymouth Colony in North America. Enjoying self-rule, they established a bipartite democratic system of government; the "freemen" elected the General Court, which functioned as legislature and judiciary and which in turn elected a governor, who together with his seven "assistants" served in the functional role of providing executive power. Massachusetts Bay Colony, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania had similar constitutions – they all separated political powers. Books like William Bradford's History of Plymoth Plantation were read in England. So the form of government in the colonies was well known in the mother country, including to the philosopher John Locke, he deduced from a study of the English constitutional system the advantages of dividing political power into the legislative, on the one hand, the executive and federative power, responsible for the protection of the country and prerogative of the monarch, on the other hand.
The term "tripartite system" is ascribed to French Enlightenment political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, although he did not use such a term. In reality he referred to "distribution" of powers. In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu described the various forms of distribution of political power among a legislature, an executive, a judiciary. Montesquieu's approach was to present and defend a form of government, not excessively centralized in all its powers to a single monarch or similar ruler, form of government known as "aristocracy", he based this model on the Constitution of the British constitutional system. Montesquieu took the view that the Roman Republic had powers separated so that no one could usurp complete power. In the British constitutional system, Montesquieu discerned a separation of powers among the monarch and the courts of law. In every government there are three sorts of power: the legislative. By virtue of the first, the prince or magistrate enacts temporary or perpetual laws, amends or abrogates those that have been enacted.
By the second, he makes peace or war, sends or receives embassies, establishes the public security, provides against invasions. By the third, he determines the disputes that arise between individuals; the latter we shall call the judiciary power, the other the executive power of the state. Montesquieu argues that each Power should only exercise its own functions, it was quite explicit here: When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty. Again, there is no liberty if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and executive. Were it joined with the legisla
The French Parliament is the bicameral legislature of the French Republic, consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly. Each assembly conducts legislative sessions at a separate location in Paris: the Palais du Luxembourg for the Senate and the Palais Bourbon for the National Assembly; each house has its own rules of procedure. However, they may meet as a single house, the French Congress, convened at the Palace of Versailles, to revise and amend the Constitution of France. Parliament meets for a nine-month session each year. Under special circumstances the President can call an additional session. While parliamentary power has been diminished since the Fourth Republic, the National Assembly can still cause a government to fall if an absolute majority of the assembly members votes a motion of no confidence; as a result, the government is from the same political party as the Assembly and must be supported by a majority there to prevent a vote of no-confidence. However, the President appoints the Prime Minister and the ministers and is under no constitutional, mandatory obligation to make those appointments from the ranks of the parliamentary majority party.
Rare periods during which the President is not from the same political party as the Prime Minister are known as cohabitation. The President rather than the prime minister heads the Cabinet of Ministers; the government has a strong influence in shaping the agenda of Parliament. The government can link its term to a legislative text which it proposes, unless a motion of censure is introduced and passed, the text is considered adopted without a vote. However, this procedure has been limited by the 2008 constitutional amendment. Legislative initiative rests with the National Assembly. Members of Parliament enjoy parliamentary immunity. Both assemblies have committees. If necessary, they can establish parliamentary enquiry commissions with broad investigative power. However, the latter possibility is never exercised, since the majority can reject a proposition by the opposition to create an investigation commission; such a commission may only be created if it does not interfere with a judiciary investigation, meaning that in order to cancel its creation, one just needs to press charges on the topic concerned by the investigation commission.
Since 2008, the opposition may impose the creation of an investigation commission once a year against the wishes of the majority. However, they still can't lead investigations; the French Parliament, as a legislative body, should not be confused with the various parlements of the Ancien Régime in France, which were courts of justice and tribunals with certain political functions varying from province to province and as to whether the local law was written and Roman, or customary common law. The word "Parliament", in the modern meaning of the term, appeared in France in the 19th century, at the time of the constitutional monarchy of 1830–1848, it is never mentioned in any constitutional text until the Constitution of the 4th Republic in 1948. Before that time reference was made to "les Chambres" or to each assembly, whatever its name, but never to a generic term as in Britain, its form – unicameral, bicameral, or multicameral – and its functions have taken different forms throughout the different political regimes and according to the various French constitutions: Constitution of France Government of France History of France Politics of France This article is based on the article Parlement français from the French Wikipedia, retrieved on 13 October 2006.
Frank R. Baumgartner, "Parliament's Capacity to Expand Political Controversy in France", Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 33–54. JSTOR: 440044 Marc Abélès, Un ethnologue à l'Assemblée. Paris: Odile Jacob, 2000. An anthropological study of the French National Assembly, of its personnel, codes of behaviors and rites. Official website Site of the CHPP and of Parlement, Revue d'histoire politique
Second Philippe government
The second Philippe government is the forty-first government of the Fifth Republic of France. It is the second government formed by Édouard Philippe under President Emmanuel Macron, following the 2017 legislative elections and the dissolution of the first Philippe government on 19 June 2017; the second Philippe government was formed following scandal among ministers during the first Philippe government. La République En Marche! allies Democratic Movement were facing scandal following allegations that the party used EU funds to pay party workers. Defense minister Sylvie Goulard was the first to step down, resigning on 20 June, 2017; the following day, Minister of Justice Francois Bayrou and European Affairs minister, Marielle de Sarnez stepped down. Richard Ferrand, Minister of Territorial Cohesion, stepped down on 19 June 2017 following Le Canard Enchaîné publishing allegations of nepotism on 24 May 2017. Macron defended Ferrand despite the allegations and public polling showing that 70% of respondents wanted Ferrand to step down.
On 1 July 2017, a regional prosecutor announced that authorities had launched a preliminary investigation into Ferrand. Ferrand responded to the allegations saying everything was "legal and transparent". Ferrand was one of the founding members of La République En Marche and is serving as general secretary for the party. On 31 July 2018 government survived two motions of no confidence following the Benalla affair: the first one obtained 103 ayes, while the second obtained 63 votes. Both motions did not reach the quorum of 289 votes required in the National Assembly. Following the yellow vests movement a motion of no confidence was initiated by the Socialist Party, the French Communist Party and La France Insoumise on 13 December 2018 but the government survived the motion as there were 70 votes in favour, falling short of the required number of 289. Deputy Ministers Secretaries of State On 24 November 2017, Christophe Castaner was replaced as Government Spokesman by Benjamin Griveaux, replaced as Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance by Delphine Gény-Stephann, while Socialist Olivier Dussopt was appointed as Secretary of State to the Minister of Public Action and Accounts.
On 28 August 2018, Nicolas Hulot announced his resignation from the government during a live radio interview on France Inter. On 4 September, Laura Flessel announced her resignation from the government, with their respective replacements announced as Francois de Rugy and Roxana Mărăcineanu. On 1 October 2018, the Minister of the Interior Gérard Collomb brings his resignation to Presisent Marcon, who refuses it, he renews his intention a few days and Emmanuel Macron accepts the resignation. President Macron asks Prime Minister Édouard Philippe to act as interim. On 16 October 2018, Christophe Castaner is appointed Minister of the Interior, which puts an end to Édouard Philippe's tenure. Marc Fesneau replaces Christophe Castaner at Relations with Parliament. Franck Riester is appointed Minister of Culture to replace Françoise Nyssen. Didier Guillaume is appointed Minister of Food in replacement of Stéphane Travert. Jacqueline Gourault is appointed Minister of Territorial Cohesion to replace Jacques Mézard and her portfolio is extended to Relations with local authorities.
Delphine Gény-Stephann is not renewed. Are appointed Secretary of State Gabriel Attal to the National Education, Laurent Nuñez in the Interior, Christelle Dubos to Solidarity and Health, Agnès Pannier-Runacher to the Economy and Emmanuelle Wargon to Ecology. In addition, several members of the government have their powers expanded. On 25 January 2019, Adrien Taquet is appointed Secretary of State for the Protection of Childhood to the Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn. On 27 March 2019, in view of the 2019 European elections and 2020 municipal election in Paris, Nathalie Loiseau, Benjamin Griveaux, as well as Mounir Mahjoubi leave their government responsabilities, with Le Drian temporarily assuming responsibility for Loiseau's ministerial portfolio. On 31 March 2019, Amélie de Montchalin is appointed Secretary of State for European Affairs, succeeding Nathalie Loiseau. Sibeth Ndiaye is appointed succeeding Benjamin Griveaux. Cédric O is appointed State Secretary for the Digital Economy. Official announcement
The Hôtel de Matignon is the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. It is located in the 7th arrondissement of France; the address of Hôtel de Matignon is 57 rue de Paris. "Matignon" is used as a metonym for the governmental action of the Prime Minister of France. In 1649, as part of his plan for the construction of the Hôtel des Invalides, Louis XIV decided to restore the old "Chemin du Bois de la Garenne," which had become the "Rue de Varenne," that linked Saint-Germain-des-Prés, at the western end of Paris, with the marshy terrain chosen as the new building site. Henceforth the "Noble Faubourg" gained a new lease on life, the proximity of Versailles being irresistible for an aristocracy who lived by and for the Court. On 30 September 1717, Christian-Louis de Montmorency Luxembourg, Prince of Tigny and Marshal of France, for the sum of 91 Livres, 2869 toises of land along the Rue de Varenne, he intended to create a country park. In 1722, he commissioned a little-known architect, Jean Courtonne, to conceive and construct a mansion.
His success in this endeavour won him entry to the Academy of Architecture, where he wrote a much-remarked Treatise on Perspectives. But the expense of the enterprise forced the Prince of Tigny to sell, it was Jacques Goyon, Count of Matignon who bought the Hôtel, completed in 1725, as a present for his son, the Duke of Valentinois. Courtonne's design was original. Rising from a broad terrace, the main residence, a two storey building crowned by a balustrade, comprises two suites of rooms. Access from the street is gained by a portico ornamented by columns; this archway reveals the main courtyard, bracketed by two low wings of offices and outbuildings, to the right of which are situated another courtyard, the stables and the kitchens. The façade is broken by three advances; those to the right and left house the staircases, while the central pavilion displays a magnificent balcony sculpted with lion motifs. Visitors' admiration is drawn by two singular architectural features: the segmented cupola of the entrance hall and, to its right, the first room to have been designed for dining.
The façade seen from the garden runs the entire length of the buildings, concealing the main courtyard and the servants' yard. Although the design results in a slight imbalance in the natural disposition of the mansion, it respects the placement of a central pavilion with three panels surmounted by a broken pediment bearing the arms of the owners, its rich interiors made the Hôtel Matignon one of the most elegant and most frequented mansions of Paris. The wood panelling is the work of Michel Lange, who had decorated the Grand Salon of the Hôtel d'Évreux (today the Ambassadors' Salon of the Élysée Palace; the cornices and the stucco work are by Jean Herpin. At the time, any "well-dressed" person was authorised by the owners to visit these splendors in their absence. In 1731, the wife of Jacques de Matignon, daughter of Anthony I Grimaldi, succeeded her father as head of the principality of Monaco. In 1734, their son, Honoré III, mounted the throne. Although he was open to the revolutionary ideas of the time, he was imprisoned on 20 September 1793.
At his liberation a year he was ruined, his property under seal. His sons obtained restitution, but were obliged to put the mansion up for sale in 1802, it was bought by Anne Éléonore Franchi. A professional dancer, she caught the eye, at the Carnival of Venice, of Karl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg, who had three children by her; the Duke died in 1793, finding herself in Vienna and once more a dancer, she became the mistress of Joseph II. The Empress, Maria Theresa, who had no love for her, had her expelled from Austria. Exiled to the East Indies, she returned to France in the company of the Scottish banker Quentin Crawford; the two of them refurnished the Hôtel, which once again became a festive gathering place for the Ancien Régime society and a hotbed of opposition. Close friends of Joséphine de Beauharnais, the couple grew open in their criticism of Napoleon after the divorce. In 1808, the Hôtel Matignon passed into the hands of one of the best-known figures of the first half of the 19th century: Monsieur de Talleyrand, Prince of Bénévent and Deputy Great Elector.
Four times a week he gave dinners for 36 guests, prepared in his kitchens by the renowned Boucher. As the shrewd diplomat that he was, he held a great number of balls in honour of the imperial family. In 1811, Napoleon called on Talleyrand to reimburse the city of Hamburg the four millions it had paid him to avoid incorporation into the new French département of the Bouches-de-l'Elbe; as the endeavour had failed, Talleyrand did not consider it necessary to return the sum. He was obliged to put the Hôtel for sale. In 1815, at the start of the Restoration, Louis XVIII traded the Hôtel de Matignon for the Élysée Palace, which belonged to Louise Marie Thérèse Bathilde d'Orléans, sister of Philippe Égalité, the separated wife of the Duc de Bourbon, she promptly installed a community of nuns on the premises, charged with praying for the souls of victims of the French Revolution. Her niece inherited the property in 1822 and moved the community to the Rue de Picpus to rent out the Hôtel. Following the revolution of 1848, it was planned to place the Hôtel Matignon at the disposal of the head of the executive branch of the new Republic.
But if General Cavaignac chose to reside there until December 1848, the Prince President, Napoleon III, preferred the Élysée Palace. A short time the Hôtel was sold to the Duke of Galliera, Raffaele de Ferrari, member of the Geno
Prime Minister of France
The French Prime Minister in the Fifth Republic is the head of government. During the Third and Fourth Republics, the head of government position was called President of the Council of Ministers shortened to President of the Council; the Prime Minister proposes a list of ministers to the President of the Republic. Decrees and decisions of the Prime Minister, like all executive decisions, are subject to the oversight of the administrative court system. Few decrees are taken after advice from the Council of State. All prime ministers defend the programs of their ministry, make budgetary choices; the extent to which those decisions lie with the Prime Minister or President depends upon whether they are of the same party. Manuel Valls was appointed to lead the government in a cabinet reshuffle in March 2014, after the ruling Socialists suffered a bruising defeat in local elections. However, he resigned on 6 December 2016, to stand in the French Socialist Party presidential primary, 2017 and Bernard Cazeneuve was appointed as Prime Minister that day by President François Hollande.
Cazeneuve resigned on 10 May 2017. Édouard Philippe was named his successor on 15 May 2017. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic, who can select whomever he or she wants. While prime ministers are chosen from amongst the ranks of the National Assembly, on rare occasions the President has selected a non-officeholder because of their experience in bureaucracy or foreign service, or their success in business management—Dominique de Villepin, for example, served as Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007 without having held an elected office. On the other hand, while the Prime Minister does not have to ask for vote of confidence after cabinet's formation and they can depend their legitimacy on the President's assignment as Prime Minister and approval of the cabinet, because the National Assembly does have the power to force the resignation of the cabinet by motion of no confidence, the choice of Prime Minister must reflect the will of the majority in the Assembly. For example, right after the legislative election of 1986, President François Mitterrand had to appoint Jacques Chirac Prime Minister although Chirac was a member of the RPR and therefore a political opponent of Mitterrand.
Despite the fact that Mitterrand's own Socialist Party was the largest party in the Assembly, it did not have an absolute majority. The RPR had an alliance with the UDF; such a situation, where the President is forced to work with a Prime Minister, an opponent, is called a cohabitation. Édith Cresson is the only woman to have held the position of Prime Minister. Aristide Briand holds the record for number of cabinet formations as Prime Minister with 11 times, he served between 1929 with some terms as short as 26 days. According to article 21 of the Constitution, the Prime Minister "shall direct the actions of the Government". Additionally, Article 20 stipulates that the Government "shall determine and conduct the policy of the Nation", it includes domestic issues, while the President concentrates on formulating directions on national defense and foreign policy while arbitrating the efficient service of all governmental authorities in France. Other members of Government are appointed by the President "on the recommendation of the Prime Minister".
In practice the Prime Minister acts on the impulse of the President to whom he is a subordinate, except when there is a cohabitation in which case his responsibilities are akin to those of a Prime Minister in a parliamentary system. The Prime Minister can "engage the responsibility" of his or her Government before the National Assembly; this process consists of placing a bill before the Assembly, either the Assembly overthrows the Government, or the bill is passed automatically. In addition to ensuring that the Government still has support in the House, some bills that might prove too controversial to pass through the normal Assembly rules are able to be passed this way; the Prime Minister may submit a bill that has not been yet signed into law to the Constitutional Council. Before he is allowed to dissolve the Assembly, the President has to consult the Prime Minister and the presidents of both Houses of Parliament; the office of the prime minister, in its current form, was created in 1958 under the French Fifth Republic.
Under the Third Republic, the French Constitutional Laws of 1875 imbued the position of President of the Council with similar formal powers to those which at that time the British Prime Minister possessed. In practice, this proved insufficient to command the confidence of France's multi-party parliament, the president of the Council was a weak figure, his strength more dependent on charisma than formal powers, serving as little more than the cabinet's "primus inter pares". Most notably, the legislature had the power to force the entire cabinet out of office by a vote of censure; as a result, cabinets were toppled twice a year, there were long stretches where France was left with only a caretaker government. After several unsuccessful attempts to strengthen the role in the first half of the twentieth century, a presidential system was introduced under the Fifth Republic; the 1958 Constitution includes several provisions intended to strengthen the prime minister's position, for instance by restricting the legislature's power to vote censure.
The current prime minister is Édouard Philippe, appointed on 15 May 2017. The only person to serve as Prime Minister more than once under the Fifth Republic was Jacques Chirac (1974–1