Dominique de Villepin
Dominique Marie François René Galouzeau de Villepin is a French politician who served as Prime Minister of France from 31 May 2005 to 17 May 2007 under President Jacques Chirac. A career working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, De Villepin rose through the ranks of the French right as one of Chirac's protégés, he came into the international spotlight as Minister of Foreign Affairs with his opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, one year after his appointment to the office, which culminated with a speech to the United Nations. Before his tenure as Prime Minister, he served as Minister of the Interior. After being replaced by François Fillon as Prime Minister, De Villepin was indicted in connection with the Clearstream affair, but was subsequently cleared of charges of complicity in allowing false accusations to proceed against presidential rival Nicolas Sarkozy regarding bribes paid on a sale of warships to Taiwan. De Villepin has enjoyed a modest return to public favour for his public critique of President Sarkozy's style of "imperial rule."He has written poetry, a book about poetry, several historical and political essays, along with a study of Napoleon.
Villepin is an honorary member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. Villepin was born in Rabat and spent some time in Venezuela, where his family lived for four years, he lived in the U. S. and has said that he “grew up in the United States.” During his teenage years, “the'Beat generation' movement left its mark on me, so did the hippie movement.” He was inspired by other American poets. He graduated from the Lycée Français de New York in 1971, he has three children: Marie and Victoire. Contrary to what his surname suggests, Villepin is not from an aristocratic background but from a middle-class family, his ancestors added the particle "de" to the family name. His great-grandfather was a colonel in the French army, his grandfather was a board member for several companies, his father Xavier de Villepin was a diplomat and a member of the Senate. Villepin speaks French and Spanish; when his mother died, Villepin gave a eulogy “full of the grandest and most sonorous cadences of the French language,” wrote The Independent in 2010.
He “spoke of his mother's passionate belief in the greatness and the destiny of France, implicitly, the greatness and destiny of her son.” One mourner stated that he seemed to speak “of France and of himself as being the same thing.” Villepin studied at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris and went on to the École nationale d'administration, France's selective post-graduate school which trains its top civil servants. Villepin holds degrees in Civil law and French literature from the universities of Panthéon-Assas and Paris X Nanterre. At the end of his studies, he completed his military service as a naval officer on board the Aircraft Carrier Clemenceau. Villepin entered a career in diplomacy, his assignments were: Advising Committee on African affairs The French embassy in Washington, D. C. as premier secrétaire until 1987 and deuxième conseiller The embassy in New Delhi, as deuxième conseiller until 1990 and premier conseiller Foreign Ministry's top adviser on Africa Villepin was introduced to Jacques Chirac in the early 1980s and became one of his advisers on foreign policy.
In 1993 he became chief of staff of Alain Juppé, the Foreign Minister in Édouard Balladur's cabinet, Chirac's political heir apparent. Villepin became director of Chirac's successful 1995 presidential campaign and was rewarded with the key job of Secretary-General of the Élysée Palace during Chirac's first term as President of the Republic, he advised the president to hold an early general election in 1997, while the French National Assembly was overwhelmingly dominated by the president's party. This was a risky gamble, Chirac's party went on to lose the elections. Villepin offered Chirac his resignation afterwards. Villepin's flawed advice on the election increased the perception among many politicians on the right that Villepin had no experience or understanding of grassroots politics, owed his enviable position only to being Chirac's protégé. Villepin has had an uneasy relationship with the members of his own political side, he has in the past made a number of demeaning remarks about members of parliament from his own party.
In addition, the mutual distaste between Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy, head of the Union for a Popular Movement majority party, is well known. He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by Chirac in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin at the beginning of Chirac's second term in 2002. During the 2004 coup d'état in Haiti, Villepin obtained the backing of the United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in his bid to oust Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power. Villepin's most famous assignment as Chirac's foreign minister was opposing the U. S. plan to invade Iraq, giving France a leading role in the grouping of countries such as Germany, Belgium and China that opposed the invasion. The speech he gave to the UN to block a second resolution allowing the use of force against Saddam Hussein's regime received loud applause. During mid-2003 Villepin organized the Opération 14 juillet that attempted to rescue his former student, Ingrid Betancourt, being held by FARC rebels in Colombia.
The operation failed, because he had neither informed Colombia, nor President Chirac of the mission, it resulted in a political scandal. During the cabinet reshuffle that made Nicolas Sarkozy Finance Minister, Villepin was appointed to
Panthéon-Assas University referred to as Assas, Paris II, or Sorbonne-Assas, is a public university in Paris, France. Panthéon-Assas is renowned for excellence in law and described as the top law school in France, it is considered as the direct inheritor of the Paris Law School since most of the latter’s law professors went to Panthéon-Assas and its main campuses are the same ones of those of the Paris Law Faculty, from which its name comes. It provides law courses for the Sorbonne University and may become its faculty of law. Since its founding in 1971, it has produced two presidents, four prime ministers, the holders of thirty-seven other ministerships in France and around the world. Forty alumni of the university have been members of various parliaments as well; the majority of the nineteen campuses of Panthéon-Assas are located in the Latin Quarter, with the main campuses on place du Panthéon and rue d'Assas. The university is composed of five departments specializing in law and media, economics and private management, political science and hosts twenty-four research centres and five specialized doctoral schools.
Every year, the university enrolls 18,000 students, including 3,000 international students. When the University of Paris, founded in the middle of the 12th century, which ceased to exist on 31 December 1970, following the student protests of 1969, the Faculty of Law and Economics of Paris professors had to choose the future of the university. Most of the law professors of the faculty of law and economics wished only to restructure their faculty into a new university. In pursuit of this, they founded with one professors of economics founded the "University of law and social sciences of Paris" or "Paris II". Hence, it is considered as its direct inheritors; some law professors went to other universities inherited from the Sorbonne. The official name of the university was changed to "Panthéon-Assas" in 1990; the name Panthéon Assas is a reference to the main addresses of the pre-1968 faculty of law of Paris, which are now part of the university. The university is referred to as "Assas" or "Paris II" and "Sorbonne Law School".
Panthéon-Assas is providing law courses for the Sorbonne University and may become its faculty of law. The university has one in the city of Melun; the administration offices and postgraduate studies are located in the structure designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot and built in the late eighteenth century for the faculty of law of the University of Paris, on the plaza that rings the Pantheon. It is registered among the national heritage sites of France; the largest campus of Panthéon-Assas is located on rue d'Assas and receives second-year to four-year law students. It was designed by Charles Lemaresquier, Alain le Normand and François Carpentier to accommodate the growing number of students at the University of Paris, it was built between 1963 on the former grounds of Société Marinoni. At the time of its inauguration, its main lecture theatre was the vastest in France, with 1,700 seats; the scene at the Cairo airport from OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies was filmed in its entrance hall. The campus on rue de Vaugirard gathers first-year students.
It is located in the chapel wing of the defunct Jesuit College of the Immaculate Conception, where Charles de Gaulle had been a pupil. The structure is a national heritage site as well; the campus on rue Charcot receives master students of economics. South-east of Paris, the campus in Melun, which opened in 1987, gathers over a thousand first-cycle students who do not reside in Paris; the campus in Melun hosts local first-year students. It is located on Saint-Étienne Island, among Roman and Gothic remains; the Institute of Law and Economics of Pantheon-Assas University is located there. Assas building, going under renovation during the last ten years, has been redesigned and now hosts a modern learning center; the campus in Melun has an extension under work. The university houses five academic departments: one for private law and criminal sciences, one for public law and political science, one for Roman law and legal history, one for economics and management, one for journalism and communication.
In all, Panthéon-Assas comprises about two dozens of research centres, including the Institute of Higher International Studies, the Paris Institute of Comparative Law, the Paris Institute of Criminology. In July 2012, Panthéon-Assas became the first university in France to open preparatory classes for the bar school entrance examination, which were until this point the monopole of private preparatory schools. In 2013, the university set up a distance learning degree in law. Panthéon-Assas is governed by an administration council, a scientific council, a council for studies and university life. Members of these boards serve two year te
2005 French European Constitution referendum
The French referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was held on 29 May 2005 to decide whether France should ratify the proposed Constitution of the European Union. The result was a victory for the "No" campaign, with 55% of voters rejecting the treaty on a turnout of 69%; the question put to voters was: Approuvez-vous le projet de loi qui autorise la ratification du traité établissant une Constitution pour l'Europe? "Do you approve the bill authorising the ratification of the treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe?"France was the first country to reject the treaty, the second country to go to the polls in a referendum on ratification, after a Spanish referendum approved the treaty by a wide margin in February 2005. France's rejection of the Constitution left the treaty with an uncertain future, with other EU member states pledging to continue with their own arrangements for ratification. President Jacques Chirac's decision to hold a referendum was thought in some part to have been influenced in part by the surprise announcement that the United Kingdom was to hold a vote of its own, though it was widely commented that the expected easy victory would be an expression of confidence in the President.
Moreover, it would do much to cement his legacy as a French statesman. It would have a divisive effect on the opposition Socialist Party. Although the adoption of a Constitution had been played down as a'tidying-up' exercise with no need for a popular vote, as increasing numbers of EU member states announced their intention to hold a referendum, the French government came under increasing pressure to follow suit; the date was announced on 4 March 2005. Opinion polling had shown the "Yes" and "No" campaigns in the lead at various times, but in the weeks leading up the referendum the "No" campaign held the lead; this led many some on the "Yes" side, to predict that France would reject the Constitution. On 1 December 2004, the opposition Socialist Party held a vote among its members to determine the stance it would take; the issue of the Constitution had caused considerable divisions within the party, with many members—although broadly in favour of European integration—opposing the Constitution for reasons including a perceived lack of democratic accountability, the threat they considered it posed to the European social model.
The "Yes" side was led by party leader François Hollande while the "No" side was led by deputy leader Laurent Fabius. A former prime minister of France, Laurent Fabius traditionally on the center right of the Socialist Party opted for the No to the Constitution, switching to the left of the party. For many commentators, this paradoxical move was a gamble to get the upper hand within the party before the next presidential elections, in case of success of the No vote. Within the Socialist Party, out of 127,027 members eligible to vote, 59% voted "Yes", with a turnout of 79%. Out of 102 Socialist Party regional federations, 26 voted "No"; the Constitutional Council of France ruled that the European Constitution could not coexist with the current Constitution of France. For that reason, a vote was taken to amend the Constitution of France to make the two documents compatible; this amendment passed in an extraordinary joint session of deputies and senators at the Palace of Versailles on 28 February 2005, with 730 votes in favour and 66 votes against, with 96 abstentions.
Both the ruling party and the Socialists supported the constitutional amendment. Communist Party members were the only ones to vote against it. Initial opinion polls showed a clear majority in favour of the Constitution, but public opposition grew over time. By May, the "Yes" campaign's lead was smaller than the opinion pollsters' margin of error; the three major political forces in France supported the proposed Constitution, as did president Chirac. Supporters of the Constitution from the left sought to emphasise that the treaty incorporates a Charter of Fundamental Rights and thus helped to secure the future of the European social model. Somewhat considering his usual political orientation, Jacques Chirac defended it as a possible barrier against neoliberal economic policies. Objections to the Constitution in France can be broadly divided into two camps. On the left, many expressed the view that the Constitution would enforce a neoliberal economic model. Among those were some members of the Socialist Party who dissented from the party's stance as decided by its internal referendum, some members of the Green Party, the Communist Party and the Citizen and Republican Movement - a small party allied to the Socialist Party.
The Radical Party of the Left, another ally of the Socialist Party, was divided on the question: its main representatives were for the Constitution, while Christiane Taubira, candidate for the PRG in 2002, was against it. Other parties of the hard left, such as the Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist League and Workers' Struggle, as well as associations like ATTAC and trade unions such as the CGT or SUD opposed ratification; these critics sought to link the Constitution to the proposed directive on services in the internal market, opposed in France. There were prominent opponents of the Constitution from the right, notably Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and Philippe de Villiers, from the extreme right, Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front, who opposed the Constitution on the grounds that France should not be part of any institution whose decisions can take precedence over what is decided in France at a national level. Another factor in the defeat of the Constitution may have been the linking of the Constitution in the minds
ESCP Europe is a European business school with campuses in Paris, London, Madrid and Warsaw. ESCP Europe is one of the most selective French Grandes écoles and referred in France as one of the "trois Parisiennes", together with HEC Paris and ESSEC Business School. ESCP Europe is considered as the world's oldest business school.. ESCP Europe is famous for its Master in Management program, ranked 5th worldwide and for its Master in Finance, ranked 2nd worldwide by the Financial Times. Accredited by the Paris Chamber of Commerce, ESCP Europe is one of the 76 business schools in the world to have obtained the triple accreditation of AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA; the school was established in Paris on 1 December 1819 as the world's first business school by a group of economic scholars and businessmen including the well-known economist Jean-Baptiste Say and the celebrated trader Vital Roux. It was modeled on the first Grande École, the École Polytechnique founded by Lazare Carnot and Gaspard Monge, but was much more modest because it had not been supported by the state.
It gained in stature and importance during the 19th century and moved to its current Parisian location on Avenue de la République in 1898. In 1828, the project to put the school under the authority of the French Ministry of Commerce and Industry failed; the school remained independent by the intervention of Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui. Several times during the first half of the 19th century, French politics planned on grouping ESCP Europe with French elite engineering schools such as École Polytechnique or École Centrale Paris, but that never occurred. From 1838, the French state began to give scholarships to ESCP Europe's students and in 1852 it accredited ESCP Europe's programs. In 1869 the Paris Chamber of Commerce bought the school to train future business leaders to modern commercial methods; until 1870 there was only one business school in France: ESCP Europe. In 1892, ESCP Europe set up selective admission processes which still take the form of competitive exams. On April 5, 1973 the concept of a multi-campus business school was founded with the consecutive inaugurations of campuses in the United Kingdom and in Germany.
Since the school has deepened its European presence to become an integrated pan-European business school: In 1985, the School’s campus in Germany moves from Düsseldorf to Berlin at the invitation of the Government of Berlin. In 1988, a fourth campus is opened in Madrid. In 1999, ESCP merges with its sister school EAP. In 2001, the Master in Management programme of ESCP Europe is validated by City University London. In 2004, a fifth campus in Torino, Italy is founded. Validated by the University of Turin, Master in Management students can obtain the Italian degree Laurea Magistrale. In 2005, the School inaugurates its London campus having moved from Oxford. In 2007, the Master in Management programme is recognized by the Charles III University of Madrid and students can obtain the Spanish degree of Master Europeo en Administración y Dirección de Empresas. In 2015, the School establishes its sixth European campus via a strategic alliance with the Warsaw-based Kozminski University. In 2016, the School decides to strengthen its footprint in Paris by adding a second campus located in the Montparnasse area after buying back Novancia Business School's building.
The campus is dedicated to executive programs. ESCP Europe students have the opportunity to study in campuses in France, in the UK, Germany and Poland, they can spend 1 year on each campus according to their study choices. Each campus develops programs with local academic institutions. For instance, in Spain ESCP Europe provides a Master in Business Project Management co-delivered with the Technical University of Madrid. From 2017, ESCP Europe will have two campuses in Paris. One near the Place de la République and another one near the Montparnasse Tower; each campus is dedicated to a specific range of programs. The campus in the 11th arrondissement hosts all the graduate programs whereas the campus in the 15th arrondissement hosts the undergraduate education, the executive education and the school's start-up Incubator, the Blue Factory; this organization is unique to Paris. In every other school undergraduate and executive education are dispensed in the same campus. Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris HEC Paris ESSEC Business School Official website
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
Vienne is a department in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It takes its name from the river Vienne. Established on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution, Vienne is one of the original 83 departments, it was created from parts of the former provinces of Poitou and Berry, the latter being a part of the Duchy of Aquitaine until the 15th century. The original Acadians, who settled in and around what is now Nova Scotia, left Vienne for North America after 1604. Kennedy argues that the emigrants carried to Canada social structure, they were frontier peoples. They emphasized trading for a profit, they were politically active. Édith Cresson, France's first woman Prime Minister from 1991-1992, was a deputy for the department. It has three arrondissements: Poitiers, the prefecture, the subprefectures Châtellerault and Montmorillon; the capital Poitiers is the see of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers, which pastorally serves the department. The most famous tourist sites include the Futuroscope theme park, the Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, a UNESCO world heritage site, the animal parks of Monkey's Valley in Romagne & the Crocodile Planet in Civaux.
Goat cheese making is an important industry of Vienne. Vienne has a partnership relationship with: Communes of the Vienne department Cantons of the Vienne department Arrondissements of the Vienne department Anjou wine French Vienne Tourism Agency General Council website
The Senate is the upper house of the French Parliament. Indirectly elected by elected officials, it represents territorial collectivities of the Republic and French citizens living abroad; the Senate enjoys less prominence than the directly elected National Assembly. The Senate is housed inside the Luxembourg Palace in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, it is guarded by Republican Guards. In front of the building lies the Senate's gardens, the Jardin du Luxembourg, open to the public. France's first experience with an upper house was under the Directory from 1795 to 1799, when the Council of Ancients was the upper chamber. There were Senates in both the First and Second Empires, but these were only nominally legislative bodies – technically they were not legislative, but rather advisory bodies on the model of the Roman Senate. With the Restoration in 1814, a new Chamber of Peers was created, on the model of the British House of Lords. At first it contained hereditary peers, but following the July Revolution of 1830, it became a body to which one was appointed for life.
The Second Republic returned to a unicameral system after 1848, but soon after the establishment of the Second French Empire in 1852, a Senate was established as the upper chamber. In the Fourth Republic, the Senate was replaced by the Council of the Republic, but its function was the same. With the new Constitution of the Fifth Republic enforced on 4 October 1958, the older name of Senate was restored. In 2011, the Socialist Party won control of the Senate for the first time since the foundation of the Fifth Republic. In 2014, the centre-right Gaullists and its allies won back the control of the Senate. Under the Constitution of France, the Senate has nearly the same powers as the National Assembly. Bills may be submitted by either house of Parliament; because both houses may amend the bill, it may take several readings to reach an agreement between the National Assembly and the Senate. When the Senate and the National Assembly cannot agree on a bill, the administration can decide, after a procedure called commission mixte paritaire, to give the final decision to the National Assembly, whose majority is on the government's side, but as regarding the constitutionnal laws the administration must have the Senate's agreement.
This does not happen frequently. This power however gives the National Assembly a prominent role in the law-making process since the administration is of the same side as the Assembly, for the Assembly can dismiss the administration through a motion of censure; the power to pass a vote of censure, or vote of no confidence, is limited. As was the case in the Fourth Republic's constitution, new cabinets do not have to receive a vote of confidence. A vote of censure can occur only after 10 percent of the members sign a petition. If the petition gets the required support, a vote of censure must gain an absolute majority of all members, not just those voting. If the Assembly and the Senate have politically distinct majorities, the Assembly will in most cases prevail, open conflict between the two houses is uncommon; the Senate is the representative of the territories and defends the regions and mayors, see the article 24 of the Constitution. The Senate serves to monitor the administration's actions by publishing many reports each year on various topics.
Until September 2004, the Senate had 321 members, each elected to a nine-year term. That month, the term was reduced to six years, while the number of senators progressively increased to 348 in 2011, in order to reflect the country's population growth. Senators were elected in thirds every three years; the President of the Senate is elected by Senators from among their members. The current incumbent is Gérard Larcher; the President of the Senate is, under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, first in the line of succession—in case of death, resignation or removal from office —to the presidency of the French Republic, becoming Acting President of the Republic until a new election can be held. This happened twice for Alain Poher—once at the resignation of Charles de Gaulle and once at the death of Georges Pompidou; the President of the Senate has the right to designate three of the nine members of the Constitutional Council, serving for nine years. Senators are elected indirectly by 150,000 officials, including regional councillors, department councillors, municipal councillors in large communes, as well as members of the National Assembly.
However, 90 % of the electors are delegates appointed by councillors. This system introduces a bias in the composition of the Senate favoring rural areas; as a consequence, while the political majority changes in the National Assembly, the Senate has remained politically right, with one brief exception, since the foundation of the Fifth Republic, much to the displeasure of the Socialists. This has spurred controversy after the 2008 election in which the Socialist Party, despite controlling all but two of France's regions, a majority of departments, as well as communes representing more than 50 % of the population, still failed to achieve a majority in the Senate. The