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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Richard Ferrand is a French politician serving as President of the National Assembly since 2018. He has been the member of the National Assembly for Finistère's 6th constituency since 2012. A longtime member of the Socialist Party, he was the General Secretary of La République En Marche! from October 2016 and became leader of the La République En Marche! group of the National Assembly in June 2017. Richard Ferrand was born on 1 July 1962 in France. Ferrand graduated high school in Bünde and studied German and Law at Toulouse 1 University Capitole and Université Paris-Descartes where he became a PS member at the age of 18. After leaving university, Ferrand worked as a journalist for multiple publications including Center Presse, Auto Moto, Vie publique, La Dépêche du Midi and Le Monde. In 1991, Ferrand became the communications advisor for Kofi Yamgnane, the then- secretary of state to the Minister of Social Affairs and Integration. Richard Ferrard joined the Socialist Party in 1980 and was elected as the councillor in the township of Carhaix-Plouguer in 1998 as his first elected office.
In the municipal elections in 2001 and 2008, Ferrand lost in both times, obtaining 31% of the vote in 2008. In the 2010 regional elections, he was one of the PS nominees for the Finistère department, he became councillor for the region on 21 March 2010 and has since chaired the socialist and related group. In 2007, Ferrand ran for Finistère's 6th constituency under the PS banner, he lost to Christian Ménard. In 2012, Ferrand ran in the same constituency for PS where he got 32.2% of the vote in the first round and 58.3% of the vote in the second round. In the National Assembly, Ferrand was a member of the SER group and sits on the Social Affairs Committee, he has never worked in the agricultural or agri-food sector, but is co-chairman of the agricultural and agro-food industries group. He involves himself in social issues and the use of cheaper labour than available. While on the Social Affairs Committee, Ferrand was an EU-appointed rapporteur on resolutions around workers and the use of cheaper European labor.
In his report, he stated that European workers feel detached due to the lack of social cohesion and the use of cheaper labour to replace them. He advocates measures to limit the replacement of workers. Despite Ferrand's opposition to the Bonnets Rouges movement against the eco-tax, started by the Fillon government and further expanded upon by the Ayrault government, he took a stand against the expansions, saying they underline the complexity of the tax system, he supports amendments to the eco-tax. After there was a postponement of the eco-tax and other Breton politicians asked Minister of Energy, Ségolène Royal to rethink the tax plan. On 3 October 2014, the Prime Minister Manuel Valls appointed him along with the minister of economy, Emmanuel Macron to work on a plan to reform regulations based around labour, he was tasked with looking at the "legal framework that restricts labour from developing" while paying attention to the different situations from many different regions. After consulting many trade unions and other associations, he submitted the report that stresses that reforming the regulated labor market is needed but "reform, don't break, this includes twenty-eight proposals that are aimed at promoting young people's access to the job market."This reform was put to the National Assembly where it was amended by the members of the assembly which resulted in the "Act for Growth and Equal Opportunity" or the Macron law, lobbied against by unions and other organizations.
Ferrand was appointed as the general rapporteur, one of the biggest reforms within the first five years of President Hollande's term with over 300 articles and sectors such as: transport, labor courts and qualified professions being reformed. More than one hundred and eleven hours went into debate in the National Assembly over the reform; the text was adopted including measures that were not there but added during parliamentary debate such as: Letting commercial stores open on Sundays, liberalization of transport services and encouraging qualified professions to allow young people into the profession. On 16 October 2016, Ferrand was appointed General Secretary of En Marche! by Emmanuel Macron, someone he worked with when he was the minister for Economy. The following month, Ferrand resigned from leading the PS group in the regional council for Finistère, confirmed that he quit the PS on 9 May 2017. On 24 June 2017, it was announced that Ferrand was elected leader of La République En Marche! group in the National Assembly with 306 votes and 2 abstentions.
Media related to Richard Ferrand at Wikimedia Commons
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
Foreign alliances of France
The foreign alliances of France have a long and complex history spanning more than a millennium. One traditional characteristic of the French diplomacy of alliances has been the "Alliance de revers", aiming at allying with countries situated on the opposite side or "in the back" of an adversary, in order to open a second front encircling the adversary and thus re-establish a balance of power. Another has been the alliance with local populations, against other European colonial powers. Over the centuries, France has been looking for Eastern allies, as a counterbalance to Continental enemies. Throughout French history, this was the case against Austria-Hungary, Spain or Prussia: the Abbasid–Carolingian alliance, the Franco-Hungarian alliance and Franco-Ottoman alliance, the Franco-American alliance, the Franco-Russian Alliance. In particular, the desire to counter German power has been a major motivating force leading France to create Eastern alliances. Soon after the Second World War, good relations between France and the Soviet Union were again seen by Charles de Gaulle as an "Alliance de revers" to counter Germany.
France has a strong tradition of alliance with autochthonous populations in order to resist a powerful opponent. In the American continent, France was the first to identify that cooperation with local tribes would be strategically significant, before England started to adopt this strategy. An important Franco-Indian alliance centered on the Great Lakes and the Illinois country took place during the French and Indian War; the alliance involved French settlers on the one side, the Abenaki, Menominee, Mississauga, Sioux, Huron-Petun, Potawatomi etc... on the other. The French mixed and inter-married with the Indians, which facilitated exchanges and the development of such alliances. Through these alliances with the Indians, the French were able to maintain for over 150 years a strong position in the New World at the expense of the British, who had much more difficulties in making Indian allies. In India, the French General Dupleix was allied to Murzapha Jung in the Deccan, Chanda Sahib in the Carnatic Wars, in the conflict against Robert Clive.
The French succeeded in the 1746 Battle of Madras, the French and Indians fought together and vanquished Anwaruddin in 1749, but failed in the Battle of Arcot in 1751 and surrendered in 1752. The French again had a success at the capture of Fort St. David in 1758 under Lally, but were defeated at Masulipatam and Wandewash. In 1782, Louis XVI sealed an alliance with the Peshwa Madhu Rao Narayan; as a consequence Bussy moved his troops to Isle de France and contributed to the French effort in India in 1783. Suffren became the ally of Hyder Ali in the Second Anglo-Mysore War against British rules in India, in 1782–1783, fighting the British fleet on the coasts of India and Ceylon. Between February 1782 until June 1783, Suffren fought the English admiral Sir Edward Hughes, collaborated with the rulers of Mysore. Suffren fought in the Battle of Sadras on February 17, 1782, the Battle of Providien on April 12 near Trincomalee, the Battle of Negapatam on July 6 off Cuddalore, after which Suffren seized upon the anchorage of Trincomalee compelling the small British garrison to surrender.
An army of 3,000 French soldiers collaborated with Hyder Ali to capture Cuddalore. The Battle of Trincomalee took place near that port on September 3; these battles can be seen as the last battles of the Franco-British conflict that encompassed the American War of Independence, would cease with the signature of the Treaty of Versailles establishing peace and recognizing America independence. Some French alliances were purely tactical and short term during the period of the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon Bonaparte had launched the French Invasion of Egypt in 1798 and fought against the Ottomans to establish a French presence in the Middle East, with the ultimate dream of linking with a Muslim enemy of the British in India, Tippu Sahib, in order to oust the British from the Indian subcontinent. After having failed a first time, Napoleon entered into a Franco-Ottoman alliance and a Franco-Persian alliance in order to create an overland access for his troops to India. Following the visit of the Persian Envoy Mirza Mohammed Reza-Qazvini to Napoleon, the Treaty of Finkenstein formalized the alliance on 4 May 1807, in which France supported Persia's claim to Georgia, promising to act so that Russia would surrender the territory.
In exchange, Persia was to fight Great Britain, to allow France to cross the Persian territory to reach India. Hamel, Catherine. La commémoration de l’alliance franco-russe: La création d’une culture matérielle populaire, 1890-1914.
Human rights in France
Human rights in France are contained in the preamble of the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic, founded in 1958, the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. France has ratified the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights 1960 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. All these international law instruments take precedence on national legislation. However, human rights abuses take place nevertheless; the state of detention centres for unauthorized migrants who have received an order of deportation has been criticized. During the French Revolution, deputies from the Third Estate drafted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, voted by the General Estates on 26 August 1789. Inspired by the philosophy of the Enlightenment and by the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence – Lafayette participated in the drafting of both – in that it proclaims the "inalienable rights of Man," and is protected by a "Supreme Being," it granted to the people the right of freedom of expression, of freedom of thought, freedom of association, liberty and the protection of private property.
France signed and ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 as well as all Geneva Conventions. In 2010, the French government launched a programme of forced deportation of the Roma; these deportations have been criticised by many human rights and international political organisations. The Council of Europe has condemned the expulsions, calling them "contrary to human dignity"; those who accepted to leave France received 300 euros per adult and 100 euros per child under the condition that they sign a declaration stating they will not try to come back to France. The French Government had for goal to deport 30,000 Roma in 2011. In conventional terms, France does not have censorship laws. Before its repeal under François Mitterrand in the early 1980s, the ORTF had a significant influence on the mass media; the CSA that has since replaced it is concerned with the respect of French law in the media, in particular the 1990 Gayssot Act which prohibits racist and/or religious hate speech, time period allocated to each political party during pre-electoral periods.
Furthermore, other laws prohibit homophobic hate speech, a 1970 law prohibits the advocacy of illegal drugs. In 2004, the Inspector General of the National Police received 469 registered complaints about illegitimate police violence during the first 11 months of the year, down from 500 during the same period in 2003. There were 59. In April 2004, the ECHR condemned the Government for "inhumane and degrading treatments" in the 1997 case of a teenager beaten while in police custody; the court ordered the Government to pay Giovanni Rivas $20,500 in damages and $13,500 in court costs. The head of the police station in Saint-Denis, near Paris, was forced to resign after allegations of rape and other violations committed by the police force under his command. Nine investigations concerning police abuse in this police station were done in 2005 by the IGS inspection of police; the “idéal républicain” intends to achieve equality in rights between French citizens. To this end, in the national census, the collection of statistics regarding ethnicity or religion is forbidden.
This has led to some debate over the decline of indigenous minority languages and identity in the French Republic. According to the Direction centrale des renseignements généraux, the former intelligence service of the French police, in 2004 there were 1,513 explicitly racist or antisemitic incidents in France, including 361 acts of violence. Antisemitic incidents were the most numerous, accounting for 950 of the incidents, including 199 violent acts. Anti-Maghreb incidents accounted including 162 violent acts; the Paris region was the most affected. 2007 saw an overall decrease of 9% in such incidents. Before the Revolution, Standard French was spoken in only more than half of the territory of France. In western Brittany, southern Flanders, Alsace-Lorraine and most of the southern half of France, local people had their own distinct cultures. Breton is a Celtic language akin to Welsh, Alsace-Lorraine was part of the German-speaking world, while Occitan is a separate Romance language. With the centralization of the Republic that accompanied the Revolution, the state imposed the teaching of Standard French in all schools and universities, the exclusive use of French in government institutions.
Promotion of a local language or culture has been allowed, but under severe restrictions which make it difficult to publish, organize classes, or media broadcasts. Freedom of religion in France is guaranteed by the constitutional rights set forth in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. In practice, the gov't restricts religious expression in the public square. For example, it is illegal to wear religious symbols in public schools such as crosses or hijabs. In addition, France from the Third Republic onwards has had a long tradition of hostility towards Catholicism, an equally long flirtation with anti-semitism. France legalized women's suffrage on 21 April 1944; the Neuwirth law legalized birth control methods on 28 December 1967. Youths were given anonymous and free access to them in 1974. Abortion was legalized in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy by the Veil law on 17 January 1975. Homosexuality was decriminalized during the Revolution by the law of the 25 September – 6 October 1791.
On 6 August 1942 Vichy government
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
Foreign relations of France
In the 19th century France built a new colonial empire second only to the British Empire. It was humiliated in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, which marked the rise of Germany to dominance in Europe. France fared poorly in the Second World War, it fought losing wars in Algeria. The Fourth Republic collapsed and the Fifth Republic began in 1958 to the present. Under Charles De Gaulle it tried to block British influence on the European community. Since 1945 France has been a founding member of the United Nations, of NATO, of the European Coal and Steel Community; as a charter member of the United Nations, France holds one of the permanent seats in the Security Council and is a member of most of its specialized and related agencies. France is a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean and the La Francophonie and plays a key role, both in regional and in international affairs. François Mitterrand, a Socialist, emphasized European unity and the preservation of France's special relationships with its former colonies in the face of "Anglo-Saxon influence."
A part of the enacted policies was formulated in the Socialist Party's 110 Propositions for France, the electoral program for the 1981 presidential election. He had a effective relationship with the conservative German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, they promoted French-German bilateralism in Europe and strengthened military cooperation between the two countries. Shortly after taking office, President Sarkozy began negotiations with Colombian president Álvaro Uribe and the left-wing guerrilla FARC, regarding the release of hostages held by the rebel group Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt. According to some sources, Sarkozy himself asked for Uribe to release FARC's "chancellor" Rodrigo Granda.. Furthermore, he announced on 24 July 2007, that French and European representatives had obtained the extradition of the Bulgarian nurses detained in Libya to their country. In exchange, he signed with Gaddafi security, health care and immigration pacts – and a $230 million MILAN antitank missile sale.
The contract was the first made by Libya since 2004, was negotiated with MBDA, a subsidiary of EADS. Another 128 million euros contract would have been signed, according to Tripoli, with EADS for a TETRA radio system; the Socialist Party and the Communist Party criticized a "state affair" and a "barter" with a "Rogue state". The leader of the PS, François Hollande, requested the opening of a parliamentary investigation. On 8 June 2007, during the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Sarkozy set a goal of reducing French CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 in order to prevent global warming, he pushed forward the important Socialist figure of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as European nominee to the International Monetary Fund. Critics alleged that Sarkozy proposed to nominate Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the IMF to deprive the Socialist Party of one of its more popular figures. Sarkozy normalised what had been strained relations with NATO. In 2009, France again was a integrated NATO member. François Hollande has continued the same policy.
Socialist François Hollande won election in 2012 as president. He adopted a hawkish foreign-policy, in close collaboration with Germany in regard to opposing Russian moves against Ukraine, in sending the military to fight radical Islamists in Africa, he takes a hard line with regard to the Greek debt crisis. François Hollande launched two military operations in Africa: Operation Serval in Mali. France was the first European nation to join the United States in bombing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Under President Hollande, France's stances on the civil war in Syria and Iran's nuclear program has been described as "hawkish". Sophie Meunier in 2017 ponders whether France is still relevant in world affairs: France does not have as much relative global clout as it used to. Decolonization... diminished France’s territorial holdings and therefore its influence. Other countries built up their armies; the message of “universal” values carried by French foreign policy has encountered much resistance, as other countries have developed following a different political trajectory than the one preached by France.
By the 1990s, the country had become, in the words of Stanley Hoffmann, an “ordinary power, neither a basket case nor a challenger.” Public opinion in the United States, no longer sees France as an essential power. The last time that its foreign policy put France back in the world spotlight was at the outset of the Iraq intervention... France’s refusal to join the US-led coalition.... In reality, France is still a relevant power in world affairs.... France is a country of major military importance nowadays.... France showed it mattered in world environmental affairs with....the Paris Agreement, a global accord to reduce carbon emissions. The election of Trump in 2016 may reinforce demands for France to step in and lead global environmental governance if the US disengages, as the new president has promised, from a variety of policies. Polls indicate that American president Barack Obama was popular in France, but Donald Trump has been unpopular. Natalie Nougayrède argues: Yet behind this widespread revulsion lies a diplomatic opportunity.
With the United States looking inward and Trump having torn up the traditional foreign policy rule book... Macron, is se