France Government and Political Parties
According to Politicsezine, France is bordered by six countries: Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. Located in the north of France is Belgium; this small country shares a border with France that stretches for 577 kilometers. The border between the two countries is mostly formed by rivers and canals. To the east of France lies Germany; their shared border is approximately 450 kilometers long. This border has been a source of much contention throughout history, but it remains peaceful today. Further to the east lies Luxembourg, whose borders with France are only 73 kilometers long. Switzerland also shares a 73 kilometer border with France which lies to the south east of the country. Moving towards the south, Italy can be found; this country has one of the longest borders with France at 488 kilometers long. Finally in south western Europe sits Spain; its 623 kilometer shared border with France makes it the longest of all bordering countries.
Government of France
According to programingplease.com, the government of France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with a strong executive branch and a parliament composed of two chambers. The executive branch consists of the President, who is elected by popular vote to serve a five-year term, and the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President. The President has the power to dissolve the National Assembly and call for new elections. The Prime Minister is responsible for proposing legislation and implementing government policy. The parliament consists of two chambers: the National Assembly, which is elected by direct popular vote; and the Senate, which is composed of representatives from each region of France. Both chambers must approve legislation before it can become law.
The French Constitution also provides for an independent judiciary, with courts at all levels responsible for hearing cases and ruling on matters related to law. The Supreme Court has final authority over all other courts in France and can overturn laws that it finds unconstitutional or in violation of human rights principles. In addition to its judicial role, the Supreme Court also serves as an advisory body to both the government and parliament on constitutional matters.
In addition to these three branches, France also has a number of administrative bodies responsible for managing various aspects of public policy. These include ministries responsible for health care, education, transportation, defense, finance and foreign affairs as well as regional governments that administer local services such as education and infrastructure development. All levels of government are subject to oversight from independent watchdog groups such as Transparency International France or La Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL).
Recent Heads of Government of France
The current President of France is Emmanuel Macron, who was elected in 2017. Prior to Macron, the President of France was François Hollande, who served from 2012-2017. Hollande’s election marked a return to power for the Socialist Party after a decade of rule by the center-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). His term was marked by several economic reforms and attempts to reduce unemployment. Hollande also worked to strengthen ties with other European countries, particularly Germany. Before Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy served as President from 2007-2012. Sarkozy was elected on a platform of fiscal responsibility and economic growth, and sought to increase France’s presence on the global stage through increased military spending and diplomatic initiatives. Sarkozy also sought to reform immigration policy in order to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in France. Prior to Sarkozy, Jacques Chirac served as President from 1995-2007. Chirac is credited with reducing unemployment and increasing GDP during his tenure, as well as pushing for closer European integration through the creation of the Euro currency union. He is also remembered for his opposition to the Iraq War in 2003 which won him widespread support among French citizens.
Major Political Parties in France
The major political parties in France are the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and the centre-left Socialist Party (PS). The UMP is a conservative party with an emphasis on free market economics, and it is closely associated with former President Nicolas Sarkozy. It is currently led by Jean-Francois Cope. The PS is a social democratic party which was founded in 1969, and it has traditionally been the main opposition to the UMP. It is currently led by Martine Aubry. On the far left of French politics there is Jean-Luc Melenchon’s Left Party, which combines Trotskyist, Communist and Green elements into one party. On the far right there is Marine Le Pen’s National Front (FN), which has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its anti-immigration stance. Finally, there are smaller centrist parties such as Francois Bayrou’s Democratic Movement (MoDem) and Francois Hollande’s Radical Party of the Left (PRG). These parties are often seen as being part of a ‘third way’ between the left and right in French politics.