Prime Minister of France

Last updated

Prime Minister of the French Republic
Premier ministre français
Edouard Philippe MSC 2018 (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Édouard Philippe

since 15 May 2017
Style Prime Minister or His Excellency
Member of Cabinet of France
Council of State
Reports to President of the French Republic
and to Parliament
Residence Hôtel de Matignon
Seat Paris, France
Appointer President of the French Republic
Term length No fixed term
Remains in office while commanding the confidence of the National Assembly and the President of the French Republic
Constituting instrument Constitution of France
Precursor Several incarnations since the Ancien Régime
Formation4 October 1958
First holder Michel Debré
Salary14,910 euro per month
Website www.gouvernement.fr
This article is part of a series on the
Politics of
France
Arms of the French Republic.svg
France portal
Flag of France.svg Franceportal

The Prime Minister of the French Republic (French: Premier ministre français) in the Fifth Republic is the head of government. During the Third and Fourth Republics, the head of government was formally called President of the Council of Ministers (French: Président du Conseil des Ministres), generally shortened to President of the Council (French: Président du Conseil). Most non-French sources referred to the post as "prime minister" or "premier." The title "Prime Minister" became official with the founding of the Fifth Republic.

French Fifth Republic fifth and current republican constitution of France since 1958

The Fifth Republic, France's current republican system of government, was established by Charles de Gaulle under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the Fourth Republic, replacing the former parliamentary republic with a semi-presidential, or dual-executive, system that split powers between a Prime Minister as head of government and a President as head of state. De Gaulle, who was the first French President elected under the Fifth Republic in December 1958, believed in a strong head of state, which he described as embodying l'esprit de la nation.

The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. "Head of government" is often differentiated from "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

French Third Republic Nation of France from 1870 to 1940

The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France.

Contents

The Prime Minister proposes a list of ministers to the President of the Republic. Decrees and decisions of the Prime Minister, like almost all executive decisions, are subject to the oversight of the administrative court system. Few decrees are taken after advice from the Council of State (French: Conseil d'État). All prime ministers defend the programs of their ministry, and 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.

President of France head of state of France

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.

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 later that day by President François Hollande. Cazeneuve resigned on 10 May 2017. Édouard Philippe was named his successor on 15 May 2017.

Manuel Valls Prime Minister of France (2014–2016)

Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti is a French and Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister of France from 2014 until 2016.

Bernard Cazeneuve Prime Minister of France (2016–2017)

Bernard Guy Georges Cazeneuve is a French politician and lawyer who served as Prime Minister of France from 6 December 2016 to 10 May 2017. A member of the Socialist Party, he was first elected in 1997 to the National Assembly representing the 5th constituency of the Manche department; he became Mayor of Cherbourg-Octeville in 2001.

François Hollande 24th President of the French Republic

François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande is a French politician who served as President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 2012 to 2017. He was previously the First Secretary of the Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008, Mayor of Tulle from 2001 to 2008, and President of the Corrèze General Council from 2008 to 2012. Hollande also served in the National Assembly of France twice for the department of Corrèze's 1st constituency from 1988 to 1993, and again from 1997 to 2012.

Nomination

The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic, who can select whomever he or she wants. While prime ministers are usually 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 ever having held an elected office.

Dominique de Villepin Prime Minister of France (2005–2007)

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.

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 (Rally for the Republic) 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, which gave them a majority. Such a situation, where the President is forced to work with a Prime Minister who is an opponent, is called a cohabitation.

François Mitterrand 21st President of the French Republic

François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was a French statesman who served as President of France from 1981 to 1995, the longest time in office in French history. As First Secretary of the Socialist Party, he was the first left-wing politician to be elected President of France under the Fifth Republic.

Jacques Chirac French statesman and official

Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 1995 to 2007. Chirac previously was Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988, as well as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.

Rally for the Republic French political party

The Rally for the Republic, was a Gaullist and conservative political party in France. Originating from the Union of Democrats for the Republic (UDR), it was founded by Jacques Chirac in 1976 and presented itself as the heir of Gaullist politics. On 21 September 2002, the RPR was merged into the Union for the Presidential Majority, later renamed the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

Édith Cresson is the only woman to have held the position of Prime Minister. [1]

Édith Cresson French politician

Édith Cresson is a French politician. She is the only woman to have held the office of Prime Minister of France. Her political career ended in scandal from corruption charges while she was the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Technology.

Aristide Briand holds the record for number of cabinet formations as Prime Minister with 11 times. He served between 1909 and 1929 with some terms as short as 26 days.

Role

According to article 21 of the Constitution, [2] the Prime Minister "shall direct the actions of the Government". Additionally, Article 20 [2] stipulates that the Government "shall determine and conduct the policy of the Nation", and 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, and either the Assembly overthrows the Government, or the bill is passed automatically (article 49 [2] ). 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 also submit a bill that has not been yet signed into law to the Constitutional Council (article 61 [2] ).

Before he is allowed to dissolve the Assembly, the President has to consult the Prime Minister and the presidents of both Houses of Parliament (article 12 [2] ).

History

Official reception at Hotel Matignon. Matignon gala.jpg
Official reception at Hôtel Matignon.

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 vested the President of the Council with similar formal powers to those which at that time the British Prime Minister possessed. In practice, however, this proved insufficient to command the confidence of France's multi-party parliament. 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 often toppled twice a year, and there were long stretches where France was left with only a caretaker government. Under the circumstances, the president of the Council was usually a fairly weak figure whose strength more dependent on charisma than formal powers. Often, he was little more than primus inter pares, and was more the cabinet's chairman than its leader.

After several unsuccessful attempts to strengthen the role in the first half of the twentieth century, a semi-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 censure the government.

Present

The current prime minister is Édouard Philippe, who was appointed on 15 May 2017.

Fifth Republic records

Length of the successive governments of the French Fifth Republic Duree des gouvernements de la Veme Republique.svg
Length of the successive governments of the French Fifth Republic

See also

Related Research Articles

The French order of precedence is a symbolic hierarchy of officials in the Government of France used to direct protocol.

Union for French Democracy political party

The Union for French Democracy was a centre-right political party in France. It was founded in 1978 as an electoral alliance to support President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in order to counterbalance the Gaullist preponderance over the political right in France. This name was chosen due to the title of Giscard d'Estaing's 1976 book, Démocratie Française. The party brought together Christian democrats, liberals and radicals, and non-Gaullist conservatives, and described itself as centrist.

In France, the Gaullist Party is usually used to refer to the largest party professing to be Gaullist. Gaullism claim to transcend the left-right divide but in practice the current Gaullist party is the centre-right Republicans.

Alain Juppé French statesman

Alain Marie Juppé is a French politician, and a member of The Republicans. He was Prime Minister of France from 1995 to 1997 under President Jacques Chirac, during which period he faced major strikes that paralyzed the country, and became very unpopular. He left office after the victory of the left in the snap 1997 elections. He had previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1995, and as Minister of the Budget and Spokesman for the Government from 1986 to 1988. He was President of the political party Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) from 2002 to 2004 and mayor of Bordeaux from 1995 to 2004.

Édouard Balladur French politician

Édouard Balladur is a French politician who served as Prime Minister of France under François Mitterrand from 29 March 1993 to 10 May 1995. He unsuccessfully ran for president in the 1995 French presidential election, coming in third place. At age 90, Balladur is currently the oldest living former French Prime Minister.

1995 French presidential election

Presidential elections took place in France on 23 April and 7 May 1995, to elect the fifth president of the Fifth Republic.

Cohabitation is a system of divided government that occurs in semi-presidential systems, such as France, when the President is from a different political party than the majority of the members of parliament. It occurs because such a system forces the president to name a premier that will be acceptable to the majority party within parliament. Thus, cohabitation occurs because of the duality of the executive: an independently elected President and a prime minister who must be acceptable both to this president and to the legislature.

Raymond Barre French politician

Raymond Octave Joseph Barre was a French centre-right politician and economist. He was a Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs under three Presidents and later served as Prime Minister under Valéry Giscard d'Estaing from 1976 until 1981. As a candidate for the presidency in 1988, he came in third and was eliminated in the first round. He was born in Saint-Denis, in the French island of Réunion, then still a colony.

Jacques Chaban-Delmas French Gaullist politician

Jacques Chaban-Delmas was a French Gaullist politician. He served as Prime Minister under Georges Pompidou from 1969 to 1972. He was the Mayor of Bordeaux from 1947 to 1995 and a deputy for the Gironde département.

Philippe Séguin French politician

Philippe Séguin was a French political figure who was President of the National Assembly from 1993 to 1997 and President of the Cour des Comptes of France from 2004 to 2010.

1988 French presidential election

Presidential elections were held in France on 24 April and 8 May 1988.

1993 French legislative election

French legislative elections took place on 21 and 28 March 1993 to elect the tenth National Assembly of the Fifth Republic.

1988 French legislative election

French legislative elections took place on 5 June and 12 June 1988, to elect the ninth National Assembly of the Fifth Republic, one month after the re-election of François Mitterrand as President of France.

1986 French legislative election

The French legislative elections took place on 16 March 1986 to elect the eighth National Assembly of the Fifth Republic. Contrary to other legislative elections of the Fifth Republic, the electoral system used was that of party-list proportional representation.

14th legislature of the French Fifth Republic

The 14th legislature of the French Fifth Republic is the parliament elected in the French legislative election, 2012.

First Valls government 37th Government of the French Fifth Republic

The First Valls government was the thirty-seventh government in the Fifth Republic of France. It was led by Manuel Valls, who was appointed Prime Minister of France on 31 March 2014. It was composed of 15 ministers from the Socialist Party (PS) and two from the Radical Party of the Left (PRG). It was the third cabinet declared by President Hollande and replaced the second Ayrault Cabinet. It was established following the French municipal elections, 2014.

References

  1. Britannica Mobile – iPhone Edition
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Welcome to the english website of the French National Assembly – Assemblée nationale