Officially: République Française.
Seat of government: Paris.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly, and directs the government. The parliament (parlement) comprises the Assemblée Nationale, elected in geographical constituencies, and the Sénat, chosen by a collective of government officials at all levels. The prime minister is chosen by the president with the consent of the Assemblée Nationale.
Chief governing party: La République En Marche!.
Heads of government: Emmanuel Macron, EM, president (since 2017); Élisabeth Borne, prime minister (since 2022).
Chief opposition parties: Nouvelle Union Populaire Écologique et Sociale; Front Nationale; Les Républicains (originally ‘Union pour la Majorité Présidentielle’, later interpreted as ‘Union pour un Mouvement Populaire’).
Assessment: France as a whole retains an imperial mentality towards its former colonies, and has historically pursued self-interest at the cost of great injustice, but has also, over the longer history, been a key force for liberalism. The electorate swung dramatically to the right in the 2002 presidential and parliamentary elections; the former included a strong showing for extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen of the FN, then defeated in a runoff by incumbent Gaullist Jacques Chirac (1995-2007). A 2007 election to replace Chirac saw 85% turnout, and set up a runoff between Nicolas Sarkozy of the UMP (the Gaullist party) and Ségolène Royal of the Parti Socialiste, won by Sarkozy (2007-12). Subsequent parliamentary elections saw a drop in support for the UMP and an increase for the PS. In 2012, the presidential runoff was between François Hollande (2012-7) of the PS and Sarkozy; subsequent parliamentary elections led to an absolute majority for the PS. The 2017 presidential election saw both the Socialists and Gaullists fail to make the runoff; Macron, an electoral novice leading a new centrist party, finished first, and defeated the FN’s Marine Le Pen (daughter of Jean-Marie) in a runoff. A parliamentary election later gave Macron’s party and allies (chiefly the coalitions around Mouvement Démocrate and Agir) an absolute majority. Macron was reelected in 2022, again following a runoff with Marine Le Pen; in subsequent parliamentary elections, his allies secured a plurality but lost their majority.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 8.07 (24), full democracy.
Updated: 2022 July 16.