France will hold presidential elections in 2017, which have taken on renewed significance in the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi present a comprehensive look at the state of play ahead of the elections. They write that with the Socialist Party in disarray, the presidential election is the centre-right’s to […]
The 2017 French presidential election: The race has started… and so far it has more candidates than voters
On 23 April and 7 May 2017, French citizens will vote for President François Hollande’s successor. While in most cases the names of the official candidates are yet to be disclosed, several leading political figures have already announced their intention to run in the election. Marta Lorimer discusses the possible candidates and what recent polling says about their chances.
France will hold regional elections on 6 and 13 December, which are expected to be dominated by the response to the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November. John Gaffney writes that the split between left-wing and right-wing parties in the aftermath of the attacks has been much more profound than following the previous attacks in Paris in January. […]
The shock of Sunday’s French municipal elections was the Socialist defeat, not Front National success
France held municipal elections on 23 and 30 March. As Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi write, François Hollande’s governing Socialist Party (PS) endured a particularly disappointing result, losing many of the gains it had made in the 2008 elections. They argue that while much of the media coverage centred on the success of the Front National; the PS’s defeat, […]
Both Sarkozy and Hollande are victims of the French culture of scandal, but the real loser is democracy
The recent revelations surrounding former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy’s, recorded conversations have added to a long list of scandals involving France’s political leaders. John Gaffney writes that ‘plots and scandals’ have always been an integral part of French politics, but notes that the current accusations from the left and the right of the political spectrum simply serve to further […]
François Hollande will require a more detailed and far-reaching economic strategy if he is to turn France’s ailing economy around
Like many countries across Europe, France has suffered economically since the beginning of the financial crisis. As Andy Langenkamp writes, French President François Hollande’s recent ‘responsibility pact’ outlined a number of reforms designed to restructure the economy, making it more competitive in the long-term. He argues that while Hollande has the political resources required to implement bold reforms, his current […]
The controversy over François Hollande’s alleged affair illustrates that politicians’ private lives are no longer off-limits in French politics
Last week, the magazine Closer published allegations that French President François Hollande had been involved in an affair with a French actress. John Gaffney writes that the fallout from the article highlights the changing attitudes toward the private lives of French Presidents. He notes that while rumours concerning previous French Presidents were largely inconsequential at the political level, the scandal […]
Like many countries in Europe, France is facing a serious economic and social crisis. As John Gaffney writes, the situation in France is compounded by the highly personalised French political system, which keeps the President of the Republic continually in the spotlight. He argues that François Hollande has failed to project a clear and effective public persona and that his […]
François Hollande’s policy on Syria offers a perfect example of how not to conduct international politics
While the British parliament has effectively ruled out UK intervention in the Syrian conflict, French President François Hollande has been adamant that France will take part in any US-led military strikes against the country. John Gaffney writes that in contrast to the UK and the United States, who have sought parliamentary and congressional approval for their policy on Syria, Hollande […]
A little over a year since being elected, French President François Hollande’s popularity in the polls has plummeted as the French economy continues to struggle. Rainbow Murray writes that while Hollande’s first year has been beset by scandals and disappointments, France’s main opposition party, the UMP, have their own share of problems following a divisive leadership contest between François Fillon […]
Brussels blog round-up for 8 – 14 June: Turkey’s protests continue, Hollande declares crisis over, and Iceland suspends EU negotiations.
Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis The weekend sees French President Francois Hollande declare the eurozone crisis to now be over. Lost in EUrope is worried about the statement, saying that it is wishful thinking given the economic realities in France and elsewhere. Meanwhile, Craig Willy has a summary of […]
France’s Front National and Front de Gauche are both labelled as populist. But they are far from two sides of the same coin.
In recent years, France has seen a rise of parties that have been branded as ‘populist’ by media and academics. But what is populism, and is it necessarily a bad thing? Philippe Marlière argues that, in France, the concept of populism is an ambivalent one, often used by those in the mainstream to brand those who disagree as demagogues. Ultimately, […]
One year on from his election to the French Presidency, François Hollande now faces criticism from all corners over his handling of the economy and apparent failures to address France’s structural weaknesses. Renaud Thillaye writes that while some of these criticisms are misplaced, Hollande must nevertheless work hard to spell out a clear vision of how France can match growth […]
In 2012 France has seen gains for the Front National, success for François Hollande and electoral defeat and infighting for the UMP.
Rainbow Murray reviews an important year in French politics, one which has seen the left return to power for the first time in a decade, as well as gains for the far-right. 2012 has also been a difficult year for the centre-right in France, with the defeat of President Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential election, followed by infighting over who […]
In the face of on-going recession and deepening unemployment in France, François Hollande’s commitment to deficit reduction may soon put him at odds with voters.
In the few short months since his inauguration, French President François Hollande has seen his popularity plummet in the face of poor government cohesion and continuing economic crisis. Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi argue that the French electorate now demands more than ‘A Normal President’ in the face of anaemic economic growth and high unemployment. In the four months since his inauguration French […]
Diplomacy is the only real way forward in the Syrian conflict. Military intervention could make the situation even worse.
With the failure of the Annan Plan in Syria, the situation looks increasingly bleak. But Syria in 2012 is very different from Libya in 2011, and Western leaders should resist the temptation for military intervention writes Chris Brown. Instead of calling for intervention, leaders like François Hollande need to support the diplomacy of the Arab League and other non-Western countries. […]
While the coming French elections will see a sharp rise in the number of women députées, gender parity in the Assemblée nationale remains an elusive goal.
France votes on Sunday in the second round of elections for the lower house of its parliament, the Assemblée nationale. New President François Hollande has been lauded for appointing a parity government, but what are the chances of equality in parliament after the coming elections? Using data from the presidential and the first round of the parliamentary elections Rainbow Murray […]
Last month new French President François Hollande announced that French troops in Afghanistan would be withdrawn by the end of 2012, instead of 2013 as was previously planned. Jocelyn Mawdsley argues that logistics and other commitments mean that France will likely continue to have a presence in Afghanistan, and that despite the decision, any major change in France’s relationship with […]
Brussels blog round up for 12 – 18 May 2012: No sparks between Hollande and Merkel, MEPs on MySpace, and a ‘Euro-annulment’ for Greece?
Chris Gilson and Julian Kirchherr take a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU Centre Are there any climate change sceptics out there? If so, European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva recommends that those who are sceptic read the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. “That’s quite a mouthful, which is why the […]