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FRANCE & THE EU

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FRANCE & THE EU. Basic Characteristics. Most popular tourist destination in the world Population: 61 million Agricultural heritage 70% of nation Roman Catholic, yet less than 1/3 practicing Catholicism still influential: c. social doctrine, death of JPII. Sense of Nationalism.

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basic characteristics
Basic Characteristics
  • Most popular tourist destination in the world
  • Population: 61 million
  • Agricultural heritage
  • 70% of nation Roman Catholic, yet less than 1/3 practicing
  • Catholicism still influential: c. social doctrine, death of JPII
sense of nationalism
Sense of Nationalism
  • Strong National Consciousness, sense of nationalism
  • Due in Part to French Revolution (1789-1799) & Napoleon (1799-1815)
frances colonial empire
Frances Colonial Empire
  • Canada: Quebec
  • Caribbean: St. Lucia, etc.
  • Algeria, Syria, Lebanon
  • French Indochina: Vietnam
  • Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo
government administrative departments
Government: Administrative Departments
  • Total of 26
  • Includes Corsica
  • Includes Four Overseas Departments: Guadeloupe (Caribbean), Martinique (Caribbean), French Guiana (South America) and Reunion (Indian Ocean)
political legal character
Political / Legal Character
  • Unitary, Highly Centralized, Highly Professional, Elite Bureaucracy (“bureau” means desk in French); dirigisme & social welfare
  • Legal System: Napoleonic Code (evolved from Roman civil code tradition)
political development
Political Development
  • Tumultuous political development
  • French Revolution (1789-1799)
  • Sixteen constitutions, five republics
executive
Executive
  • French President and Prime minister share executive powers, President usually most powerful
  • Phenomenon of “cohabitation”
legislative
Legislative
  • Blend of presidential and parliamentary system
  • National Assembly & Senate; Nat’l Assembly more powerful of the two
  • Relatively weak legislative branch
  • Exec-Legis arrangement legacy of De Gaulle who disdained strong legislative branch
government
Government
  • Elections for President and National Assembly held at different times
  • Referendums are used more than other European countries
political parties
Political Parties
  • Though France is a multi-party system, it has tended toward two broad coalitions, Right and Left
  • Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front stunned the nation (and world) in 2002 by winning second place in the first round of the presidential election
eu early leadership
EU Early Leadership
  • Jean Monnet and Robert Schumann took the lead in establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952
  • France took the leading role in killing the European Defense Community (EDC) in 1954 even though Prime Minister Rene Pleven had proposed it.
eu early leadership13
EU Early Leadership
  • De Gaulle (1958-1969) shaped the CAP, vetoed British EC entry and withdrew French military forces from NATO
  • Georges Pompidou permitted British EC entry
political parties14
Political Parties
  • Four main political forces have dominated French politics since the declaration of the Fifth Republic in 1958: the neo-Gaullists, their allies in the non-Gaullist right or centre-right, the Socialists and the Communists. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the far-right\'s most prominent voice, occasionally manages to get attention, most recently for claiming to have predicted the urban riots of October-November 2005.
military
Military
  • 2.6% GNP on defense, largest in EU (cf. 2.4% for the UK / Fr + UK = 40% of EU military spending
  • 359,000 personnel
  • World’s only nuclear aircraft carrier (other than the U.S.)
  • Makes the Exocet missile, the Rafale fighter, their nuclear carrier, the LeClerc tank
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