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France: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: French Republic
conventional short form: France
local long form: Republique francaise
local short form: France
CapitalParis Paris
geographic coordinates: 48 52 N, 2 20 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: applies to metropolitan France only, not to its overseas departments, collectivities, or territories
Administrative divisions27 regions (regions, singular - region); Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy), Bourgogne (Burgundy), Bretagne (Brittany), Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse (Corsica), Franche-Comte, Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guiana), Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy), Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Martinique, Mayotte, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Reunion, Rhone-Alpes
note: France is divided into 22 metropolitan regions (including the "territorial collectivity" of Corse or Corsica) and 5 overseas regions (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion) and is subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments and 5 overseas departments (which are the same as the overseas regions)
Constitution4 October 1958 (French Constitution) (2013)
Dependent areasClipperton Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica; New Caledonia has been considered a "sui generis" collectivity of France since 1998, a unique status falling between that of an independent country and a French overseas department
Executive branchchief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Manuel VALLS (since 1 April 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president at the suggestion of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 22 April and 6 May 2012 (next to be held in the spring of 2017); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Francois HOLLANDE elected; first round: percent of vote - Francois HOLLANDE 28.6%, Nicolas SARKOZY 27.2%, Marine LE PEN 17.9%, Jean-Luc MELENCHON 11.1%, Francois BAYROU, 9.1%, others 6.1%; second round: HOLLANDE 51.6%, SARKOZY 48.4%
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the "Le drapeau tricolore" (French Tricolor), the origin of the flag dates to 1790 and the French Revolution when the "ancient French color" of white was combined with the blue and red colors of the Parisian militia; the official flag for all French dependent areas
note: the design and/or colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands
Independenceno official date of independence: 486 (Frankish tribes unified under Merovingian kingship); 10 August 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 14 July 1789 (French monarchy overthrown); 22 September 1792 (First French Republic founded); 4 October 1958 (Fifth French Republic established)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of the court president, 6 divisional presiding judges, 120 trial judges, and 70 deputy judges organized into 6 divisions - 3 civil, 1 commercial, 1 labor, and 1 criminal); Constitutional Council (consists of 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by the president of the republic from nominations from the High Council of the Judiciary, presided by the Court of Cassation and 15 appointed members; judge term of appointment NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 3 by the president of the republic and 3 each by the National Assembly and Senate presidents; members serve 9-year, non-renewable terms with one third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: appellate courts or Cour d'Appel; regional courts or Tribunal de Grande Instance; first instance courts or Tribunal' d'instance
Legal systemcivil law; review of administrative but not legislative acts
Legislative branchbicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (348 seats; 328 for metropolitan France and overseas departments, 2 for New Caledonia, 2 for French Polynesia, 1 for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, 1 for Saint-Barthelemy, 1 for Saint-Martin, 1 for Wallis and Futuna, and 12 for French nationals abroad; members indirectly elected by an electoral college to serve six-year terms; one third elected every three years); and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (577 seats; 555 for metropolitan France, 15 for overseas departments, 7 for overseas dependencies; members elected by popular vote under a single-member majority system to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 25 September 2011 (next to be held in September 2014); National Assembly - last held on 10 and 17 June 2012 (next to be held in June 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS/Greens 140, UMP 132, UDF 31, PCF/MRC 21, PRG 17, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - PS 48.5%, UMP 33.6%, miscellaneous left wing parties 3.8%, Greens 3.0%, miscellaneous right wing parties 2.6%, NC 2.1%, PRG 2.1%, FDG 1.7%, other 2.6%; seats by party - PS 280, UMP 194, miscellaneous left wing parties 22, Greens 17, miscellaneous right wing parties 15, NC 12, PRG 12, FDG 10, other 15
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, FZ, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National holidayFete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - although often incorrectly referred to as Bastille Day, the celebration actually commemorates the holiday held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (on 14 July 1789) and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy; other names for the holiday are Fete Nationale (National Holiday) and quatorze juillet (14th of July)
Political pressure groups and leadersConfederation Francaise Democratique du Travail (French Democratic Confederation of Labor) or CFDT, left-leaning labor union with approximately 875,000 members (Laurent BERGER, Secretary General)
Confederation francaise de l'encadrement - Confederation generale des cadres (French Confederation of Management - General Confederation of Executives) or CFE-CGC, independent white-collar union with 140,000 members (Carole COUVERT, president)
Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens (French Confederation of Christian Workers) or CFTC, independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 142,000 members (Philippe LOUIS, president)
Confederation generale du travail (General Confederation of Labor) or CGT, historically communist labor union with approximately 710,000 members (Bernard THIBAULT, secretary general)
Confederation generale du travail - Force ouvriere (General Confederation of Labor - Worker's Force) or FO, independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members (Jean-Claude MAILLY, secretary general)
Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF, employers' union with 750,000 companies as members (claimed) (Pierre GATTAZ, president)
French Guiana: conservationists
gold mining pressure groups
hunting pressure groups
Guadeloupe: Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG
General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers or CGT-G
General Union of Guadeloupe Workers or UGTG
Movement for an Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI
The Socialist Renewal Movement
Martinique: Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC
Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM
Frantz Fanon Circle
League of Workers and Peasants
Proletarian Action Group or GAP
Reunion: NA
Political parties and leadersEurope Ecology - The Greens or EELV (Emmanuelle COSSE)
French Communist Party or PCF (Pierre LAURENT)
Left Front Coalition or FDG (Jean-Luc MELENCHON)
Left Party or PG (Jean-Luc MELENCHON and Martine BILLARD)
Left Radical Party or PRG (Jean-Michel BAYLET) (previously Radical Socialist Party or PRS and the Left Radical Movement or MRG)
Movement for France or MPF (Philippe DE VILLIERS)
National Front or FN (Marine LE PEN)
New Anticapitalist Party or NPA (collective leadership; main spokesperson Christine POUPIN)
New Center or NC (Herve MORIN)
Radical Party (Jean-Louis BORLOO)
Rally for France or RPF (Charles PASQUA)
Republican and Citizen Movement or MRC (Jean-Luc LAURENT)
Socialist Party or PS (Haerlem DESIR)
United Republic or RS (Dominique DE VILLEPIN)
Union for a Popular Movement or UMP (Jean-Francois COPE)
Union des Democrates et Independants or UDI (Jean-Louis BORLOO) and Democratic Movement or MoDem (Francois BAYROU) (previously Union for French Democracy or UDF); together known as UDI-Modem
Worker's Struggle (Lutte Ouvriere) or LO (collective leadership; spokespersons Nathalie ARTHAUD and Arlette LAQUILLER)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Francois M. DELATTRE (since 18 February 2011)
chancery: 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: (1) (202) 944-6000
FAX: (1) (202) 944-6166
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco
National anthemname: "La Marseillaise" (The Song of Marseille)
lyrics/music: Claude-Joseph ROUGET de Lisle
note: adopted 1795, restored 1870; originally known as "Chant de Guerre pour l'Armee du Rhin" (War Song for the Army of the Rhine), the National Guard of Marseille made the song famous by singing it while marching into Paris in 1792 during the French Revolutionary Wars
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Gallic rooster, fleur-de-lis, Marianne
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mark A. TAPLIN; note - also accredited to Monaco
embassy: 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75382 Paris Cedex 08
mailing address: PSC 116, APO AE 09777
telephone: (33) (1) 43-12-22-22
FAX: (33) (1) 42 66 97 83
consulate(s) general: Marseille, Strasbourg