The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the French Fifth Republic.
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter" – not the private concern or property of the rulers – and where offices of state are elected or appointed, rather than inherited.
A semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president exists alongside a prime minister and a cabinet, with the latter two being responsible to the legislature of a state.
France, officially the French Republic, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country consisting of territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories.
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The nation declares itself to be an "indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic".
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The constitution provides for a separation of powers and proclaims France's "attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789."
The separation of powers, often imprecisely and metonymically used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state.
Westphalian sovereignty, or state sovereignty, is a principle in international law that each state has exclusive sovereignty over its territory.
Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies.
The political system of France consists of an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch.
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city.
Executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government.
The Government consists of the Prime Minister and ministers.
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, and is responsible to Parliament.
The government, including the Prime Minister, can be revoked by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, through a "censure motion"; this ensures that the Prime Minister is always supported by a majority of the lower house.
Parliament comprises the National Assembly and the Senate.
It passes statutes and votes on the budget; it controls the action of the executive through formal questioning on the floor of the houses of Parliament and by establishing commissions of inquiry.
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city or country.
The constitutionality of the statutes is checked by the Constitutional Council, members of which are appointed by the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, and the President of the Senate.
Constitutionality is the condition of acting in accordance with an applicable constitution; the status of a law, a procedure, or an act's accordance with the laws or set forth in the applicable constitution.
Former presidents of the Republic also are members of the Council.
The independent judiciary is based upon civil law system which evolved from the Napoleonic codes.
The Napoleonic Code is the French civil code established under the French Consulate in 1804.
It is divided into the judicial branch and the administrative branch, each with their own independent supreme court of appeal: the Court of Cassation for the judicial courts and the Conseil d'Etat for the administrative courts.
A court is a tribunal, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law.
The French government includes various bodies that check abuses of power and independent agencies.
France is a unitary state.
A unitary state is a state governed as a single power in which the central government is ultimately supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only the powers that the central government chooses to delegate.
However, its administrative subdivisions—regions, departments and communes—have various legal functions, and the national government is prohibited from intruding into their normal operations.
France was a founding member of the European Coal and Steel Community, later the European Union.
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone, which consists of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
The European Coal and Steel Community was an international organisation serving to unify certain Continental European countries after World War II.
The European Union is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
As such, France has transferred part of its sovereignty to European institutions, as provided by its constitution.
The French government therefore has to abide by European treaties, directives and regulations.
Regulation is an abstract concept of management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends.