The Republic of France is a secular state whose motto is'' Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité'' (Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood).
The constitution of the 5th Republic of France, created October 4, 1988, governs the institutions. Thus, the constitutional body,''Le Conseil Constitutionel'' stands as guarantor for the Constitution.
The President of the Republic, who is the Head of the State and the army, is elected for 5 years by direct universal suffrage. The President then selects the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister then selects the members of the Government. The French President presides over the Council of Ministers and promulgates laws. He can also dissolve the National Assembly and in a serious crisis, he can use special powers.
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister directs the government and ensures law enforcement. Under his direction, the government determines and leads the politics of the Nation, remaining at all times accountable to Parliament.
The parliament is made of 2 assemblies: Le Sénat (House of Lords) and l'Assemblée Nationale (House of Commons). The 2 assemblies play a role in controlling the government, and also propose and vote the laws. For this reason and in the case of a disagreement, the National Assembly rules definitively.
Belonging to the European Union, France acknowledges the role of European institutions (the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council) and incorporates European decisions into its governmental agenda.
Organisation of Territory
The French Territory includes the metropolis, 4 French overseas departments ( Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana and the Reunion), 4 overseas territories (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, the French South and North Poles), as well as collective territories with a special status: Mayotte and St Pierre et Miquelon. In terms of local power 3 levels of collective territory overlap each other with distinct jurisdictions:
The Communes (towns)
There 36,763 communes (smaller administrative subdivisions) carry out local jurisdictions such as the construction of schools, town planning, social services, collection of household rubbish sanitation.
The departments (96 plus 4 oversees) created by the revolution in 1789 have considerable jurisdiction in terms of social services, construction and maintenance of schools, roads, etc.
The 26 regions, 4 of which are overseas, have a continually growing jurisdiction. The regions run policies centered on economic development, vocational training and town and country planning.
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