National Assembly (France)

The National Assembly ( French National Assembly [ a.sɑɔ 'channel ]) is the lower house (French Chambre basse) of the French Parliament . The upper house is called in France the Senate , they form a bicameral legislature . The French political system has a strong executive as part of a semi-presidential system of government , the President has more power than in most Western countries.

First National Assembly 1789
→ Main article: Constituent Assembly

In the revolutionary year of 1789 called Louis XVI. first time after 150 years of the Estates General on (members of the First, Second and Third Estate). After opening the meeting on 5 May was initially done nothing because the Third Estate insisted the choice exam , so check to see that all MPs were elected legally, together make what the representatives of the two other items refused. The Third Estate was not willing to compromise, but invited the representatives of the other classes to participate in its meetings.

On 13 June was followed by three clergymen of this invitation. More reform-minded privileged joined in the coming days.

On 17 June agreed to 491 against 90 deputies to the National Assembly, they saw themselves not as representatives of their state, but of the entire French nation.

So was the National Assembly of the first modern, articulated not by parliaments stands on the European continent. Their main task was to draw up a constitution in which the takeover was codified by the bourgeoisie.

On 26 August 1789 the National Assembly passed against the will of the king of the Marquis de La Fayette introduced Declaration of Human and Civil Rights and decided to including them in the constitution .
More History

Since then, the French legislature (and constitutional) meetings often called National Assembly, so

the Legislative Assembly in the following brief constitutional monarchy 1791-1792,
the National Convention (1792-1795),
the Constitutional and Legislative Assemblies of the Second Republic, 1848-1851,
the (two-part) Parliament of the Third Republic, 1871-1940,
the Constituent (and later the Legislature) meetings of the Fourth Republic (1946-1958) and
the Legislative Assembly of the Fifth Republic (1958-present).

Following the name was often in other countries as a Constituent Assembly as the National Assembly called.
See also: List of Presidents of the French National Assembly

The deputies of the National Assembly after the Roman electoral system chosen in two rounds for five years. Entitled to vote at any Frenchman, the 18th, the Years of age, registered in the electoral roll and the right to vote has not been withdrawn. Anyone who is eligible Frenchman, the 18th, the Years of age and, if committed, has completed the military or civil service. Also it may not be the right to vote was denied. Up to and including the 2007 election, the minimum age for eligibility was 23rd

For election to the National Assembly 577 constituencies are formed in which each one deputy is elected. For the first time in the 2012 election while the constituencies for the French expatriates set up, which reduces the number of formed on the territory constituencies. Overall, there are:

556 constituencies in mainland France;
10 constituencies for the Overseas Territories;
11 constituencies for the French expatriates.

The constituencies are each formed to be within a department are. Depending on the size of a department includes 2 to 24 constituencies, a constituency comprising about 66,400 voters. German-speaking countries are in the 6th (Switzerland) or 7th Constituency of French Nationals .

Candidates do not have to live in their constituency. A candidate must not compete in more than one constituency.

On the first ballot, a candidate is elected if he the absolute majority of the valid votes can join up. The votes must also be at least 25% of registered voters in the electoral roll.

If none of the candidates for which an absolute majority support, then there is a second round, in which a relative majority is sufficient. On the second ballot may attend those candidates who were in the first round to reach at least 12.5% ​​of the voters, but at least the top two finishers of the first round. Common is that parties who are close politically, agree in the second round on a common candidate, so often in the second round, only two (left and middle-right), or three candidates (left, middle-right, extreme- right) are facing, the latter occurs when no collusion between the bourgeois and the extreme right are taken.

In case of a tie in the second round of the senior person is elected from among the voices match.

In suspected offenses in the choice is anybody voters and each candidate, the election for Constitutional challenging. This has the opportunity to reject the opposition to change the election results and declare the election invalid. In this case, the choice must be repeated.

In the last elections (2007) reached the conservative UMP about 40% of the vote, was 28% in the left-wing PS , 7% on the MoDem the Liberal candidate Francois Bayrou .

The far-right National Front reached about 5% of the vote, the rest spread on various parties of the extreme left ( Communists , Trotskyists ) and the Greens.

Death of a member of parliament or the mandate rests due to the acquisition of certain functions (such as membership in the government), in the place of MPs occurs in nomination designated representative. If the term for any other reason shall be held within three months instead of a by-election. Elections omitted in the last twelve months of the legislative session.
Member of Parliament

To delegate, one must be 18 years old and have served its military or civilian. Senior officials of the election are excluded. Prefects in their departments or regions, sub-prefects, judges, prosecutors and police directors at the level of departments and Inspectors General: These are among other things. The ineligibility extends from prefects on for three years and sub-prefects to one year after the end of their term.

A deputy may not at the same time the Senate , the government , the Constitutional Council and the Economic and Social Council or members of the government be provided with a job (mission) that lasts longer than six months. The activity as Défenseur des droits is incompatible with membership in the National Assembly. Since 1972, this rule also applies to directors-general of state-owned enterprises or private companies that receive a high degree of government contracts or subsidies.

Upon entry into the government rests the mandate of the deputies. In this case and in the case of death, the entrance to the Constitutional Council, an appointed Défenseur des droits or a government contract of longer than six months to the MPs occurs must be reported already in choosing deputies. Terminates membership in the government, a deputy shall take his position a month after leaving the government again, according to the deputy loses his seat. In all other cases, the termination of the National Assembly for the current term is final. [1] Should a delegate from a country other than the reasons mentioned in the National Assembly shall be held within three months instead of a by-election except in the case in the last 12 months before the end of the term. [2]

Since 1985, because of changes to the Organic Law (loi organique) MPs accumulate only limited offices. In addition to the mandate of the National Assembly should an MP taking more than one of the following positions: a seat in the European Parliament (since 2004 is a dual membership banned altogether), regional or general council or city council of Paris, the mayor of a municipality with at least 20,000 inhabitants, deputy mayor of community with at least 100,000 inhabitants or a member of a territorial administration of an overseas territory . Within 15 days after the election, there shall be a Member of Parliament to decide what he wants to perceive the offices.

The perception of another local or regional office is often. In the composition of the 1993 elections were 267 MPs held the office of Mayor, 248 were general councils and 89 other MPs were members of a regional council. The strong local roots of Representatives is due to the fact that many careers at the national level in the local start and the representatives of the people, for various reasons want to give up their posts. In addition, the power-political weight of a member is reinforced by a regional office in Paris. As most French people wish that her deputy to represent local or regional concerns in Paris, by the perception of a local mandate the re-election chances of a parliamentarian to be strengthened. [3]

The National Assembly deputies to join factions together. It must include at least 15 members of a faction who are required to file a joint policy statement to the President of the National Assembly. It is common for a group comprising representatives of different, though related parties, by a majority vote would otherwise not most of the parties represented in the National Assembly in a position to form a group. A peculiarity in the French parliamentary system, the so-called apparent. These are MPs who belong to a group (because they have not signed the Declaration of Principles), but this associate. They are counted in the allocation of committee seats in the fraction.


The Presidium of the National Assembly consisting of a President, six Vice-Presidents, three quaestors (a type manager ) and 12 secretaries . The President, in the first meeting after the election of the National Assembly for the duration legislature elected by secret ballot, for the election in two rounds, the absolute majority of the votes cast, in a third round of voting goes the relative majority of. The other members of the Board are in the second session of the National Assembly elected after the next election and thereafter annually at the beginning of the session. Here the members of the Bureau, a joint proposal of the Chairman’s found. Is it for that feature in the Bureau no longer candidates to forgive as places are, there is no choice, but the candidates are appointed directly, in the other case is a common ballot held for all positions in the relevant function, in the first two rounds are each selected all candidates who have achieved the absolute majority of the votes cast, in a third round of voting, the candidate with the most votes until all seats are taken.

Until the election of a president of officiating age President as chairperson, the six new members as secretary.


In the National Assembly to pass eight standing committees. In addition, by request of the Government or by a resolution of the National Assembly can be set up special committees. The committees are staffed by political groups in proportion to their size. The standing committees are also non-attached Members, whereby the oldest candidate shall be nominated for membership.

Exist as permanent committees:

Committee on Culture and Education (Commission of Cultural Affairs et de l’éducation)
Committee on Economic Affairs (Commission des affaires économiques)
Committee on Foreign Affairs (Commission of Foreign Affairs)
Committee on Social Affairs (Commission des affaires sociales)
Committee on Defence and Military (Commission de la défense et des forces armées national)
Committee on Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning (Commission du développement durable et de l’aménagement du territoire)
Committee on Finance, Economy and Budgetary Control (Commission des finances, générale de l’économie et du contrôle budgétaire)
Committee on Constitution, Legislation and Administration (Commission des lois sional constitution, de la Legislation et de l’administration générale de la République)

The National Assembly as part of the legislation

The laws are adopted in France by Parliament. Legislative area – defined in Article 34 of the French Constitution – cover the following subjects:

public freedoms
Definition of crimes and offenses
Imposition of taxes
Budget law
National Defence
Local Freedoms
Right of ownership
Social Security Financing

In 1996, the legislative field to the last aspect has been enhanced.

The other areas are the responsibility of the government, since they only have regulatory nature. The delimitation of the legislative and the regulation region takes care of the constitutional or Council of State ( Conseil d’Etat ).
Responsibility in International Contracts

The National Assembly shall, especially bills that are necessary for the ratification of international treaties. Which are negotiated by the French president . These are:

Peace treaties
Commercial Contracts
Contracts for public finances
Contracts for the Individual
Contracts for the amendment of legal provisions

These agreements can only enter into force when ratified by the National Assembly. Have controlled the Legislature the President. Since October 1974, a minority of at least 60 MPs are calling the Constitutional Council, in order to examine a law on its constitutionality. Previously, this was only the President, the Prime Minister or the President of the two legislative chambers possible. In practice, the president of which makes the most use. Also since 1992, there is a commitment by the Government, the National Assembly and the Senate drafts and proposals concerning the affairs of the European Union who act, immediately forwarded.
Constitutional Amendment

For a constitutional amendment, there must be in addition to the approval of the National Assembly, a consent of the Senate. At the end of a constitutional amendment still needs ratification by the people, or in the event of a draft decision of the President of the Parliament by the Congress (a joint meeting of the Assembly and Senate). At the last event, the hurdle of three-fifths of the votes cast is set.
The legislative process

The right to legislative initiative lies with both the government and the deputies or senators . When the government called them bills (projets de loi). Among MEPs Bills (proposition de loi) Each Member has the right to introduce a bill – but this is checked prior to publication by the Bureau to the Article 40 of the French Constitution, according to which there can be no law in this increase in spending and no reduction in government revenue.
Committee deliberations

In the second step, the bill – and the bill – passed for objective advice on any of the eight standing committees. In rare cases, a special committee is formed. Furthermore, other standing committees of the parliament who were not charged with drafting the proposal and intervene.

In each committee is known as a rapporteur (Rapporteur), is used to submit the examination of the text to colleagues a draft report containing its conclusions or opinions. After a consultation, the Committee is usually on the report or opinion, and it usually leads to more amendments.

Once adopted the report of the Committee follows the debate in plenary . The deputies need to vote on each item and the additional requests. This is followed by a vote on the entire text. The approved draft will be referred to the other chamber, where the same process occurs. Adopted so that the law can be legally and promulgated by the President, it must be by both chambers in identical terms are (oscillation method or “navette”).
Bourbon Palace (seat of the National Assembly)

Paris is the seat of Parliament. The Palais Bourbon (built in 1722) is located on the left bank of the Seine , facing Place de la Concorde between State Department and Defense : National Assembly, 126, rue de l’Université, 75355 Paris.
See also: List of members of the French National Assembly , the list of members of the National Assembly of the 12th Term (France) and the Chamber of Deputies (France)

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