Threatened Abortion Rights in Spain Spark Concern in France

On Jan. 20, the French Parliament started debating a new set of laws regarding gender equality. The bill included an amendment of a 1975 law that allows abortion. The amendment removes the requirement that a woman must be in a situation of “distress” in order to have an abortion. The amendment was passed on Jan. […]

Parity: A Brief History

Parity is an important, yet rarely fully understood concept in French politics. Born in 1850, parity advocates for equality between men and women. Since then, roles of parity and the areas to which it has applies have been extended. In 1894, Léopold Goirand, a radical deputy, asked for a legislative bill “whose purpose is to […]

Culture, The Other Goal of Hollande’s Presidency

It was June 8 at the Ateliers Berthier of the Odéon Theater in Paris, François Hollande, his girlfriend, and David Kessler, the cultural counselor of the Elysée, went to the theater as any other spectator to see Joël Pommerat’s play, My Cold Room. Aside from the anecdotal aspect, the presence of the President of the […]

Draft Amending Budget for 2012 Released by the Government

“Request first, those who were previously exempt from the collective effort” and it is to be done with a tax “favoring private income.” These are the words uttered yesterday during his policy speech of the Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who announced his political line regarding state funding, while the right shouted sarcastically, “taxes, taxes …” […]

Ayrault’s State of the Nation Address: A Balancing Act for the PM

Before the newly elected French Assembly gathered for its first session, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault delivered a speech Tuesday that outlined the main plans of his government’s anticipated political action. Ayrault needed to gain a vote of confidence for his government from the representatives, already considered a given with the socialists  holding the absolute majority […]

The FN: An Ideological Renewal?

With 17.9% in the first round of presidential elections – and an 80% national participation rate- the question of the Front National’s (FN) profound values is more relevant than ever. Marine Le Pen led her campaign with the intention of ridding the party of its extremely negative reputation. But even if the form of the […]

Auditors to Hollande: Budget Cuts Can Not Wait

In a sobering audit report from accounting watchdog group Cour des Comptes released Monday, President Francois Hollande was given a stern warning: cut the state budget by $54 billion, or face failing to meet deficit targets. The French government must plug a hole of between €6 billion and €10 billion ($7.6 billion and $12.59 billion) […]

The Failing Image of the Greens

Earlier this week Daniel Cohn-Bendit castigated his peers, this time criticizing the public image of the Green party’s ruthless ambition, which actually weakened the party during the elections and after. Some members even voted for the Left Front presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, reviving the debate about the Greens’ predicted extinction. In an interview with French […]

Upcoming Debate on Gay Marriage in France: What Is Left Unsaid On Both Sides

On June 29th, the day before the Parisian Gay Pride parade, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced that “the right to marry and adopt for all would be established during the five years of the presidency.” The date still needs to be specified. Unlike several other European countries, France has not yet accepted gay marriage. As the President […]

Spain and Italy Gain Ground at European Summit

Spain and Italy dominated more than just the soccer field this week. At the European Summit in Brussels, European leaders negotiated the economic fate of the Euro Zone and future plans to tackle issues of rising debt and unstable markets. Mario Monti and Mariano Rajoy, the Italian and Spanish Prime Ministers respectively, exerted more pressure […]

“Pantouflage” Becomes a Dialogue Across Political Parties

“Pantouflage” is the word used to describe when a former senior civil servant moves into the private sector. This phenomenon raises ethical problems since the private and public spheres are becoming more and more mixed. In fact, many people who are doing this still have influence in politics, making it tempting to use government policy […]

The Diminishing Value of the Baccalaureate

The Baccalaureate Exam was created in 1808 in France to evaluate, at the end of high school, students’ knowledge that they had gained. It was also intended to ensure that the students were capable of advancing to higher learning. This year’s students are the first to take the Bac after the reform of 2010. Although, […]

It’s Back to the Benches for the New Representatives

On May 26th, the newly elected representatives of the French National Assembly chose their President. For some, this was new and exhilarating, while others made their way back to the benches that had been theirs for years before. After months of intense campaigning, this is an important moment when political forces begin navigating a new […]

G20 and Rio+20: What Should Not Have Been Missed

Last week was a very busy one for M. François Hollande. The new French President was present at both the G20 Summit in Mexico, the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil, and he will be in Italy for a European based summit in the coming days. In waiting for the outcomes of the European Summit, here are […]

Small Immediate Measures for Education before Broader Reforms

During his campaign, François Hollande made education and young people a focus of his electoral platform. Recently, Vincent Peillon, Minister of Education for the government of PM Jean-Marc Ayrault announced a series of small immediate reforms and re-adjustments for the 2012-2013 academic year. According to the government, major education reforms are in the works, as […]

Inside the Campaign: Victory and Disenchantment Among the Young Socialists

On June 17th, the Left and its leading party, the Parti Socialiste (PS) won the legislative elections, after a series of electoral victories. This came a little over 1 month after the PS also won the Presidential election on May 6. After this crucial and long political period, which has monopolized the attention of the […]

Update: Small Changes for the Government of Jean Marc Ayrault

As expected after the legislative elections, the Élysée has announced a slight reorganization of the government this week. Four new people were added: Anne Marie Escoffier was named Minister of Decentralization. She was until now a senator belonging to the radical left party in Aveyron, a small rural department. Her nomination allows for the opening […]

La Jeune Politique is moving!

We are making a move to a new and improved site! We are excited to share this step with all of you. Stay tuned.

The Wake of Tragedy: Considering Charlie Hebdo Weeks Later

PARIS — It is always hard to write in the midst of dramatic events. In the days following the attack on Charlie Hebdo, it felt impossible to report on the tragic attack or the ensuing manhunt for gunmen Chérif and Saïd Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly. Though I did not feel particularly affected by the attack, […]

The Freedom to Be Funny: Reflecting on France’s Tradition of Satire

In a 2012 Le Monde interview the late publishing director of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier said these now iconic words: “I would rather die standing up than live on my knees.” (In fact the quote originates with Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.) In the same article, another of the magazine’s cartoonists injured in the attack, Riss […]

March in Paris Brings “Fraternity” into the Foreground

PARIS — More than 4 million people marched all over France yesterday, January 11, 2015. Between 1.5 and 2 millions took to the streets in Paris alone. In fact these numbers are only vague estimations, since the crowds in Paris were so large and their routes so unpredictable, that it was impossible to truly count the […]

France Reacts to Charlie Hebdo Massacre

PARIS – All over Facebook, people changed their profile pictures to a simple black box with broad white letters that reads “Je suis Charlie.” Joachim Roncin from the French magazine Stylist designed the image just after the terrorist attack that targeted the Parisian office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday January 7, at […]