Is France as Unprepared for the Future as We Think?

From the Roman writers of old to Tony Soprano’s anxious musings in the pilot episode of The Sopranos, navel-gazing is as old as Western civilization itself. Even now, American students who take French long enough will inevitably be asked to write a response to the following prompt: “Les Etats-Unis sont-ils en déclin? Repondez avec des […]

The French Baccalaureat– a Billion Euro Exam

On Friday June 21, the last official exam of the French Baccalaureat was held. The Baccalaureat exam, the equivalent of UK A-Levels and the equivalent of American High School’s end-of-year exams, is solely a State run program. The French Baccalaureat is one of the oldests schooling systems. Originating from the 18th century, the Baccalaureat was […]

A Strange Week for the EU: Ups and Downs for the Union

And the winner is… the European Union! Or is it? Friday, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for its contribution over six decades “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” Certainly, this is great news for the EU which has undergone many political difficulties over […]

Weekly Editorial: The Media, The Extremists and the Freedom of Speech

For more than two centuries, the United States have carried a reputation regarding the freedom of speech: they are the free-ist country in the world. Except for exceptional circumstances, everyone in the country is entitled to express publicly whatever they think. This right has become entrenched in the country’s tradition and is, rightfully, a pride […]

Why so Civil? The French Elections as Seen by “Une Américaine”

At times I wasn’t sure if I was watching a presidential campaign or a game show.  With all due respect to French television, though, the digitalized image of the Palais de l’Élysée adorning the set of the Hollande-Sarkozy debate did seem like something CNN would do in a desperate, gimmicky move for better ratings.  François […]

The U.S. Election as Seen From France

There are few countries so far away and yet so historically close. France and the United States share a long history, from the War of Independence to two World Wars. However, even with this common ground, the perception of each country by the other is often reduced to stereotypes: The Eiffel Tower and Hollywood only […]

The Lost Spirit of the Olympics

Bread and Games. That was the Roman emperors’ recipe to keep the people happy. In some way, we have lowered our expectations since that period, as we now have to work to win our bread. Now, our satisfaction is guaranteed through the Games only. For fifteen days, the world was turned towards London and as we watched thousands […]

Op-Ed Small Parties: How To Exist Until 2017

Well, the electoral period is over. Now, the political system will shift back to its classic configuration and the fight between the majority and the opposition will replace the ideological debate. Although this change is natural for the two biggest parties (PS and UMP), it is significantly more difficult for the smallest ones. The Front […]

Opinion: France’s Issues with Secularism

Several recent events brought French issues regarding religion back into the forefront. Debates and events regarding the French relationship with religion seem to have accumulated easily in the last few years. One of the latest, the International Football Federation has allowed women soccer players to wear veils during games, creating a huge scandal in France. […]

Bright Tomorrow For The Front National

The 2012 harvest was a good one for Extreme-right party the Front National (FN). In April, the first round of the presidential election saw its leader, Marine Le Pen, win the highest percentage ever for the party at 17.90%. And later, in June, the legislative election witnessed the party winning its first two seats in […]