Parliament of France

Parliament of France

:"This article is for the post-Revolutionary and present-day institution. For the Ancien Régime institution, see Parlement."The French Parliament ( _fr. Parlement français) or Parliament of France is the deliberative and legislative branch (parliament) of the Government of France.

The current parliamentary system in France is bicameral, and the Parliament is composed of:
* The "Upper Chamber" ("chambre haute"), which is the French Senate ("Sénat")
* The "Lower Chamber" ("chambre basse"), which is the French National Assembly ("Assemblée nationale"); the Assembly is the pre-eminent body.

Organization and powers

The two chambers conduct their deliberations in two different places:
* The Palais du Luxembourg for the Senate
* The Palais Bourbon for the National AssemblyEach house has its own internal regulations and rules of procedure.

They may however exceptionally reunite into one body, the French Congress ("Congrès du Parlement français"), at the Château de Versailles, to revise and amend the Constitution of France.

Parliament meets for one 9-month session each year: under special circumstances the president can call an additional session. Although parliamentary powers have diminished from those existing under the Fourth Republic, the National Assembly can still cause a government to fall if an absolute majority of the total Assembly membership votes a censorship motion. As a result, the "gouvernement" (Prime Minister and ministers) must be from the same political side as the Assembly and should be supported by a majority there. Periods during which the President of France is not from the same political side as the Prime Minister are known as "cohabitation".

The cabinet has a strong influence in shaping the agenda of Parliament. The government also can link its term to a legislative text which it proposes, and unless a motion of censure is introduced (within 24 hours after the proposal) and passed (within 48 hours of introduction - thus full procedures last at most 72 hours), the text is considered adopted without a vote.

Members of Parliament enjoy parliamentary immunity. Both assemblies have committees that write reports on a variety of topics. If necessary, they can establish parliamentary enquiry commissions with broad investigative power.


The French Parliament, as a legislative body, should not confused with the various parlements of the Ancien Régime in France, which were courts of justice and tribunals with certain political functions.

The Parliament, in the modern meaning of the term, appeared in France during the French Revolution. Its form – unicameral, bicameral, or multicameral – and its functions have taken different forms throughout the different political regimes and according to the various French constitutions:


:"This article is based on the article Parlement français from the French Wikipedia, retrieved on October 13, 2006."

ee also

*Constitution of France
*Government of France
*Politics of France
*History of France
* Comité d'histoire parlementaire et politique (in French)

External links

* [ Official site of the Parlement français] (in French)
* [ Site of the CHPP (Comité d'histoire parlementaire et politique) and of "Parlement(s), Revue d'histoire politique"] (in French)

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