The electoral cycle of 2017 is a turning point in France’s political landscape; the presidential and legislative elections were a major rupture which upset the political field. Historically, French politics were structured by a dividing line opposing two poles along the left/right cleavage, even...
After the 31 March demonstration against the new proposed labour legislation (the ‘loi travail’), demonstrators decided not to go home; they re- assembled at Place de la République to keep vigil and debate the society they wanted to build, and the Nuit Debout movement was born. It is difficult to...
Since the sequence of presidential and legislative elections in 2012, the Left Front (Front de gauche) has been riven by a series of serious disputes that have kept it from recovering the unity of action that it once had.
The results of the 2007 presidential elections are altogether the worst for the left since 1969. It is true that Sarkozy’s clear majority as President still did not give the UMP the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution – which will make things more complicated for the UMP in the way...
The May 2007 election of Nicolas Sarkozy as President of the French Republic has up to now produced few formal analyses regarding the ideological nature of the political project for which he was elected, even though a re-foundation of the Left certainly cannot do without serious reflection on the...
As everyone knows, in the 2005 referendum the French people rejected the European Constitutional Treaty. What had enabled this success was that, for the first time, forces opposed to neoliberalism worked together and created a really dynamic popular debate and exchange of ideas, a deep-rooted...
The political situation in France is at a fresh turning point. The capitalist crisis and the financial crisis have suddenly worsened the living conditions of the world of labour, which is undergoing exceptionally violent attacks from the President and the Government, despite the complete rejection...
Europe consists of about 50 states, 27 of which are members of the European Union. So, what we see on the far right are ‘50 shades of brown’, so to speak. It is doubtful that one and the same notion can be applied to such a wide range of phenomena. However, even more doubtful appears the notion of...
This paper draws a comparison between the German Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and the French Rassemblement National (RN) by examing the two electorates from the point of view of working conditions as well as a specific sector of the electorate, synthetically referred to as "popular classes".
One day after the elections, it is still difficult to comprehend fully the results of yesterday’s predicament. On thing is definitely clear, the left has been deeply defeated. The first surprise of the European elections has been the higher than expected turnout. Indeed, while every polling stations...
This article was written in January 2017 and initially published in the February 2017 issue of the Journal Sozialismus.
In December 2016, the Austrian presidential election finally came out with the rejection of far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer. However the defeat of the Freiheitliche...
The French Shock
The European elections, coming on the heels of local elections, were a disaster for the left. They confirmed, all at once, the dissatisfaction of the French people for the course being followed by the European Union, and their distaste with the policies...
As in the previous presidential election, Jean-Luc Mélenchon outpaced all his competitors on the left by several million votes. His electorate is both in continuity with the 2017 election and undergoing profound transformations.
On 26 April, either Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen will be elected the next president. Even though Macron and Le Pen already confronted each other in the second round of the 2017 elections, this time the radical left has come third, with only 1.2 percentage points behind the far right.
The war in Ukraine, first and foremost, has decentred the general debate and, above all, has allowed Macron to reassert his presidential stature. On the left, the conflict has exacerbated already strong ideological divisions, and the gaps in the polls have widened.
On Jean-Luc Mélenchon's chances in the upcoming presidential election, on the resignation of whole segments of French society and how La France insoumise (LFI) is approaching them, the party's greatest success in the last five years and the relationship between LFI and social movements.
The French President’s vision for Europe, often hailed as ambitious and progressive, is seemingly at odds with his conventional neoliberal domestic policies. However, behind this discrepancy lies a coherent strategy which is key to his reelection.
After her setback in the regional elections, Marine Le Pen now finds herself rattled by the unexpected rise of far-right media polemicist Éric Zemmour. Between its desire to represent a break with the status quo on the one hand, and its aspirations to electability on the other, her National Rally party is going through an identity crisis.
The French political and social situation – with its many strikes, social movements, and highly ideologised political currents – often fascinates observers outside France. The life of a central figure in the French socialist movement, Jules Guesde, who is little known outside France provides insights into the specificities of the French left.
La France Insoumise had its summer university in Valence from 19th to 22 August. This meeting was obviously overshadowed by the Corona Crisis and its brutal impact on the popular classes in France. But also the attempts of the government to push through anti-social pension and unemployment “reforms”...
The municipal elections are an important event of French politics. Indeed, after the presidential election, these are the elections that usually benefit from the highest turnout. 35,416 municipal councils were to be elected; however, as a result of the pandemic, they took place under very special conditions.
The philosopher Lucien Sève has just died of Covid-19 at the age of 93. Roger Martelli, historian and editorial director of the French newspaper Regards, remembers the resistance fighter, politician and intellectual and gives an overview on his most recent works.
Since the 5th of December 2019, France is witnessing its biggest strike since either 1995 or as some mention May 68, though the number of participants is of course way less important than in that mythical year.
The editorial boards of Regards, Politis and Mediapart are joining forces to launch the "Pour l’accueil des migrants" manifesto to welcome migrants. It has been initially signed by 150 intellectuals, artists, activists, unionists and prominent members of civil society - tenth of thousands followed.
Emmanuel Macron is confronted with the strongest social mobilisations in France since his election. Even though these mobilisations are heterogeneous and gather a large variety of struggles, they were originally triggered by Macron’s rail reform which embodies the President’s harsh neoliberal agenda.
Convincing his European partners, above all Germany, that France will embrace structural reforms in order to get a new deal for Europe with more public investment, the introduction of Eurobonds and a strengthening of the common budget: this is the strategy Macron has been putting forward since the first day of his presidency.
After the predicted but non-the-less spectacular result of the first round of the presidential election, on the left urgent questions are burning each and everyone’s lips: what shall we do in two weeks?
The so-called Labour Law, passed en force by the French government on 20 July, is the most serious attack against the “Code du Travail”, already undermined for the past thirty years. A short historical overview is necessary to better grasp the destructive scope of this law, promoted and enforced by a socialist government – cruel irony!
Faced with a democracy that has been denied, an authoritarian government and repressed social movements, the seven trade unions that have spent almost three months fighting against the El Khomri bill (CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, Unef, UNL and FIDL) and in favour of a labour law commensurate with the 21st century are organising a referendum in companies, administrative bodies and research centres.
160 000 demonstrators in Paris, 120 000 in Marseille, 100 000 in Toulouse… All in all, more than one million workers, students and pensioners took to the streets on March 31st throughout France to oppose the dismantling of the code du travail, the set of labour laws and regulations.
The labour movement in France is facing an unprecedented attack in the form of a radical bill introduced by the government that would largely dismantle the rights and guarantees enshrined in the Labour Code. However, this attempt is being opposed by a new dynamic combining trade union activism with an extraordinary mobilisation of youth, largely via social media, unseen on this scale since the lead-up to the mass protest against the First Job Contract in 1996.
In 13 French regions a second round of regional elections was held. In seven regions, the Sarkozyite right has won (there used to be left-wing majorities in all of them before the elections). In five regions left-wing majorities were reached which are based on the lists affiliated with the Parti socialiste (PS) after the first round of elections.
The results of the first round of regional elections confirm the gravity of the political situation in the country. Following on from the European election, the Front National (FN) is building on its position as a leading political party, with a majority that will amount to some 30% following the results of the regional elections on December 6.
Bernard Maris, an economist at the Bank of France, was at the meeting of editors of Charlie Hebdo on 7 January 2015 in Paris. He, too, died under the bullets of the killers – Oncle Bernard, author of a column in the satirical magazine, in which he explained the mysteries of finance.
Yesterday’s terrorist attack murdered a large part of one of the country’s most famous editorial teams – including five of the most creative artists and cartoonists involved in the satirical newspaper, an economist who has often his critical views represented very efficiently in the media, as well...
The abstention levels of 39% were a record high for municipal elections. They were particularly high in areas most affected by the crisis; in metropolitan communes; among the young; workers; and voters of the Front de Gauche (Left Front) and of the FN (National Front). In addition, almost 3 million potential voters were not registered to vote.
On 22 January 2013, France and Germany were celebrating, with considerable pomp, the anniversary of the “Elysée Treaty”. However, 50 years after the treaty was signed, in a new world and a crisis in Europe, it would be more appropriate to revamp Franco-German relations … an idea, which at least inspired the Front de Gauche and Die Linke, whose co-operation has strengthened over the last few years.
One week before the big demonstration in Paris on 30 September against the Fiscal Compact called for by a broad alliance of trade unions, social movements and political actors, among them the Front de Gauche, the federal council of the French Greens („Europe Écologie Les Verts“) has with a clear majority spoken out against the ratification of the Fiscal Compact by the French National Assembly.
For the first time since ten years the government of France is led by the PS (Parti Socialiste) again. In 2002, the Gauche Plurielle government and its then candidate Jospin encountered catastrophic results due to the public's massive dissatisfaction with their politics. When it became clear that...
First and foremost, Hollande’s election is a clear rebuff for the “President of the Rich” and the power of the oligarchy he embodies which has become stronger in the crisis.
In spite of the relief felt about Sarkozy having been voted out, the mood can by no means be compared to 1981 (Mitterand’s...
Till now it was generally considered that, under the 5th Republic’s 1958 Constitution, the Senate (the Upper House of Parliament) could never swing Left.
However, during the senatorial elections of 25 September last, despite an election system tailored for the Right, the “grand electors” (that is...
With increased internationalism of the right-winged political spectrum in Europe being on the rise, the question of internationalism of the European left is becoming more present in the past years. A nativist versus internationalist debate defines contemporary politics.
These elections continued the evolution of the political arena toward a tripartite division between the far right, the liberal right, and the radical left — Yann Le Lann and Gala Kabbaj (transform! europe) provide an analysis of the elections and the ramifications of this evolution.
The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Bavaria talks with the authors of the transform! europe ePublication Coalition of Labour: Worker's Voices in Europe, which provides an analysis of the current working and living conditions, the perceived causes of their situation, and the impact of the pandemic of French, German, and Italian workers.
On 18 March, the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the Paris Commune, the Fondation Gabriel Péri (Paris) and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Berlin) are organising an online event where German and French historians and politicians will discuss their perspectives on the world-historical event. Watch the full video!