European union


The French parliament (Assemblee-nationale)
Chaiperson: M. Jean-Louis Debré
Members: 577

Parliamentary groupUnion for a Popular Movement
Information for the partyThe Union for a Popular Movement, initially named the Union for a Presidential Majority, and in both cases also known by its French acronym UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire and Union pour la Majorité Présidentielle, respectively) is a French right-wing, conservative political party. It was founded in 2002 from the merger of the Rally for the Republic (Rassemblement Pour la République), Démocratie Libérale, and a sizeable portion of the Union for French Democracy (Union pour la Démocratie Française). UMP is a member of the International Democrat Union.
As its initial name shows, UMP generally supports the policies of president Jacques Chirac. However, in 2004, UMP has shown increasing signs of independence. The unpopularity of Jacques Chirac and Jean-Pierre Raffarin's administration in the electorate has led most members of UMP to support Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a rival of Chirac. UMP also publicly disapproved of Turkey's proposed membership in the European Union, which Chirac had previously endorsed several times publicly.
Curently the UMP has a majority in both houses of the French Parliament.

Parliamentary groupSocialist Party
Information for the partyThe Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste or PS) is the main opposition party in France. Although it has historically been a democratic socialist party, and still defines itself as such, most political scientists would say that it is now a social democratic party. It was founded in 1969. A democratic socialist party has existed in France under various names since 1880. For a century, however, it had only fleeting electoral success. In 1981, under François Mitterrand, party won both the presidency and (with allies) a majority in the National Assembly for the first time, and was president for 14 years.
In 1984 Mitterrand and his second Prime Minister, Laurent Fabius, made a sharp change of course and abandoned any further socialist measures. Since then, the Socialists have been in practice a moderate social democratic party, largely embracing the market economy. Because of this, the Socialist party is often criticized by groups further to the left (Lutte Ouvrière, Revolutionary Communist League, Parti des Travailleurs...) as being no more a truly left-wing party.
At the 1995 presidential election, Mitterrand retired, and the Socialist candidate, Lionel Jospin, was defeated by Jacques Chirac. In 1997, however, the Socialists gained a majority in the National Assembly and Jospin became Prime Minister, following a policy that was broadly progressive but had little to do with socialism as traditionally understood. Chirac again defeated Jospin in the presidential elections of 2002, and Jospin then retired from politics. Later in 2002 the Socialists were defeated by Chirac's allies in parliamentary elections. In the 2004 regional elections, however, the Socialists had a major comeback. In coalition with the Greens and Communists, they gained power in 21 of the 22 regions. The leader of the Socialist Party is now its secretary-general, François Hollande.

Parliamentary groupUnion for French Democracy
Information for the partyThe Union for French Democracy, also known by its French acronym UDF (Union pour la Démocratie Française), is a French center-right political party. It was founded in 1974 as an union between several smaller parties (Parti radical, Parti républicain - later renamed Démocratie Libérale - and Centre des démocrates sociaux), under the leadership of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, who was elected president in that year, but now is a single entity, in part due to the defection of some of its constituent members to President Chirac's UMP.
It may be compared to the Christian-Democratic Union of Germany in terms of its Christian democrat policies.
Its current leader, as of 2003, is François Bayrou, and UDF is a junior partner in the coalition behind Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, though no longer in his cabinet.
UDF's most marked political trait is that it is in favor of European federalism, up to the point of turning the European Union into United States of Europe.
The economic policies proposed by UDF's leaders used to range from left-wing-leaning, in favor of social justice, to strongly laissez-faire economics. Such divergences led the laissez-faire advocates of Démocratie Libérale to split out of UDF on May 16, 1998.
Similarly, the social policies ranged from the conservatism of the likes of Christine Boutin, famously opposed to civil unions for homosexuals, to more progressive policies.
Many leaders of UDF left it to join the Union for a Presidential Majority (Union pour la Majorité Présidentielle), supporting Jacques Chirac, after it was founded in 2002, leaving François Bayrou somewhat isolated. While a partner in the Raffarin cabinet, the UDF sometimes criticized the policies of the French government, yet does not wish to quit the cabinet and enter the opposition, which is mostly left-wing. As a result, UDF quit the cabinet in the March 31 2004 cabinet reshuffling, while still remaining in the parliamentary majority.

Parliamentary groupFrench Communist Party
Information for the partyThe French Communist Party (Parti Communiste Français or PCF) was founded in 1920.
Marie-Georges Buffet is the current leader of the party (since 2001) and former Minister of Youth and Sport in the government of Lionel Jospin. She succeeded Robert Hue, who received only 3.37% of the votes in the 2002 presidential elections, placing 11th in a field of 15 candidates, while the party received an only slightly better 4.8% in the 2002 parliamentary elections. The list she led in Île-de-France received 7.2% in the 2004 regional elections, while other lists led by the PCF received more than 10% (in Nord and Picardie for instance). This is in comparison to the period after World War II, when PCF was France's largest political party, with 28.8% in the 1946 parliamentary elections. Each September, the party holds the "Fête de l'Humanité", a large popular festival.

Parliamentary groupIndependent
Information for the party

Parliamentary groupRassemblement démocratique social et européen
Information for the partyOnly in the Senate.

Parliamentary groupGroup of republicans, communist and citizens
Information for the partyOnly in the Senate.

The French senate (горна камара)
faction: 577
Chaiperson: Christian Poncelet

factionUnion for a Popular Movement
factionSocialist Party
factionUnion for French Democracy
factionFrench Communist Party
factionRassemblement démocratique social et européen
factionGroup of republicans, communist and citizens