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Bear in mind that the President defines foreign policy and decides military matters.

This led to some squabbles under previous cohabitations, as I recall, but ended with governments backing off. It was actually no big deal (stuff like who represents France at a NATO meeting), because there is disappointingly little difference between PS and UMP in either domain.

This will be very different under a Le Pen cohabitation. Which is why I foresee both foreign adventures and constitutional crisis. Imagine, for example, a unilateral declaration by President Le Pen of a withdrawal from the Schengen area.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 06:56:10 AM EST
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It's not completely true: the president is leading the armed forces when engaged: he has the final say in using nuclear weapons. But he does not decide all military matters. He has to consult the parliament in case of declaration of war (unlikely) or in case of foreign intervention (mali type). He is completely helpless in choosing the size and organisation of armed forces. He has no power to decide which treaties are to be signed...and ratified.

And he has to sign the laws passed by his government. It's an obilgation, even if he could delay them a litle. The french constitution is a lot less presidential than what is usually considered. It's just that, after the III and IV republic regimes, we sort of collectively choose a more presidential regime over the situation that prevailed before. And even this consensu is being modified in the last years, as more and more people ask for a return to IV republic era mechanisms.

by Xavier in Paris on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 10:15:03 AM EST
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