Prime Minister of France

Prime Minister of France

The Prime Minister of France ("Premier ministre français") in Fifth Republic is the functional head of the government and Council of Ministers of France. The head of state in France is the President of the French Republic. During the Second, Second and Fourth Republics, the Head of Government was called President of the Council of Ministers ("Président du Conseil des Ministres"), generally shortened to President of the Council ("Président du Conseil").


Decrees and decisions of the Prime Minister, as almost all executive decisions, are subject to the oversight of the administrative court system (see "Conseil d'État"). Some decrees may only be taken after advice from the "Conseil".

Understandably, each minister tends to defend the programs of his or her ministry, yet budgetary choices must be made. The Prime Minister is normally the final arbiter of such choices, though, in times when the President is of the same political stance, the President's choice may be preponderant.

Because the Prime Minister is ultimately responsible for governmental policy, he or she is generally blamed for the government's failings. As a consequence, the popularity of a prime minister may start high, then plummet, depending on circumstances. While some consider the position of Prime Minister as establishing political stature for a presidential bid, it is also arguably a very dangerous position because of the possibilities of unpopularity.


The Prime Minister is named by the President of the Republic. Because the National Assembly can, by a vote of censure, force the resignation of the government, the choice of prime minister must reflect the majority in the Assembly. When the President and the majority of the Assembly have opposite political leanings, this yields a situation known as cohabitation, where the executive is headed by a president and a prime minister of different opinion.

The Prime Minister proposes the list of other ministers to the President.



The current Prime Minister of France is François Fillon, who was appointed by President Nicolas Sarkozy on May 17, 2007.

ee also

*List of Prime Ministers of France
*Hôtel Matignon

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