Cabinet of France
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politics and government of
The Cabinet is responsible to the National Assembly of France. The National Assembly may choose to pass a motion of censure forcing the Council of Ministers to resign. This has the effect of forcing the Government to be composed of members from the majority political party in the Assembly or to be allied to the majority in a coalition. Ministers are required to answer written or oral questions put to them by members of Parliament, known as Government questions (questions au gouvernement). In addition, ministers attend sessions of the Parliament Houses when laws concerning their assigned sectors and departmental portfolios are under consideration.
Cabinet ministers cannot propose legislation without parliamentary approval, though the Prime Minister may under certain limits enact statutory instruments, known as orders-in-council (décret en Conseil des ministres), i.e., government orders with statutory force. Ministers can however propose bills to Parliament and any such legislation is generally very likely to pass. On occasion, the majority opinion in Parliament may differ significantly from those of the executive, resulting in a large number of riders.
The Cabinet plays a major role in determining the agenda of the Parliament Houses. It can propose laws and amendments during parliamentary sessions. It also has a number of procedures at its disposal to expedite parliamentary deliberations.
The Cabinet meets with the French President during sessions called "Conseil des Ministres". They are usually held at the Élysée Palace on Wednesday mornings
Council members are subdivided into three substantial ranks, along with one honorary rank:
- Ministers — highest-ranking members of the Government
- Ministers of State (ministres d'État) — a purely honorary title, granted to some ministers as a symbol of prestige among other Council members.
- Deputy ministers (ministres délégués) — assist ministers in specialized areas of their portfolio
- Secretaries of State (secrétaires d'État) — assist ministers in less important areas and occasionally attend sessions of the Council of Ministers.
List of Council positions
The number of members, the titles held by ministers and the division of duties and purviews between them varies from one Cabinet to the next.
List of current Council members
For the composition of the current cabinet, please see Ayrault Cabinet.
Current ministerial positions (with their current titles)
- Minister of State, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs (Ministre d'État, Ministre des Affaires étrangères et européennes)
- Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs (Ministre de la Défense et des Anciens combattants)
- Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transportation and energy (Ministre de l'Écologie, du Développement durable, des Transports et du Logement—MEDDTL)
- "Keeper of the Seals", Minister of Justice and Freedom (Garde des Sceaux, Ministre de la Justice et des Libertés)
- Minister of the Interior, Overseas, Local Authorities and Immigration (Ministre de l'Intérieur, de l'Outre-mer, des Collectivités territoriales et de l'Immigration)
- Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry (Ministre de l'Économie, des Finances et de l'Industrie)
- Minister of Labour, Employment and Health (Ministre du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Santé)
- Minister of National Education, Youth and Community Living (formerly "Minister of Public Instruction") (Ministre de l'Éducation nationale, de la Jeunesse et de la Vie associative)
- Minister of the Budget, Public Accounts, the Civil Service and State Reform (Ministre du Budget, des Comptes publics, de la Fonction publique et de la Réforme de l'État, porte-parole du gouvernement)
- Minister of Higher Education and Research (Ministre de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche)
- Minister of Housing—see Minister of the Environment
- Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Planning (Ministre de l'Agriculture, de l'Alimentation, de la Pêche, de la Ruralité et de l'Aménagement du territoire—MAAPRA)
- Minister of Culture and Communication (Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication)
- Minister of Solidarity and Social Cohesion (formerly "Minister of Social Affairs, Labour, Solidarity and Civil Service") (Ministre des Solidarités et de la Cohésion sociale)
- Minister of Town (Ministre de la Ville)
- Minster of Sports (Ministre des Sports)
- Minister of Commerce and Industry—see Minister of the Economy
- Minister of Transportation—see Minister of the Environment
- Minister of Public Works ("Travaux Publics" or "Equipement")—see Minister of the Environment
- Minister of the Sea—see Minister of the Environment
- Minister of Tourism—see Minister for the Economy
- Minister of Health and Sports—see Minister of Labour
- Minister of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Solidary Development—see Minister of the Interior
- Minister of Countryside and Planning—see Minister of Agriculture
Ministerial positions which no longer exist
- Minister of Worship (Ministre des cultes)
- Minister of Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones
- Minister of Labour and Social Security Provisions—see "Minister of Employment"
- Minister of War—see "Minister of Defence"
- Minister of the Marine—formerly "Minister of Marine and Colonies"
- Minister of the Merchant Marine
- Minister of National Economy (e.g. under the Popular Front—merged with Minister of Finance)
- Minister of the Blockade ("Ministre du Blocus")—during World War I
- Minister of Air—merged into Minister of Defense
- Minister of Information—formerly Minister of Propaganda
- Minister of Pensions—merged into Minister of the Economy
- Minister of Commerce and Industry—merged into Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry
- Minister of Police (1796–1818, 1852–53)—merged into Minister of the Interior
- Minister of Cooperation (1959–1999)—merged into Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
- Minister for Women's Affairs (Secrétaire d’État aux Droits des femmes) 1998–2002
- Post-War Ministerial positions:
- First Minister—see Prime Minister of France
- Lord Chancellor of France
- High Constable of France
- Secretary of State for War
- Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
- Secretary of State for the Royal Household—also oversaw Religious Affairs, the Buildings of the King, and administration of Paris and the provinces.
- Secretary of State for the Navy
- Secretary of State for Protestant Affairs
- Created in 1998, and occupied by Nicole Péry, Secrétaire d’État à la formation professionnelle 1998≠2002, under Lionel Jospin Création du Secrétariat d’Etat aux Droits des Femmes. Le Collectif national pour les Droits des Femmes. lundi 23 novembre 1998