Cabinet of France

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The Cabinet of France (French: Gouvernement) is composed of the ministers of the Government of France, led by the prime minister.


All the members of the Government are chosen by the President based on recommendations by the Prime Minister.[1]


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 President of the Republic during sessions called the Council of Ministers (French: 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[edit]

Head of Government: the Prime Minister of France (Premier ministre).

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[edit]

For the composition of the current cabinet, please see Valls Cabinet.

Current ministerial positions (with their current titles)[edit]

Ministerial positions which no longer exist[edit]


Secretaries of State and Ministers during the Old Regime

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Article 8 of the French Constitution.
  2. ^ 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