Assembly of French Citizens Abroad

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Assembly of French Citizens Abroad
Assemblée des Français de l'étranger
Seats 179
Political groups
Union of the Majority (78),
French of the World – AFDE (63),
Presidential Majority (19),
Non-inscrits (9)
Last election
Meeting place
Centre de Conférences ministériel
27, Rue de la Convention,
15th arrondissement of Paris
Armoiries république française.svg
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The Assembly of French Citizens Abroad (French: Assemblée des Français de l'étranger; AFE) is the political body that represents French citizens living outside France. The assembly advises the government on issues involving French nationals living outside France, as well as the role of France in overseas developments. Membership consists of directly elected representatives, senators representing French citizens abroad and officials appointed by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.


The issue of representation for French nationals abroad was first addressed in the French Fourth Republic (1946–1958). Three seats were allocated to the Council of the Republic (the then-upper legislative house), representing citizens residing in Europe, America and Asia-Oceania. In addition, there were four agencies based in Paris also representing French interests abroad: the Union of French Chambers of Commerce Abroad, the Federation of French Teachers Abroad, the Federation of French Veterans Residing Outside France, and the Union of French Citizens Abroad (UFE). The conflict between these organization and the National Assembly in appointing the three members of the Council of the Republic led to the decision to form an entirely new body to represent French citizens abroad.[1]

Foreign minister Georges Bidault signed the decree establishing the High Council of French Citizens Abroad (French: Conseil supérieur des Français de l’étranger, CSFE) in July 1948.[2] The CSFE consisted of 55 members: the three Councillors of the Republic representing French nationals abroad, the presidents of the four organizations above, 42 elected members, and five members appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The first elections were held in 1970 in 70 countries.[1]

Turnout in these elections suffered a decline from 1997, which prompted efforts to extensively reform the CSFE. It was renamed the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad. The proportion of elected members was further increased. In addition, the electoral boundaries were revised to account for the changing demographics of French nationals abroad.[1]


The assembly is tasked with protecting the interests of French citizens abroad on issues such as the teaching of French, rights as citizens, social and economic problems, and taxation. They advise the French government on issues concerning French nationals living outside France and the role of France in overseas developments. The assembly also appoints representatives to various public agencies in France, including the National Stock Exchange, Permanent Commission for Employment and Vocational Training of French Citizens Abroad, etc.[3]

The assembly meets four times a year. Bureau meetings take place in June and December, while plenary sessions are held in March and September.[4]



The AFE is composed of 179 members:[5]


Day-to-day affairs are run by a general secretariat. The secretary general is appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.[5]


The council is presided over by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.[4] He is the council's president, and is assisted by three vice presidents elected by the council.[5]

  • President: Laurent Fabius (Minister of Foreign Affairs; since 2011)
  • Vice presidents:[6]
Member District Group
Francis Huss Madrid Union of Democrats, Independents and Liberals
Denise Revers-Haddad Beirut Rally of French Citizens Abroad
Daphna Poznanski Tel-Aviv French of the World – ADFE


Members also join committees which prepare reports on specific issues which are submitted to the council's sessions. The permanent committees include:[5]

  • Cultural Affairs and Education
  • Social Affairs
  • Finance and Economic Affairs
  • Laws and Regulations
  • European Union


Elections to the assembly are staggered based on geographical location. Electoral districts are divided into two "zones". Elections in each zone are held three years apart.[7] Zone A (last election in 2009) consists of electoral districts in the Americas and Africa. Zone B (last election in 2006) consists of districts in Europe and Asia.

The 155 elected seats are distributed among 52 electoral districts proportional to population. The districts are as follows:[8]

Countries Chief city Seats
Americas (Zone A) 32
 Antigua and Barbuda
 Dominican Republic
 Saint Kitts and Nevis
 Saint Lucia
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
 Trinidad and Tobago
Port-au-Prince 1
Buenos Aires 3
 Canada (1st) Toronto 3
 Canada (2nd) Montreal 5
 United States (1st) Washington, D.C. 5
 United States (2nd) Chicago 1
 United States (3rd) Houston 1
 United States (4th) San Francisco 4
Brasilia 3
Caracas 3
 Costa Rica
 El Salvador
Mexico City 3
Africa (Zone A) 47
 South Africa
Johannesburg 1
 Algeria Algiers 4
 Republic of the Congo
 Democratic Republic of Congo
Brazzaville 3
Lomé 2
 Burkina Faso
Bamako 3
Nairobi 2
 Central African Republic
Yaoundé 4
 Cape Verde
 Sierra Leone
Dakar 4
Tananarive 4
 Côte d'Ivoire
Abidjan 4
Djibouti 2
Cairo 2
 Equatorial Guinea
 São Tomé and Príncipe
Libreville 3
Tunis 3
 Morocco Rabat 5
 Mauritania Nouakchott 1
Europe (Zone B) 52
 Czech Republic
Vienna 3
 Germany (1st) Berlin 4
 Germany (2nd) Munich 6
 Andorra Andorra la Vella 1
Moscow 1
 Belgium Brussels 6
Athens 3
Stockholm 2
 Spain Madrid 5
 Ireland Dublin 1
 San Marino
  Vatican City
Rome 4
Geneva 6
 Luxembourg Luxembourg City 1
 Netherlands Amsterdam 1
 Portugal Lisbon 1
 Monaco Monaco 1
 United Kingdom London 6
Asia and the Levant (Zone B) 24
 India (except Puducherry)
 Sri Lanka
New Delhi 2
 Saudi Arabia
 United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi 3
 Marshall Islands
 Federated States of Micronesia
 New Zealand
 Papua New Guinea
 Solomon Islands
Sydney 3
 Timor Leste
Bangkok 3
 South Korea
Tokyo 4
Beirut 3
 India (partial) Pondicherry 2
 Israel Tel Aviv 4


Members organize themselves into political groups. A minimum of 18 members is required to form a group.[5] The assembly currently consists of four groups.

Composition of the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad
Group Members
French of the World – AFDE (Français du Monde – AFDE) 62
Union of Democrats, Independents and Liberals (Union des Démocrates, Indépendants et Libéraux) 41
Rally of French Citizens Abroad (Rassemblement des Français de l’étranger) 35
Presidential Majority (Majorité Présidentielle) 28
Non-Inscrits 12
Total 178

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Historique" (in French). AFE. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  2. ^ Décret n° 48-1090 du 7 juillet 1948 instituant un Conseil supérieur des Français de l'étranger auprès du ministère des Affaires étrangères, Journal officiel, 7 July 1948
  3. ^ "Rôle de l’Assemblée des Français de l'étranger" (in French). AFE. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Qui sommes-nous?" (in French). AFE. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Organisation" (in French). AFE. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  6. ^ "Message des vice-présidents" (in French). AFE. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  7. ^ "Elections AFE" (in French). AFE. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  8. ^ "Loi n°82-471 du 7 juin 1982 relative à l'Assemblée des Français de l'étranger" (in French). Legifrance. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 

External links[edit]