Making the French state 'exemplary': President Hollande's modest first steps

By and

When he was a candidate for the presidency, François Hollande promised to create a French system of government that would be beyond reproach. Earlier this week the president took his first steps to achieve that with the announcement of four laws to change the French Constitution. Yet there has been as much attention on the measures left out of the reforms as on what has been included. For example, there is no end to the president's immunity from prosecution while in office. Lénaïg Bredoux and Michel Deléan explain that the president has only backed those laws he is sure will get passed.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

During his presidential campaign François Hollande promised what he called an “exemplary Republic”, in other words a state where the leading figures and institutions were seen to be beyond reproach. Earlier this week President Hollande took his first, modest, steps down this route. As Mediapart had predicted (see story in French here) the constitutional reforms he unveiled to his ministers involve four laws. These cover the independence of the judiciary, a strengthening of social dialogue and reforms involving the civil law status of the president and the way criminal prosecutions against government ministers are handled.