|François Hollande (Socialist party, since 2012)
Bernard Cazeneuve (Socialist Party, since December 2016)
|Size||643,801 Km2 (248,600 sq. miles)|
|MEPs||74 (joined the EU in 1958)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
|2nd round: 7 May 2017
|Presidency of the Council||January – June 2022|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||21 July 2016|
|Brexit priorities||Even though it is unclear what the future French Government’s priorities will be regarding Brexit, it is certain the French will have a big say on the matter. Not only is it one of Europe’s most powerful countries, but it also has close connections to the EU’s Brexit negotiation team. One topic that will be high on the agenda between the two countries is security and immigration. President Hollande has said he will honour the agreement to keep Britain’s border controls in Calais, but this does not guarantee any future Government will do the same. The current Government insists that London must strike the divorce deal – including an exit bill that the EU estimates at €60 billion.|
|What Mr Hollande said on Brexit||6 October 2016
“The UK wants to leave and pay nothing. It’s not possible. There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price. Otherwise we will be in a negotiation that cannot end well.”
“We have to have firmness. If not, we would jeopardise the fundamental principles of the EU. Other countries would want to leave the EU to get the supposed advantages without the obligations.”
Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on 6 February 2017
“We must first discuss the conditions under which the exit will take place, and to do it within the time allowed for negotiation, without wasting time,” – “with the aim of ensuring that the interests of the EU are defended and that a state leaving the EU cannot benefit from a better regime than that between member states”.
|France’s priorities||Currently, everybody in France is mainly focused on the upcoming presidential elections, with populist and eurosceptic Marine Le Pen from Front National and centrist Emmanuel Macron from En Marche! having made the second round. This is the first time in over fifty years that no one from two mainstream parties, the Republicans and the Socialists, will be taking the Presidential office. The main topics of the debate are terrorism, the EU, the refugee crisis and the economy.|
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