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Welcome to the english webpage of the French National Assembly

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Main bodies

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    • The Speaker

      As the fourth highest dignitary of the State, the President of the National Assembly plays an essential role in French political life.

      He is elected for the term of Parliament and has many prerogatives, certain of which are listed in the Constitution. He is thus consulted by the President of the Republic in several cases (the dissolution of the National Assembly, the implementation of the special powers provided by article 16 of the Constitution) and is vested with the power of referral to the Constitutional Council of which he appoints three members.

      He particularly has a preeminent role in the organisation of Parliamentary work and in the chairing of debates in the public sitting.

      Biography of Claude Bartolone, Speaker of the National assembly

      Claude Bartolone

      The son of a Maltese mother and an Italian father, Claude Bartolone was born in Tunis on July 29, 1951.

      He arrived in France at the age of 9. His parents and their three children settled in Le Pré-Saint-Gervais in the Département of Seine-Saint-Denis. After a general secondary education in French State schools, he earned a degree in mathematics prior to starting a career as an executive in the pharmaceutical industry.

      Meanwhile, he joined the Socialist Party in Le Pré-Saint-Gervais and was elected for the first time in 1977 as a local councillor. In 1981, he was one of the youngest MPs elected following the victory of François Mitterrand as President of the French Republic.

      Strongly rooted in the life of the Seine Saint Denis Department, he has been reelected as an MP ever since, and became Mayor of Le Pré-Saint-Gervais in 1995. Three years later, he was appointed as Minister for Urban Affairs in the Government headed by Lionel Jospin.

      Elected President of the General Council of Seine-Saint-Denis in 2008, Claude Bartolone made education, social diversity and economic development his top priorities.

      As a seasoned MP, he served as Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly from April 1992 to April 1993. Later he became Chair of the Committee on Social, Cultural and Family Affairs from June 17, 1997 to April 1, 1998.

      Between June and December 2011, Claude Bartolone chaired the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission on Risky Financial Products and Loans Subscribed to by Local Authorities and Other Local Public Services. This commission was set up upon his initiative and was unanimously approved. His final report was also adopted unanimously by the members of the inquiry commission.

      More information

    • The Bureau

      Even if the Constitution only mentions the Bureau of the National Assembly in passing (articles 26 and 89), the Bureau is nonetheless the highest collective decision-making body of the National Assembly.

      By uninterrupted tradition, the Bureau has general competence, either directly or by the delegation of powers to certain of its members, over the organization and the internal running of the National Assembly.

      This idea is expressed in article 14, paragraph one, of the Rules of Procedure: “The Bureau shall have complete power to run the deliberations of the House and to organize and direct departments”.

      More information

    • The Questeurs

      The term and the position of questeur date from the Senatus Consultum of 28 frimaire, year XII (20 December 1803). There are three Questeurs since the Third Republic. It is a tradition, since 1973, that two of them should come from the ranks of the Government majority and one from the opposition.

      The Questeurs are members of and act under the authority of the Bureau of the National Assembly and thus of the President of the National Assembly. They “shall be responsible for financial and administrative matters. No new expenditure shall be incurred without their prior agreement” (Article 15, paragraph one, of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly). No expenditure can thus be incurred directly by any of the departments under their authority.

      They are elected by their peers at the beginning of each term of Parliament, and then every year at the beginning of each ordinary session, except that which precedes the renewal of the National Assembly.

      In practice, the Questeurs manage, by delegation of the Bureau, the administrative and material sides of the life of the National Assembly.

    • The Conference of Presidents

      The Conference of Presidents is the competent body as regards the preparation of the organization of the work of the National Assembly in plenary sitting. It is convened by the President of the National Assembly once a week, usually on a Tuesday, or more often if necessary.

      The Conference of Presidents is made up, apart from the President, of the six vice-presidents, the eight chairmen of the standing committees, the General Rapporteur of the Finance Committee, General Economy and Budgetary Monitoring Committee, the Chairman of the European Affairs Committee and the chairmen of the political groups. The chairmen of ad-hoc committees may be invited to attend upon their request.

      The Government is represented by one of its members, usually the Minister in Charge of Relations with the Parliament. This person transmits to the Conference of Presidents the plans of the Government for the sittings weeks during which it has priority.

      The new wording of article 48 of the Constitution lays down the principle of the setting of the agenda by the assembly. It is the task of the Conference of Presidents to determine the order of business whilst taking into account the limits laid down by the Constitution.

      More information

    • Political Groups

      The political groups, which have been recognized by the Constitution since the revision of July 2008, are the formal representation of political parties and movements in the National Assembly and allow MPs to come together according to their affinities.

      They are represented in the Bureau and in the standing committees proportionally, according to the number of seats they hold. The allotted time for speaking during the plenary sittings is also decided upon by the number of members they have.

      The chairmen of political groups enjoy certain prerogatives within the legislative procedure. These are particularly aimed at safeguarding the rights of the Opposition.

      Outside of the prerogatives of their chairmen, the opposition and minority groups have a number of recognized rights in accordance with article 51-1 of the Constitution.

      Since june 2012, there are six political groups at the National Assembly :

      -Socialist Republican and Citizen (293 members and related)

      - Union for a Popular Movement (196 members and related)

      - Union of Democrats and Independants (30 members)

      - Ecolo (17 members)

      - Radical, republican, democrat and progressive ( 16 members)

      - Democratic and Republican Left (15 members)

      8 MPs are not members any political group.

      More information

    • The Standing Committees

      As the essential working bodies of the National Assembly, the standing committees have a double role:

      – To prepare the legislative debate in plenary sitting;

      – To inform the National Assembly and monitor the Government.

      In their efforts to set up a form of rationalized Parliamentarianism, the framers of the 1958 Constitution attempted to strictly limit the role and influence of the standing committees (in particular by restricting the number of standing committees to six).

      The practical reality has not fulfilled their expectations. Today the work of the standing committees represents an important contribution to the drawing-up of the law. The constitutional revision of July 23, 2008, drew the necessary conclusions from this development and introduced rules whereby the bills debated in plenary sitting are those which emanate from the work in committee and the maximum number of standing committees was increased from six to eight.

      In addition, various constitutional and statutory revisions have provided the standing committees with much more varied means of monitoring governmental action and have increased the publicity surrounding their work.

       

      Each committee is composed of one eighth of the members of the Assembly

      The 8 standing committees are:

      – Cultural and Education Affairs Committee

      – Economic Affairs Committee

      – Foreign Affairs Committee

      – Social Affairs Committee

      – National Defence and Armed Forces Committee

      – Sustainable Development, Spatial and Regional Planning Committee

      – Finance, General Economy and Budgetary Monitoring Committee

      – Constitutional Acts, Legislation and General Administration Committee

      Each M.P may only be a member of one standing committee.

      More information

    • The Plenary Sitting

      The plenary sitting is one of the highpoints of Parliamentary life because it is in the Chamber that laws are passed and that the Government may be held to account.

      One week out of four is, in addition, outside of the period of discussion of the budget, given over to the monitoring of Government action and to the assessment of public policies.

      The plenary sitting is also called the “public sitting”, thus testifying to the importance attached to the public nature of the debates. This constitutes an essential element in all Parliamentary democracies.

      The Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly give a special place and role to the main actors in the plenary sitting: the President of the National Assembly, the rapporteurs, the M.P.s. and the Government.

      They also lay down the general rules of the debates and the votes and attempt to facilitate the expression of all shades of opinion.

      More information

Role and powers of the National Assembly

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    • The Assembly at work

      The Palais Bourbon is a prestigious historical building, but is also the pinnacle of French institutional life and the effective demonstration of democracy at work. People are familiar with the image of MPs in the Chamber, but the details of the Parliamentary activities, as defined by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, are less well known.

      The MPs, elected by all French citizens, form the National Assembly, which passes laws, monitors government action and evaluates public policies. It shares legislative power with the Senate, but if the two Chambers of Parliament do not reach an agreement on a particular bill, the National Assembly has the final say. It alone has the power to censure the Government, in other words, to force its resignation; it is the only governmental body that can be dissolved by the President of the Republic.

      THE MPs

      The National Assembly consists of 577 MPs, who are elected to five-year terms. Since June 2012 (the 14th Parliament), 11 MPs are elected by French citizens living outside of France. They are national officials, but also represent local constituencies, and as such, act as intermediaries between citizens, who have delegated to them part of their sovereignty, and the power of the State.

      While the Parliamentary institution works 52 weeks per year, the public meetings are only held during session. The Constitution stipulates a nine-month ordinary session, from the first working day of October to the last working day of June. Outside of this period, the President of the Republic can call an extraordinary session of the Assembly, with a specific agenda. The work in plenary sitting does not represent majority of an MP’s work. Each one is a member of one of the eight standing committees in charge of examining texts. They may also be part of a committee of enquiry, a fact-finding mission, a Parliamentary delegation or office or a study group on a specific topic. The MPs also meet within their own Parliamentary groups. Finally, some MPs represent the Assembly in public institutions or international organizations (the Council of Europe, the Western European Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of French-Speaking Countries and so on). MPs and senators may meet as one body in Versailles when they are brought together as a full Congress, to revise the Constitution or, in compliance with article 18 of the Constitution as revised on July 21, 2008, when the President of the Republic addresses the Parliament.

      ORGANIZATION OF THE ASSEMBLY

      Elected by secret ballot at the beginning of the legislative session, the President represents the Assembly and directs discussion and debates. This major role includes other considerable prerogatives: the French President consults with him in the event the National Assembly is dissolved or if the emergency powers stipulated by article 16 of the Constitution are implemented; he appoints three of the nine members of the Constitutional Council, an institution that has the power to assess the compliance of a law or a treaty with the Constitution; and he appoints people to certain independent administrative authorities. In terms of protocol, he holds the fourth highest position in the State. The Bureau, a collegial institution responsible for the major decisions concerning the operation of the National Assembly, includes the President; six vice-presidents who can substitute for the President during plenary sittings, if necessary; three questeurs (Parliamentary administrators), responsible for the Assembly’s financial and internal management; twelve secretaries, whose primary task is to assist the President when votes are counted in the Chamber. At the start of the legislative session, most of the MPs choose to work with Parliamentary groups organized according to political affinity. The group designates the candidates who participate in the Bureau and on the committees. Each group chair has specific powers, such as the right to request a public vote or to verify the quorum. The Conference of Presidents consists of the President of the National Assembly, the six vice-presidents, the committee chairs, the chairman of the Finance Committee, the Chair of the European Affairs Committee and the chairs of the political groups. The Government is generally represented by a minister responsible for Parliamentary liaison. A Conference of Presidents is held each week during the open session to draw up the Assembly’s working schedule, or agenda. In compliance with the constitutional revision of July 21, 2008, “two of every four weeks of the session are set aside, by priority and in the order determined by the Government, to examine the laws and for the debates it has requested be included in the agenda.” One out of every four weeks, however, is reserved by priority to monitoring the Government’s actions and assessing public policies.

      PASSING A LAW

      In a democracy, the law alone determines the most important rules and regulations of communal life (liberties, nationality, right of ownership, legal code, elections and so on). The law authorizes the Government to impose taxes and determine expenses: this is the purpose of the annual finance law, or budget. And finally, the law authorizes the President of the Republic to ratify treaties. Aside from limited cases in which a law may be submitted to a referendum, most laws are passed by the Parliament. Both Parliamentarians (who submit Member’s Bills and the Government (which submits Government Bills) can initiate legislation. Similarly, amendments, which are proposals to modify bills submitted for discussion, can be introduced by the executive branch as well as by Members of Parliament. The Government can submit bills to either of the two assemblies, with the exception of finance bills and bills for financing the Social Security system, which must first be submitted to the National Assembly. As soon as they are submitted, the bills are printed and distributed to all the MPs. Unless a special committee is created, the bill is sent to one of the standing committees for evaluation; other interested committees may also examine the text. The committee appoints a person (called the rapporteur) who gathers all the necessary information through consultation; this person then submits a report to his or her colleagues containing an analysis of the text, along with suggestions. The committee may call for hearings to obtain additional information about a text from, for example, members of Government or outside experts and specialists in the field. The report recording the sequence of this work is published and distributed to all the MPs. This report is available on the website of the National Assembly.

      Since March 1, 2009, the discussion of draft bills must, in plenary sitting, be based on the text adopted in committee, with the exception of bills revising the constitution, bills for finance laws and bills for financing the Social Security system. A public discussion is held once the text has been placed on the agenda. This begins as a general discussion, with several participants: a member of the Government, the person who followed the bill in the committee (the rapporteur) along with others consulted for information, as well as the MPs who, either in the name of their group or as individuals would like to indicate their point of view. The Assembly examines the articles one by one, along with any amendments that may be attached to each. When all the articles have been examined and passed, a vote on the entire bill of law is taken. Political groups may sometimes intervene before the vote to explain a particular position. In order for a text under discussion to be definitively passed by the Parliament, the identical text must be voted by both Chambers. The text voted by one assembly is immediately sent to the other: these successive readings form the “shuttle,” which can by suspended by the creation of a Joint Committee. This committee, which consists of seven MPs and seven Senators, must negotiate to obtain a joint text that covers the elements for which the two houses could not reach an agreement. If this negotiation procedure is not successful, the Government can, after both chambers have read the text, give the “final say” to the National Assembly; in other words, request that it takes a final decision. After the law has been examined by the Constitutional Council to verify its compliance with the Constitution, if necessary, it must then be promulgated by the President of the Republic and published in the Journal Officiel. According to article 34-1 of the Constitution, added on July 21, 2008, the two houses can also vote on resolutions.

      GOVERNMENT MONITORING

      Monitoring of the Government’s action is one of the chief functions of the Parliament. MPs can question ministers, either in writing or orally. The Assembly can create committees of enquiry and committees to collect information. According to article 35 of the Constitution, a declaration of war is authorized by the Parliament. In the event the armed forces intervene abroad, the Government—in compliance with the constitutional revision of July 21, 2008, must inform the Parliament within three days, by pointing out the specific goals to be achieved. When the intervention lasts more than four months, the government must submit an extension for authorization by the Parliament and can request the National Assembly to decide in case of last resort. Above all, the Government is accountable to the Assembly. The Prime Minister can request a vote of confidence concerning his program or a declaration of general policy. The intervention of the Prime Minister is followed by a debate in which the representatives of the various political parties participate. The program or declaration is then put to a vote by public ballot. The program or declaration is approved if the number of votes “for” exceeds the number of notes “against.”

      The Assembly can force the Government to resign by voting a motion of censure, which means that the Government no longer has the support of the majority of the MPs. The motion of censure must be signed by at least one-tenth of the MPs. At the end of the discussion, only MPs in favor of the motion of censure participate in the vote. The motion is adopted if it receives the majority of votes of members of the Assembly, currently 289 out of 577. The Prime Minister can also can also call for confidence in his Government by requesting a vote on a particular text: this procedure is stipulated by article 49, paragraph 3 of the Constitution. A text is considered to be passed unless a motion of censure is voted. Once an “all or nothing” system, the recourse to the “49.3” is now strictly regulated by the constitutional revision of July 21, 2008: it is reserved to finance bills or finance laws for the Social Security, as well as to one Member’s Bill or one Government Bill or per session. When a motion of censure has been adopted (which has occurred only once since 1958), or if the program or declaration of general policy has not been approved, the Prime Minister must submit the resignation of his government to the President of the Republic.

    • The National Assembly in the French institutions

      These files answer questions often asked to the departments of the French

      National Assembly.

      All the departments of the National Assembly have played a part in their

      writing and have been guided by two main principles:

      -The files represent summaries of each subject;

      - The files are practical, in order to be easily used by the readers.

      Therefore this collection is not a textbook of constitutional or Parliamentary law. Each file deals with a different topic autonomously and thus there may be some overlapping between files.

      Link to the document “The National Assembly in the French institutions”

History and heritage

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    • History of the National Assembly

      The history of France's Parliament over the last two centuries is closely linked with the history of democracy and the chequered path it has followed before finding its culmination in today's institutions.

      The French have regularly elected their representatives since 1789, but how they have elected them and what powers they have given them have varied considerably over time: periods in which parliament was in decline generally coincided with a decline in public freedoms.

      The names given to Parliament are not without significance. `National Assembly' was the name chosen in the fervour of 1789, but it failed to reappear (apart from the short episode of 1848) till 1946. In the intervening years, designations of varying degrees of dilution (`Chamber of Representatives', Legislative Body', `Chamber of Deputies') reflected the reticence hostility even of those in power towards the principle of the sovereignty of the people.

      The beginning : 1789

      On 17 June 1789, one month after the Estates-General met at Versailles, the members of the third estate declared themselves to be the `National Assembly', since they represented at least 96% of the nation. They took sovereign powers in respect of taxation and decided to frame a constitution restricting the powers of the king. Henceforth, sovereignty was to reside not in the person of the monarch but in the nation, which would exercize it through the representatives it elected. This revolutionary idea was expressed in the 1791 and 1795 constitutions.

      The revolutionary assemblies (1791-99)

      Under the 1791 Constitution the Legislative Assembly was elected for one year by restricted suffrage and was empowered to enact laws and raise taxes, determine public expenditure, ratify treaties and declare war. It sat as of right and could not be dissolved. The king held executive power but could block statutes enacted by the Assembly for no more than two years.

      After the suspension of Louis XVI on 10 August 1792 a new assembly was elected by universal suffrage. It was called a `Convention' on the American model and was required to draw up a republican constitution. The first constitution was passed in 1793 but never came into operation.

      Under the Constitution of the Year III (1795) legislative power was shared by two chambers, elected for three years by restricted suffrage (a Council of Five Hundred, which had power to initiate laws, and a Council of Ancients), with an executive of five, the Directory.

      After four years of severe political instability the coup de grâce came on 18 Brumaire Year VIII (9 November 1799), when Bonaparte took power and Parliament was eclipsed for many years.

      Parliament muzzled (1799-1830)

      By the Constitution of the Year VIII (1799) France's legislature under the Consulate and the First Empire was divided into four assemblies (Conseil d'Etat, Tribunat, Corps législatif and Sénat), none of them elected by direct suffrage. This furthered the omnipotence of the executive, concentrated in the hands of Napoleon.

      The Charter granted by Louis XVIII in 1814 restored royal sovereignty, slightly attenuated by the existence of a bicameral Parliament a Chamber of Deputies elected for five years by restricted suffrage and a Chamber of Peers(hereditary or life). But the chambers could be convened and adjourned as the king wished; they had no power of initiative or any means of influencing the Government. They had only a semblance of power.

      The beginnings of a Parliamentary regime (1830-48)

      After the 1830 revolution a new notion of sovereignty became clear: the Charter was not granted but was passed by the Chamber and accepted by the king, who pledged loyalty to it. This meant that there was a pact between the representatives of the nation and the monarch: they exercised sovereignty together.

      The right to initiate legislation was restored to the two chambers. And the principle of ministerial responsibility before Parliament was first established.

      From the republican interlude to the Second Empire (1848-70)

      The republican constitution established after the 1848 revolution opposed a Legislative Assembly of 750 members to a President of the Republic, both elected by universal suffrage but neither capable of influencing the other. This excessive separation of powers resulted in the coup d'état of 2 December 1851: Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte dissolved the Assembly and, by plebiscite, arrogated to himself the power to promulgate a new constitution.

      The 1852 Constitution resorted again in order to weaken national representation to the methods tried and tested under the First Empire: an all-powerful executive (ministers appointed by the Emperor and accountable to him alone) opposed by an elected Legislative Body sharing diminished powers with a Council of State (made up of civil servants) and a Senate (whose members were appointed for life). These institutions failed to survive the defeat of 1870. After the fall of the Empire the Assembly elected on 8 February 1871, meeting first in Bordeaux and then in Versailles until 1879, passed the constitutional acts of 1875 which were to govern France for sixty-five years and provide the true foundation for the nation's Parliamentary system.

      Entrenchment of the Parliamentary system (1875-1940, 1946-58)

      Third Republic

      By the constitutional acts of 1875 legislative powers were shared by the Chamber of Deputies, elected by direct universal suffrage for four years, and the Senate, elected by indirect suffrage for nine years. The two houses had extensive powers both in initiating legislation and in supervising the Government, which was accountable to Parliament. In practice this latter power was exercised mostly by the Chamber of Deputies. The President of the Republic could dissolve the Chamber, but this power was no longer used after 1877. The Third Republic was marked by much ministerial instability and, paradoxically, between the wars, by frequent delegations of legislative power to the Government.

      On 10 July 1940 the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate met as the National Assembly at Vichy and granted full powers to Marshal Pétain (though eighty members voted against) [Chronology of the Appeal of 18 June 1940]. There was no organization representing the will of the nation from then until August 1944, when the Provisional Government set up a Consultative Assembly. An elected Constituent Assembly then determined the institutions of the Fourth Republic.

      Fourth and Fifth Republics

      The Constitution of 27 October 1946, like its predecessor, established Parliamentary sovereignty and the preeminence of the legislature.

      The National Assembly, elected by proportional representation, had more extensive powers than the Council of the Republic. It could determine how long it could sit and its order of business, and it alone could overturn the Government. On the other hand, the Government could dissolve the Assembly, but this was subject to particularly strict conditions which were met only once, in 1955, under the Edgar Faure administration. Helped by an electoral system that militated against homogeneous political majorities, ministerial instability was again to be the rule untilGeneral de Gaulle returned to power in May 1958 and institutions were put in place that determined parliamentary powers much more strictly.

    • La Marseillaise

      Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836) and La Marseillaise

      Rouget de Lisle singing for the first time La Marseillaise at the home of Dietrich, Mayor of Strasbourg.

      After Isidore Pils painting

      © Assemblée nationale

       

      "Mr de Lisle, write for us a song that will rally our soldiers from all over to defend their homeland that is under threat and you will have won the nation," proposed Dietrich, the Mayor of Strasbourg on the evening April 25th 1792, to one of his guests, Rouget de Lisle. The painter Isidore Pils (1813- 1875) immortalized the moment It was a tumultuous period in history : five days after France 's declaration of war on Austria and Prussia the French needed a marching song that could galvanize the troops of the Rhine Army. As a result, the highly successful French national anthem was born. Its author, however, was not so lucky.

      Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle was born in Lons-le-Saunier on May 10th 1760. He spent his childhood in the nearby town of Montaigu in the Jura department where his parents lived. From a very young age Claude Joseph showed a passion for music, but his father had other plans for him. In 1776, he enrolled at the Ecole militaire ( Military Academy ) in Paris and in 1782 at the École du génie de Mézières (engineering school in Mézières). In 1791 he joined the Rhine Army in Strasbourg and was assigned to the Les enfants de la patrie battalion. It was here, at the behest of Dietrich, that he composed the Battle hymn of the Rhine Army. The song was adopted by soldiers from Marseille as they marched into Paris in July 1792 Parisians called the song the "Marseillaise" and the name stuck. In August 1792, Rouget de Lisle was suspended from office after refusing to recognize the abolition of monarchy. He was reinstated in October of the same year. During the Terror he was imprisoned in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. He was released after the Thermidorean Reaction (July 1794) that led to the arrest and execution of Robespierre. On the April 9th 1796 , Rouget de Lisle finished his military career. He had disappointments with Napoléon, occupied a range of posts, and earned a meagre living through his writing. In 1830 he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour. He died on June 26th 1836 in Choisy-le-Roi at the age of 76. His ashes were moved to Les Invalides on 14th July 1915 . As for La Marseillaise, it was declared a national song on 14th July 1795 and became the national anthem in 1879.

       

      Listen La Marseillaise

Visits

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    • Visiting the Palais-Bourbon

      The National Assembly opens its doors.

      Free tours of the Palais Bourbon are organized for groups with a maximum of 50 people, invited by an MP, as well as for individual visitors.

      The date and time of the tours are determined to the schedule of the Parliamentary agenda.

      Public entrance: 33 Quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris.

      Reservations:

      Online, by clicking on this link: http://wwl.assemblee-nationale.fr/visites/

      By phone, Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm at: + 33/ (0) 40 63 56 00

      Due to security measures, visitors who have reserved their tour are requested to arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the tour, with personal identification. Failing this, their entry may be offered to another visitor.

      Visiting without a prior reservation:

      Visitors who have not reserved ahead of time can also arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the visit, with personal identification; they will be allowed to enter providing space is available.

    • Attending a public debate

      Parliamentary debates have been public since the French Revolution. The principle is enshrined in Article 33 of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and is implemented by the possibility for the public to attend the sittings of the Assembly.

      Article 33 of the French Constitution

      “The sittings of the two Houses shall be public. A verbatim report of the debates shall be published in the Journal Officiel. Each House may sit in camera at the request of the Prime Minister or of one tenth of its members.”.

      How to attend a public debate of the National Assembly?

      Visitors wishing to attend a debate should get an invitation card (or "billet de séance") from an MP. The number of seats is limited.

      In addition, attendance at the debate is guaranted for the first ten people present in front of the entrance located 33 Quai d'Orsay and more depending on the available seats .

      Attendance at the public debate is free of charge.

      What obligations must the audience at public sittings respect ?

      According to the regulations of the National Assembly, the audience must wear proper attire (for men, jacket with long sleeves, long trousers), and stay seated with hats off. Visitors may consult the Parliamentary documents relating to the ongoing debate, and take notes.

      Visitors must stay silent and give no sign of approval or disapproval.

      A cloakroom, compulsory for coats and bags, is available for visitors.

    • “Enter the Chambers”, a virtual exhibition

      Celebrating the European Year of Citizens 2013, the French Assemblée Nationale would like to take you on an unprecedented digital tour through Parliamentary Europe.

      Designed in partnership with Google Cultural Institute, the exhibition offers a unprecedented overview of the 42 Parliamentary assemblies of the European Union.

      From Tallinn to Lisbon, from Stockholm to Athens, from Brussels to Bucharest, Europe is rich in Parliaments, in their history, in their heritage and in their influence promoting democracy.

Contact and practical information

  •  
    • Contact

      Assemblée nationale

      126, rue de l'Université

      75355 Paris 07

      Telephone : + 33 / (0)1 40 63 60 00

      Mail : webmestre@assemblee-nationale.fr

      Publication editor : Ms. Corinne LUQUIENS, Secretary General of the National Assembly

      COPYRIGHT

      "Public" and "official" documents are not subject to copyright (article L.122-5 of the Code of Intellectual Property). They can therefore be freely reproduced. This is the case for Parliamentary debates and documents. Information is for personal use only. Any use or reproduction for commercial purposes is forbidden.

      Documents may be reproduced on paper or in electronic form, provided that they are freely circulated, the integrity of the documents reproduced is respected, and the author’s name, the source and a link to the original document online are mentioned. Graphics, photographs and multimedia resources may not be reproduced without prior agreement. For graphic creations and illustrations, requests should be sent to the rights holders. If you are not sure of the identity of the aforementioned holders, you may send a request to the Assemblée Nationale’s Communication & Multimedia Information Service at the following address : communication@assemblee-nationale.fr.

    • Transport :

      Metro: National Assembly (line 12), Invalides (lines 8 and 13)

      RER: Invalides (line C)

      Bus: lines 24, 63, 73, 83, 84, 93, 94

      Car parking: Paid parking is accessible from the Invalides (Esplanade des Invalides and Rue de Constantine).

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