Assembly of French Citizens Abroad

The Assembly of French Citizens Abroad (French: Assemblée des Français de l'étranger) 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 90 representatives elected among and by an electorate composed of all 442 elected consular representatives (themselves elected directly by all 3 Million French citizens living outside of France), across 15 worldwide electoral districts.

Assembly of French Citizens Abroad

Assemblée des Français de l'étranger
Coat of arms or logo
Leadership
President
Hélène Degryse
Vice-presidents
Ramzi Sfeir
Alexandre Bezardin
Members of the Board
Warda Souihi
Daphna Poznanski
Guilhem Kokot
Cécilia Gondard
Thierry Consigny
Franck Barthelemy
Structure
Seats90
AFE 2021 - 2026.svg
Political groups
  •   Ecology and solidarity (ES): 30 seats
  •   Solidarity and independents (SI): 14 seats
  •   Independents, democrats, and progressists (IDP): 29 seats
  •   Union of republicans, centers, and independants (URCI): 15 seats
  •   Not appearing on the list of any group (NI): 2 seats
Elections
Last election
2021
Meeting place
Centre de Conférences ministériel
27, Rue de la Convention,
15th arrondissement of Paris
Website
http://www.assemblee-afe.fr/

HistoryEdit

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 house of Parliament), 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]

RoleEdit

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]

OrganizationEdit

MembersEdit

The AFE is composed of 90 members elected by universal suffrage from 15 districts around the world who serve six-year terms[4]

SecretariatEdit

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

CommitteesEdit

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

  • Commission of Laws, Regulations and Consular Affairs
  • Commission of Security and Protection of People and Property
  • Commission of Education, Cultural Affairs, Worldwide Audiovisual and Francophonie
  • Commission of Social Affairs and Military Veterans
  • Commission of Finance, Budget and Taxation
  • Commission of Foreign trade, Sustainable Development, Employment and Training

ElectionsEdit

Elections to the assembly are staggered based on geographical location.

The 90 elected seats are distributed among 15 electoral districts proportional to population. The districts are as follows:[6]

Country Chief city[7] Seats
Canada 4
Canada Montreal 4
United States 7
United States New York City 7
Latin America and Caribbean 7
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Cuba
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Grenada
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Jamaica
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
El Salvador
Surinam
Trinidad and Tobago
Uruguay
Venezuela
São Paulo 7
Northern Europe 8
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
Ireland
Iceland
Latvia
Lithuania
Norway
United Kingdom
Sweden
London 8
Benelux 6
Belgium
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Brussels 6
Germany-Austria-Slovakia-Slovenia-Switzerland 11
Germany
Austria
Slovakia
Slovenia
Switzerland
Geneva 11
Central and Eastern Europe 3
Albania
Armenia
Belarus
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Georgia
Hungary
Kosovo
Macedonia
Moldava
Montenegro
Poland
Romania
Russia
Serbia
Czech Republic
Ukraine
Warsaw 3
Southern Europe 5
Cyprus
Italy
Greece
Malta
Monaco
Turkey
Vatican
Rome 5
Iberian Peninsula 6
Andorra
Spain
Portugal
Madrid 6
North Africa 7
Algeria
Egypt
Libya
Morocco
Tunisia
Casablanca 7
Western Africa 4
Benin
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Côte d'Ivoire
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea Bissau
Liberia
Mali
Mauritania
Niger
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
Dakar 4
Central, Southern, and Eastern Africa 5
South Africa
Angola
Botswana
Burundi
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Comoros
Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Djibouti
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Equatorial Guinea
Kenya
Lesotho
Madagascar
Malawi
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Nigeria
Uganda
Rwanda
Sao Tome and Principe
Seychelles
Somalia
Sudan
South Sudan
Swaziland
Tanzania
Chad
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Libreville 5
Central Asia and Middle East 4
Afghanistan
Saudi Arabia
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
United Arab Emirates
Iraq
Iran
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Oman
Uzbekistan
Qatar
Pakistan
Syria
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Yemen
Dubai 4
Israel and Palestine 4
Israel
Palestine
Tel Aviv 4
Asia and Oceania 9
Australia
Bangladesh
Burma
Brunei
Cambodia
China
South Korea
North Korea
Fiji
India
Indonesia
Japan
Kiribati
Laos
Malaysia
Maldives
Marshall Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Mongolia
Nauru
Nepal
New Zealand
Palau
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Solomon Islands
Samoa
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Tonga
Thailand
East Timor
Tuvalu
Vanuatu
Vietnam
Hong Kong 9

CompositionEdit

Members organize themselves into political groups. A minimum of 10 members is required to form a group.[5] The assembly currently consists of five groups.

Composition of the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad
Group Members
Ecology and solidarity (ES) 30
Solidarity and independents (SI) 14
Independents, democrats, and progressists (IDP) 29
Union of republicans, centers, and independants (URCI) 15
Not appearing on the list of any group (NI) 2
Total 90

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Historique" (in French). AFE. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. 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. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  4. ^ a b "Qui sommes-nous?" (in French). AFE. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  5. ^ a b c "Organisation" (in French). AFE. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  6. ^ "Décret n° 2014-144 du 18 février 2014 relatif aux conseils consulaires à l'Assemblée des Français de l'étranger et à leurs membres" (in French). Legifrance. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  7. ^ Article 2 de l'arrêté du 13 janvier 2014 fixant les chefs-lieux de circonscription pour l'élection des conseillers consulaires et des conseillers à l'Assemblée des Français de l'étranger, JORF n° 0015 du 18 janvier 2014 p. 893, texte n° 6.

External linksEdit