National Assembly (France)

Article

July 5, 2022

The National Assembly () is the French institution which forms, with the Senate, the Parliament of the Fifth Republic. Its role is to debate, propose, amend and vote on laws, as well as to control the action of the Government. Unlike the Senate, it has the power to force the resignation of the government by voting a motion of censure. It sits at the Palais Bourbon in Paris. Since 1986, the National Assembly has had 577 members, called “deputies”, elected by direct universal suffrage in a two-round majority uninominal ballot for a five-year term.

History

The history of national representation for two centuries is closely linked to that of the democratic principle and the uneven path it had to travel before finding in French institutions the consecration that it enjoys today. Although the French have periodically elected representatives since 1789, the method of appointing and the powers of these representatives have varied considerably from time to time, the periods when the institution of parliament was erased generally coinciding with a decline in public freedoms. In this regard, denominations are not innocent. That of the National Assembly, chosen in the fervor of 1789, did not reappear - except for the brief parenthesis of 1848 - until 1946. the Constitution of Year III in August 1795, “Chamber of Deputies of the Departments”, “Chamber of Representatives”, “Legislative Body”, “Chambers of Deputies”, etc.).

Location

The National Assembly sits at the Palais Bourbon in the 7th arrondissement of Paris on the left bank of the Seine, in a building that has housed all the lower houses of the French Parliament since 1799. Its monumental facade, slightly offset from the axis of the rest of the building, overlooks the famous Quai d'Orsay (the National Assembly is also close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is aligned on the Pont de la Concorde) . If the main entrance is at no. 126 rue de l'Université, it can also be reached by the quai d'Orsay (33-35) and by rue Aristide-Briand. The Hôtel de Lassay, seat of the presidency and official residence of the President of the National Assembly, is also assigned to the Palais Bourbon. All the buildings allocated to the National Assembly cover a floor area of ​​158,000 m2 for nearly 9,500 premises. In addition to the Palais Bourbon, it consists of four other buildings reserved for the offices of deputies and their collaborators: one of seven floors built in 1974, located on the other side of rue de l'Université, at 101, and connected to the Palais Bourbon by an underground passage, a second located at 233 boulevard Saint-Germain (acquired in 1986), a third purchased in 2002, located at 3 rue Aristide-Briand (former headquarters of the RPR), purchased in 2016 when it housed ministerial offices, the Hôtel de Broglie is to be renovated to replace the rental of offices at 3 rue Aristide-Briand. Some of these buildings also house the services necessary for the functioning of the National Assembly. Among these services, there is in particular the IT service which ensures the proper functioning of the equipment used by the legislative actors, but also all the digital platforms offered directly to MEPs or Internet users. Other departments such as accounting, human resources or administration are also housed in these premises. Finally, an official store is located at 7 rue Aristide-Briand. In a note published on the Jean-Jaurès Foundation website and made public in November 2017, LREM MP Adrien Taquet suggests decentralizing the National Assembly to a