Le système de représentation politique des Français à l’étranger : mon interview par la Chambre de commerce franco-britannique

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La Chambre de commerce franco-britannique située à Paris m’a interrogé sur le système de représentation politique des citoyens français établis à l’étranger, à l’approche des élections britanniques. Vous trouverez ci-dessous mes réponses à ces questions (à retrouver également ici) :

Voting rights for British Expats: What can the UK learn from France?

With the General Election in the UK just two weeks away, the voting status of British citizens abroad is once again in the news. We are delighted that Christophe Premat, a French MP representing Northern Europe, agreed to share his views on the much-discussed ‘overseas constituency.’

FBCCI – To many UK readers, the idea of a parliamentary representative for non-resident citizens is an unusual one.  How does the French system work?

Christophe Premat: In June 2012, French people abroad were able to vote for their MPs for the first time. Around the world, 11 constituencies were created. Mine is the third constituency with 10 countries: United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

To vote, one needs to be 18 and to be registered with the French Consulate on the “Liste Electorale Consulaire”. The MPs for French people abroad vote the laws like the national MPs and take part in the legislative process. The only difference is that they usually have longer distances to travel and the plane becomes the second office. Their constituencies are much larger and as a matter of fact it can be more difficult to meet the French diaspora.

FBCCI – How did you become an « MP » for French voters overseas?

CP: I am the substitute of Axelle Lemaire, who was elected MP for the French residents living in Northern Europe in June 2012. She was appointed Minister for Digital Affairs in April 2014 within Manuel Valls’ Government. In France, you cannot stay a MP when you become a Minister. Your deputy becomes the MP until you return to the Parliament. The main candidate chooses the deputy during the campaign, with a strategic point of view. In my case, I was the Nordic part of the Northern Europe ticket. Axelle Lemaire asked me to become her deputy because of my expertise on French education abroad, which is one of the main concerns for French residents abroad.

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