Domestic politics since the 1980s was marked by significant instability. In conditions when the 2 main ruling parties offered society diametrically opposed options for a social structure and development model, the course directly depended on the party affiliation of the prime minister and abruptly unfolded with his change. When this post was occupied by socialists, domestic policy had a pronounced social orientation and a redistributive character; these traits were lost when ODA representatives took over the government, seeking to support business by reducing redistribution. The frequent change of ruling parties at the helm deprived both the ODA and the FSP of the opportunity to complete the reforms initiated by each of them, which negatively affected the state of the economy. The course was more consistent in other areas of public life, where the reforms being made were not canceled with the change of power. So, in the 1980s and 90s. the death penalty was abolished; an administrative reform was carried out, uniting 96 departments into 22 larger regions; expanded the powers of local authorities. In the social sphere, there have been: a reduction in the retirement age from 63 to 60 years, an increase in the duration of holidays to 5 weeks, a reduction in the working week from 40 to 39, and then to 35 hours, the expansion of trade union rights, etc. Check computerminus for political system of France.
One of the main directions of the domestic policy of the government of J.-P. Raffarin is the fight against crime, which really increased noticeably in the 1990s. with the aggravation of the economic situation, the growth of unemployment, especially among immigrants. Reducing the level of crime was the central slogan of the election campaign of J. Chirac, who insisted in this regard on the need to strengthen the relevant security agencies. In the 2nd floor. In 2002, the police reform was carried out: its staff was expanded (which were at the level of 1945 – with a 20 million population growth) and the powers of the police. Another direction of domestic policy is the administrative reform, which provides for decentralization, giving greater independence to local authorities.
The main direction of French foreign policy in the last quarter of the 20th – early. 21st century was European construction. The creation of a Common Economic Space, a common political power, a joint defense system is invariably proclaimed the main goals of all presidents and all governments. France supported all measures to unify Europe: the Schengen Agreement of 1990, the Maastricht Treaty (although only 50.8% of voters voted in favor of it at a national referendum), the Amsterdam (1997) and Nice (2000) treaties. She was in favor of the accession to the EU of Greece, Spain and Portugal and a new phase of expansion towards Eastern Europe, scheduled for 2004, albeit with reservations regarding the distribution of agricultural subsidies.
The foreign policy of France is characterized by constant anti-Atlanticism, which was especially pronounced in the position of Charles de Gaulle, which became more muffled after his departure, but did not completely disappear. France constantly opposes its position to the American one on almost all issues of international life. The latest example was the attitude of France to the American actions in Iraq, which caused another deterioration in Franco-American relations.
From Ser. 1990s there have been changes in relations with developing countries, expressed in the refusal to maintain priority zones of strategic influence in the former colonies and in a more global approach, which provides for the reorientation of aid in the direction of the poorest countries, regardless of their former colonial affiliation.
Having been a member of NATO since its founding, France left the military organization in 1966. It has not returned to it until now, although in 1995 it again became a member of the NATO Defense Committee, and in 1999 participated in the operation in Kosovo. This return is becoming more problematic, given the desire of France to create an independent EU Armed Forces.
The French Armed Forces include the army, the navy, the air force, and the gendarme corps. The number of the Armed Forces is 390 thousand people. (including the Navy 63 thousand people and the Air Force 83 thousand people). The transition to a professional army (since 2000) was carried out as part of the military reform carried out since 1996, the completion of which is scheduled for 2015. Its main tasks are to revise the military doctrine with a shift in emphasis to rapid response to suppress conflict centers anywhere in the world, increase the effectiveness of the Armed Forces with reducing their number to about 300 thousand people, as well as reducing military spending. Their share in the state budget for 1992-2002 decreased from 3.4 to 2.57%, while maintaining and even expanding funding for priority programs in the field of the latest weapons. In terms of military spending, France significantly exceeds Germany, UK, Italy. France also has higher spending on military research and development and arms purchases (28% of military spending in the 2002 budget).
France is one of the most powerful military powers in the world. Its military-industrial complex provides the national armed forces with modern types of weapons, and also carries out their wide export abroad. In 2002, France ranked 3rd in the world in conventional arms exports. France is a nuclear power, its army is armed with 348 nuclear warheads. They are equipped with land-based aircraft and aviation of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, as well as 2 submarines (the third is planned to be launched in 2004).
France has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation. France recognized the USSR on October 28, 1924.