La France Insoumise

La France insoumise ([la fʁɑ̃s ɛ̃.su.miz]; variously translated as "Unbowed France", "Unsubmissive France", or "Untamed France") is a democratic socialist, left-wing populist political party in France,[15] launched on 10 February 2016 by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, then Member of the European Parliament and former co-president of the Left Party (PG). It aims to implement the ecosocialist programme L'Avenir en commun (English: "A Shared Future").

The party nominated Mélenchon as a candidate for the French presidential election of 2017. He came fourth in the first round, receiving 19.58% of the votes and failing to qualify for the second round by around 2%. After the legislative elections of 2017, La France Insoumise formed a parliamentary group of 17 members of the National Assembly, with Mélenchon as the group's president.

The party uses the lower case Greek letter phi as its logotype.

La France insoumise
AbbreviationFI, LFI
FounderJean-Luc Mélenchon
Founded10 February 2016
Membership (2017)Increase 540,000 (claimed supporters)[1]
IdeologyAlter-globalisation
Democratic socialism[2][3]
Eco-socialism[2]
Environmentalism[4]
Left-wing populism[5][6]
Soft Euroscepticism[7]
Souverainism[7]

Left-wing nationalism [8]
Political positionLeft-wing[9][10][11] to
far-left[12][13]
European affiliationMaintenant le Peuple
International affiliationNone
European Parliament groupGUE/NGL[14]
Colors     Ochre      Sky blue
National Assembly
17 / 577
Senate
1 / 348
European Parliament
2 / 74
Presidencies of Departmental Councils
0 / 101
Presidencies of Regional Councils
0 / 17
Website
lafranceinsoumise.fr

History

La France Insoumise was founded on 10 February 2016,[16] based on the belief that traditional parties and political organisations no longer serve democracy and instead transverse movements are needed.[17] The movement is particularly inspired by the Spanish party Podemos and the candidacy of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party presidential primaries of 2016 in the United States.

Its first meeting took place in Place Stalingrad, Paris on 5 June 2016 in the form of a march numbering about 10,000 people, according to the organisers.[18][19] A second meeting took place in the gardens of the Toulouse Observatory on 28 August 2016.[20]

The programme L'Avenir en commun (English: "A Shared Future") was adopted during the Lille convention, attended by just under 1,000 people in Saint-André-lez-Lille on 15/16 October 2016.[21] Several personalities addressed the convention, including former Société Générale trader Jérôme Kerviel, LuxLeaks whistleblower Antoine Deltour, political specialist Paul Ariès, former Malian Minister of Culture Aminata Traoré, and former Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou.[22]

At this convention, the movement also presented twenty candidates for the French legislative election of June 2017, including Jean-Marie Brom, physicist, research director of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and spokesperson of Sortir du nucléaire; Rémy Garnier, public finance inspector and whistleblower in the Cahuzac affair; Lionel Burriello, leader of the CGT union for the ArcelorMittal steel works in Florange; Mehdi Kémoune, deputy secretary-general of the CGT union for Air France; actress Sophie De La Rochefoucauld; Marie-Hélène Bourlard, trade unionist featured in the movie Merci patron!; Olivia Cattan, journalist and founder of the association SOS Autisme France; and Nathalie Seguin, trade unionist and member of the French Communist Party (PCF).[22]

In August 2017, La France Insoumise organized its first summer university (called Les AmFIs, a play between the word amphitheater and the acronym FI for France insoumise), a traditional moment in France where campuses open their doors to political party gatherings and meetings between activists, elected officials, and many philosophical and cultural guests. It was set in the Marseille Saint-Charles University. During four days, debates, conferences and workshop. The movement debated also about its future.[23]

In the 2017 Corsican territorial election, local supporters of La France Insoumise under the banner of "La Corse Insoumise" were allied with the PCF. The PCF-FI alliance attacked Mélenchon and the list was disavowed by Mélenchon.[24][25]

Ideology and political program

The drawing up of the program was coordinated by economist Jacques Généreux and lawyer Charlotte Girard.[26][27] It drew its inspiration from L'Humain d'abord (English: "Human First"), the programme of the Left Front during the 2012 presidential election, from the work carried out by the PG during its conventions for the eco-socialism and summits for a plan B in Europe and from contributions from supporters of the movement,[26] which the rapporteurs were asked to synthesize.

At the end of the Lille Convention, a synthesis of all the proposals resulted in a program of 7 axioms and 357 measures. It was adopted by more than 90% of voters.[22]

The movement proposes "ten emblematic measures", approved during the Lille convention, calling for four main "emergencies" to be addressed: the democratic emergency, the social emergency, the ecological emergency and the geo-political emergency.[28][22] Adopted by 77,038 votes in an Internet poll, these ten measures are:[22]

  • The formation of a constituent assembly tasked with writing the constitution of a Sixth Republic to succeed the present Fifth Republic. Members of the movement consider the Fifth Republic to be a "presidential monarchy", in which too much power is concentrated in the office of the President of the Republic, with the people unable to exercise control over its actions. This constitutional process could also consider alternative forms of legislative elections, such as proportional representation. Constitutional (and therefore institutional) change is considered fundamental by the movement, which sees decreasing electoral turnout as a rejection by French people of their institutional system.
  • The repeal of the El Khomri law (labour reform passed in 2016 by the Second Valls government) which the movement believes has ended the "hierarchy of standards" in French labour law by reversing the "principle of favor" and thus not sufficiently protecting workers.
  • The "democratic re-founding" of the European Union treaties including changes in monetary policy, common agricultural policy and environmental policy. Failing this, the program envisages a "Plan B" of unilateral exit from European treaties, followed by proposing further cooperation between countries.
  • The implementation of an energy transition plan towards a target of 100% renewable energy in 2050, following the studies of the Association négaWatt and the public and interdepartmental Agency of the environment and the control of the energy (ADEME). This transition involves shutting down France's nuclear power plants, criticized by the movement for their dependence on uranium supply, their lack of safety, their radioactive waste management and their financial cost.
  • The establishment of a "green rule" not to deprive nature more than can be replenished, nor produce more than it can bear, which the movement would propose during the constituent assembly process for inclusion in the new constitution.
  • The right to dismiss elected representatives by recall election when they break campaign promises, or otherwise breach standards. The movement also wishes to propose this measure during the constituent assembly process.
  • The protection of common goods such as air, water, food, living, health, energy or currency by preventing their commodification in order to preserve the general interest and by developing corresponding public services.
  • The separation of investment and retail banks aimed at separating speculative activities from lend and deposit activities in order to protect the latter and the creation of a public banking center, which would finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and carry out credit policy on social and ecological criteria.
  • Raising the minimum wage (called "SMIC") from 1,149 to 1,326 euros per month net for 35-hour weeks and raising civil servant salaries frozen since 2010.
  • Withdrawal from free trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).[29][30]

Other proposals include withdrawing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to avoid French involvement in wars waged by the United States and thus only to act within the framework of the United Nations (UN); reinforcing the 35-hour work-week and moving towards 32 hours; and reducing the retirement age to 60.[22][29]

This programme, named L'Avenir en commun (English: "A Shared Future"), was published by the Éditions du Seuil on 1 December 2016. It is based around seven axioms: a Sixth Republic; distribution of wealth; environmental planning; withdrawal from European treaties; peace and independence; human progress; and "on the borders of humanity" (ocean,[31] space and digital). The book rapidly entered the top 10 best-seller list by 9 December, with 110,000 copies printed.[32] It was the subject of an adaptation in digital comic strip, broadcast on the Internet.[33] Thematic booklets, deepening the proposals of the movement, have been published as the campaign progressed.

Candidates for the June 2017 legislative elections are 60% from civil society (have never been members or elected representatives of a political party), with an average age of around 43 years. The invested candidates have signed the charter of the movement[34] as well as the ethical charter of the independent association Anticor, committed to ethics in politics, the fight against corruption and tax noncompliance.[35]

Organisation

The organisation is not fixed, unlike a classical political party.

Supporters' groups, small committees responsible for promoting Mélenchon's candidacy at a local level, have been established all over France and abroad.[36][37]

Presidential campaign of 2017

The campaign was directed by Manuel Bompard, national secretary of the PG, its spokesperson was Alexis Corbière, former councillor of Paris and also national secretary of the PG and its coordinators were Charlotte Girard, lecturer in public law at the Paris Nanterre University and Jacques Généreux, lecturer in economy at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.[38]

On 15 November 2016, Jean-Luc Mélenchon held a meeting at Le Manège conference centre in Chambéry. Another similar meeting was held on 29 November at the Théâtre Femina in Bordeaux. This meeting was attended by 1,100 people, with several hundred more people outside unable to fit into the theatre.[39] Another large meeting took place on 18 March 2017 in Place de la Bastille in Paris.[40] Three of their four last meetings in Marseille, Lille and Toulouse were attended by around 100,000 people.

La France Insoumise was polling at 11.5% a month before the first vote,[41] but Mélenchon received 19.58% in the ballot, finishing fourth and not reaching the final round.

Political support

La France Insoumise is not a coalition of political parties. However, several political parties, branches or individuals announced their support for the movement once its programme had been agreed and its candidate chosen, including the Left Party,[42] the Socialistes insoumis[43] Ensemble!,[44] the French Communist Party, the Pole of Communist Revival in France and some elected officials and leaders of the Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV). These organizations are not themselves parts of the movement.

Components of the Left Front

The Left Party, of which Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a member, is the main political force involved in the movement. Several of its executives are organizing the campaign.

The French Communist Party (PCF) is split on support for the movement. The party's national conference rejected a motion of support for Mélenchon by 55% on 5 November 2016,[45] but party members voted three weeks later in favour of support, by 53.6%.[46] Several executive members of the French Communist Party, including president Pierre Laurent and deputy Marie-George Buffet,[47] have endorsed his candidacy.

In November 2016, Ensemble!, the third component of the Left Front coalition, also announced its support for the movement as 72% of its activists had voted in favour. They had been given the choice of three options: to support Mélenchon and work on a common framework (42% of the votes), to participate more directly in the campaign of La France Insoumise (30%) or to reject "at this stage" any support for Mélenchon (25%).[48]

However, the PCF and Together! have chosen to lead "autonomous campaigns", maintaining their independence from the movement. Both parties print leaflets and posters and organize meetings without being associated with the political decisions of the campaign.[49]

Europe Ecology – The Greens dissidents

In December 2016, the Social Ecology Co-operative, whose members include political figures from Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV), such as EELV federal councillor Francine Bavay, and Sergio Coronado, member of the National Assembly for French residents overseas, called for the endorsement of Mélenchon's candidacy.[50] In February 2017, Yannick Jadot (the candidate nominated by the EELV Party presidential primary) withdrew in favor of Benoît Hamon (PS) on the basis of an agreement not approved by party members. Some EELV members, including elected representatives, then endorsed La France Insoumise.[51]

On 10 March, 27 environmentalists, including MP Sergio Coronado, activists, local officials, candidates for the June legislative elections, and members of the EELV Federal Council, announced that they would not support Benoît Hamon in the first round of the presidential election, but La France Insoumise instead.[52] They pointed to the fact that Hamon "needs a strong Socialist Party for his campaign" whereas "the hope of an environmentalist left requires instead to get rid of it", criticized François Hollande's five-year term, and suggested that the integration of political ecology into candidates' programs is "recent and inconsistent" for Hamon, while "deep and lasting" for Mélenchon.[53]

On 12 April, seven EELV federal councillors endorsed Mélenchon rather than Hamon. They noted that if Hamon won the presidency and a parliamentary majority, "the majority would be composed of those who have up to the end supported the policies of François Hollande and Manuel Valls", adding: "Who would think that a Socialist Party majority defending Hollande's five-year term would legislate in favor of a radically different social and environmental platform?"[54] On 14 April, Éric Piolle, EELV mayor of Grenoble, also endorsed La France Insoumise.[55]

Election results

Presidential

President of the French Republic
Election year Candidate No. of 1st round votes % of 1st round vote No. of 2nd round votes % of 2nd round vote Winning candidate
2017 Jean-Luc Mélenchon 7,059,951 19.58% N/A N/A Emmanuel Macron

Legislative

National Assembly
Election Votes (first round) Seats
No. % No. ±
2017 2,497,622 11.03 Steady

La France Insoumise doesn't participate in the Senate elections because the leaders think the Senate is undemocratic and useless.[56]

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election Votes Seats
No. % No. ±
2019 TBD TBD TBD TBD

See also

References

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  50. ^ "Le choix de l'insoumission".
  51. ^ ""Yannick Jadot nous a trahis": la colère de certains militants EELV après l'accord avec Benoît Hamon". 24 February 2017.
  52. ^ "Le député EELV Sergio Coronado choisit Mélenchon plutôt que Hamon". 10 March 2017.
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  55. ^ "Eric Piolle: "Je voterai Mélenchon pour encourager le rassemblement de la gauche"". Lemonde.fr. 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  56. ^ https://www.liberation.fr/politiques/2017/09/09/pourquoi-la-france-insoumise-fait-l-impasse-sur-les-senatoriales_1595107

External links

2017 French legislative election

Legislative elections were held on 11 and 18 June 2017 (with different dates for voters overseas) to elect the 577 members of the 15th National Assembly of the French Fifth Republic. They followed the two-round presidential election won by Emmanuel Macron. The centrist party he founded in 2016, La République En Marche! (REM), led an alliance with the centrist Democratic Movement (MoDem); together, the two parties won 350 of the 577 seats – a substantial majority – in the National Assembly, including an outright majority of 308 seats for REM. The Socialist Party (PS) was reduced to 30 seats and the Republicans (LR) reduced to 112 seats, and both parties' allies also suffered from a marked drop in support; these were the lowest-ever scores for the centre-left and centre-right in the legislative elections. The movement founded by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, la France Insoumise (FI), secured 17 seats, enough for a group in the National Assembly. Among other major parties, the French Communist Party (PCF) secured ten and the National Front (FN) obtained eight seats. Both rounds of the legislative election were marked by record low turnout.Édouard Philippe, appointed as Prime Minister by Macron following his victory in the presidential election, was reappointed following the second round of the legislative elections and presented his second government by 21 June. The 15th legislature of the French Fifth Republic commenced on 27 June.

Adrien Quatennens

Adrien Quatennens (born 23 May 1990) is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. He was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Nord.Quatennens began his political career by participating in the 2006 youth protests in France against the First Employment Contract. He is a consultant in the energy sector in his nonpolitical life.

Alexis Corbière

Alexis Corbière (born 17 August 1968) is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. He was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Seine-Saint-Denis. He is also the spokesperson for the FI and the party's leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

A former member of the Revolutionary Communist League from 1993 to 1997, Corbière then joined the Socialist Party where he was elected as the deputy mayor for the 12th arrondissement of Paris in 2001 and would continue to hold this position until 2014. In 2008, Corbière, Mélenchon, and several others left the PS and founded the Left Party. He was also elected to the Council of Paris the same year. He headed FI's first national convention in the suburbs of Lille in 2016.

Bastien Lachaud

Bastien Lachaud (born 5 August 1980) is a French politician representing La France insoumise. He was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Seine-Saint-Denis.A former history teacher, Lachaud was a member of the Socialist Party until 2008, when he left the party to join the newly formed Left Party, and became national secretary for the party. Lachaud also lead the national legislative campaign for FI.

Bénédicte Taurine

Bénédicte Taurine (born 18 June 1976) is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. She was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Ariège.

Caroline Fiat

Caroline Fiat (born 28 January 1977) is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. She was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle.After the election, Fiat ran as a candidate for President of the National Assembly during the 15th legislature of the French Fifth Republic, where she finished in last place with the support of 30 deputies.

Danièle Obono

Danièle Obono (born 12 July 1980) is a Gabonese-French politician serving as the member of the National Assembly for Paris's 17th constituency since 2017. A member of La France Insoumise, she was elected in the legislative election of 2017. Obono previously worked as a librarian.

François Ruffin

François Ruffin (born 18 October 1975) is a French journalist, filmmaker, author and politician. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the satirical quarterly Fakir; Ruffin is best-known for directing the film Merci patron! (2016), as well as for playing an instrumental role in the formation of the Nuit debout movement in France.

He has been a member of the National Assembly since 2017, representing Somme's first constituency. Ahead of the 2017 legislative election, Ruffin created the regional political party Picardie Debout ("Arise Picardy") and ran as its sole candidate, with the initial support of La France Insoumise, Europe Ecology – The Greens and the French Communist Party in the first round, and that of the Socialist Party's candidate in the second round. Once elected, he joined the parliamentary group of La France Insoumise, and is de facto associated with the political party.

Jean-Hugues Ratenon

Jean-Hugues Ratenon is a French politician representing Rézistans Égalité 974. He was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of La Réunion.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon

Jean-Luc Antoine Pierre Mélenchon (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃lyk melɑ̃ʃɔ̃]; born 19 August 1951), is a French politician serving as the member of the National Assembly for Bouches-du-Rhône's 4th constituency since 2017.

After joining the Socialist Party in 1976, he was successively elected municipal councillor of Massy (1983), General Council of Essonne (1985) and Senator of the same department (1986, reelected in 1995 and then 2004). He also served as Minister for Vocational Education between 2000 and 2002, under Minister of National Education Jack Lang, in the cohabitation government of Lionel Jospin. He was part of the left-wing of the Socialist Party until the Reims Congress of 2008, at the outcome of which he left that party to found the Left Party with Marc Dolez, a member of the National Assembly. He served as the president of the party, and then as its co-president (along with Martine Billard) until August 2014.As leader of the Left Party, he joined the electoral coalition of the Left Front before the 2009 European elections, and was elected as a member of the European Parliament in the South-West constituency (reelected in 2014). He was the candidate of that coalition in the 2012 presidential election, in which he came in fourth, receiving 11.1% of the first-round votes. He founded the movement La France Insoumise (FI, "France Unbowed") in February 2016. He stood as a candidate in the 2017 presidential election "outside the frame of political parties", again coming in fourth, with 19.58% of the first-round votes. In June 2017 he became a member of the National Assembly for La France Insoumise after the following 2017 French legislative election, receiving 59.85% (in the second round) in the 4th constituency of Bouches-du-Rhône, entirely located in the city of Marseille.

La France Insoumise group

The La France Insoumise group (French: groupe La France insoumise) is a parliamentary group in the National Assembly including representatives of La France Insoumise (FI) after the 2017 legislative elections.

Liêm Hoang-Ngoc

Liêm Hoang-Ngoc (French pronunciation: ​[ljɛm ɔɑ̃n.ɡɔk]; born 11 December 1964 in Saigon, South Vietnam) is a Vietnamese-born French economist and Member of the European Parliament elected in the 2009 European election for the East France constituency as a member of the French Socialist Party. During his time as a Socialist, he was known to sympathize with the left of the party, and was close to Henri Emmanuelli. He is also a member of the alter-globalization collective Attac.

On 16 June 2015, he left the Socialist Party to found a new movement, the "New Socialist Left", calling for unity within the broad left of the left of the Socialist Party, the Green Party, and the Left Front to counter what he sees as the supply-side economics of the current Socialist government.

Hoang-Ngoc is an associate professor at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne.

In the 2009 European elections, he was placed second on the Socialist list for the East region. He is currently a candidate in the French legislative election, 2017, running in the 4th district of Haute-Garrone as a member of La France Insoumise.

Liêm Hoang Ngoc who joined the political movement La France Insoumise suspended early July 2018 his relationship with this group for which he co-authored the economical programme.

Loïc Prud'homme

Loïc Prud'homme is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. He was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Gironde.

Maintenant le Peuple

Maintenant le Peuple (MLP, in English: Now the People) is a political movement in the European Union. It was founded in April 2018. Catarina Martins from the Portuguese party Bloco de Esquerda, Pablo Iglesias from the Spanish party Podemos and French politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of La France Insoumise, then issued a declaration.

After harsh discussions about the austerity policy of the Greek government under Alexis Tsipras, the leaders of the leftist La France insoumise left the Party of the European Left. In June 2018, the Danish Red–Green Alliance, Finnish Left Alliance and the Swedish Left Party co-operated with MLP. However the Finnish and Danish parties remain members of Party of the European Left.

Manon Aubry

Manon Aubry (born 22 December 1989) is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. A former Oxfam France spokeswoman, she is candidate in the 2019 European Parliament election.

Mathilde Panot

Mathilde Panot (born 15 January 1989) is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. She was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Val-de-Marne.Panot was the coordinator for FI support groups during the 2017 French presidential election.

Muriel Ressiguier

Muriel Ressiguier (born 21 December 1977) is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. She was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Hérault.Ressiguier began her political career as an anti-Gulf War activist.

Sabine Rubin

Sabine Rubin is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. She was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Seine-Saint-Denis.

Éric Coquerel

Éric Coquerel (born 30 December 1958) is a French politician representing la France Insoumise. He was elected to the French National Assembly on 18 June 2017, representing the department of Seine-Saint-Denis.

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