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The Prime Minister of France (Premier ministre français) in the Fifth Republic is the functional head of the government and Council of Ministers of Francemarker. The head of state in Francemarker is the President of the French Republic. During the Second, Third and Fourth Republics, the Head of Government was called President of the Council of Ministers (Président du Conseil des Ministres), generally shortened to President of the Council (Président du Conseil).


The Prime Minister proposes the list of other ministers to the President. Decrees and decisions of the Prime Minister, as almost all executive decisions, are subject to the oversight of the administrative court system. Few decrees are taken after advice from the conseil.

All Prime ministers defend the programs of their ministry, and budgetary choices are required. The Prime Minister is commonly the final decider of such choices in times when the President is of the same political stance, the President's choice may be preponderant.

Because Prime Ministers are completely in control of governmental policy, they are generally blamed for the government's failings . As a consequence, the popularity of a prime minister may start high, then drop, depending on circumstances . While some consider the position of Prime Minister as establishing political stature for a presidential bid, it is also arguably a dangerous position because of the possibilities of unpopularity.


The Prime Minister is named by the President of the Republic. Because the National Assembly can, by a vote of censure, force the resignation of the government, the choice of prime minister must reflect the majority in the Assembly. When the President and the majority of the Assembly have opposite political leanings, this yields a situation known as cohabitation, where the executive is headed by a president and a prime minister of different opinion.

Prime Ministers are normally chosen from amongst the ranks of the National Assembly. However, on rare occasions, the Prime Minister is a non-officeholder, selected by the President of France because of bureaucratic experience, foreign service, or success in business management. Dominique de Villepin, for example, served as Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007 without ever having held elected office.

Only one woman has ever held the position, Édith Cresson.


The current Prime Minister of France is François Fillon, who was appointed by President Nicolas Sarkozy on May 17, 2007.

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