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Parental control, inheritance, Uyghurs: This week in French parliament

We look at what is due for discussion in both houses and other official information including President Macron’s agenda

This week MPs debate laws on topics including parental controls, China’s Uyghurs, adoption and ‘medical deserts’ Pic: Iryna Rahalskaya / fizkes / Ika Hilal / Tatiana Mikhailina / Shutterstock

Protecting children from viewing harmful material on the internet, increasing the minimum wage, extending abortion rights and reforms to inheritance law are among the subjects set for debate by the French parliament this week.

Here is a round-up of key points politicians will be looking at, and other important official dates for the week.

Assemblée nationale

Today Monday January 17

  • MPs will examine a proposed law on adoption reform (by Monique Limon, LREM).

The proposed law, which has government support, aims to open adoption to couples in a civil partnership or other long-term couples, and reduce the eligibility age to 26. 

French law currently limits adoption to married couples either aged 28 or more or who have been married for two years, and single people aged 28 or more (civil partners and members of long-term couples have to adopt as individuals).

Tuesday January 18

  • MPs will discuss a proposed law (by Bruno Studer, LREM) aiming to increase parental control on the internet, as reports highlighted in the text show that young children often go on the internet alone.

Under the proposals, companies would be obliged to install parental-control tools on all internet-connected devices, with activation of the controls to be proposed the first time the device is used. This would be regulated by a dedicated agency. 

Wednesday January 19

  • MPs examine amendments to a proposed law by socialist Guillaume Garot to fight the problem of so-called ‘medical deserts’ by making sure medical students and newly-qualified doctors are better spread around the country.

Under the proposals, young doctors would only be able to settle in a sufficiently-covered area once an established medical professional ceases activity. Those working in hospitals as internes (residents) will work in understaffed regions during their last year of studies and two years after their graduation. 

  • MPs will examine amendments to a proposed law (by Gérard Leseul, Socialist Party) to increase the gross (before social changes) minimum wage to €1,827 by February 1, in an effort to fight poverty and better remuneration for work under the Covid period. It is currently  €1,603.

Thursday January 20 

  • MPs will discuss a proposed law (by Dominique Potier, Socialist Party) to impose greater rules of transparency on multinational corporations and to make it easier for their customers to be compensated when something goes wrong.

The proposals also say employees should be involved in helping create systems to monitor good practice by large companies and to make it easier for people to take legal action against companies found to be involved in wrongdoing

  • MPs will discuss a proposed law (by Alain David, Socialist Party) declaring that the Uyghur community in Central China is undergoing genocide by the Chinese government and that this should be recognised and condemned by the French government. 

The proposed law alsol invites the government to offer protection to Uyghurs and to enforce measures to put an end to the atrocities.  

  • MPs will examine a proposed law (by Christine Pirès Beaune, Socialist Party) for reforms of inheritance and lifetime gifts rules which aim to better redistribute wealth and protect the middle-class from increasing inequalities.

Conseil Constitutionnel

  • A ruling is expected by around Thursday January 20, regarding the acceptability of the new law, adopted by parliament on Sunday January 16, creating a ‘vaccine pass’ to replace the ‘health pass’, for people aged 16 or more.

Read more: Opposition party appeals to constitutional body over vaccine pass

Elysée Palace 

Today Monday January 17

President Emmanuel Macron meets with Mark Costa, director of Eastman, as the company unveils a $1billion project to build the world’s biggest molecular-plastics recycling facility in France. 

Mr Macron also unveiled 20 other new projects, totalling €4 billion euros of [foreign] investments.

Read more: Ikea, Pfizer, pet care: France confirms €4bn in new foreign investment

Senate

Wednesday January 19

  • Senators will listen to Edouard Leclerc, director of the retail brand E.Leclerc. The company was targeted last week over its decision to sell a 29 centime baguette, with critics accusing the supermarket of harming independent bakeries by slashing prices.

Read more: ‘Bakeries will die’: Anger in France at Leclerc’s 29-centime baguette

  • Senators will examine motions and amendments to a proposed law from Senate vice president Laurence Rossignol (Socialst Party) which would extend abortion rights. 

Under the proposed law, the legal period permitted for an abortion would be raised from the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to 14 weeks. 

Midwifes would be permitted to perform surgical abortions up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy. Currently midwifes are only permitted to perform an abortion up to a maximum of seven weeks into a pregnancy, and using drugs, not by surgery.

Previous articles

France to bring in vaccine passes: What will change and when?

Medical deserts: Mayor’s plea over lack of rural GPs

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