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Elections, pension reform, defence: French politics in 2023

We look at who votes in the Senate elections, the ‘real deadline’ to resolve the Northern Ireland border dispute

Senators will be elected in 2023, Northern Ireland border dispute continues, Franco-British summit planned for military cooperation Pic: Jo Bouroch / AlanMorris / Dragos Asaftei / Shutterstock

Pension reforms

Widespread strikes and mar­ches are expected in Ja­nu­ary as pension reforms are debated in parliament.

Read more: ‘Pension age rise in France is unnecessary and will worsen inequality’

Senate elections

French elections are to be held in September for senators, the upper house of the French parliament. 

This is to renew half of the seats and such elections take place every three years. 

Voting is by elected officials only, including MPs, mayors and other local councillors. 

Northern Ireland border

It is hoped a resolution will be found in the early part of the year over the Northern Ireland border rules dispute, which has caused friction between the UK and France and the EU.

Former British ambassador Peter Ricketts said UK/EU negotiations are going on in parallel with the progress through the UK parliament of a bill to make unilateral changes to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in this area.

“At some point early in the year the UK prime minister will have to choose either to settle with the EU or push the bill through, “provoking a trade war with the EU”, he said. 

The “real deadline” is probably around Easter, the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, he said.

Read more: ‘France-UK ‘détente’ only possible if Northern Ireland issue resolved’

British and French defence summit

Britain and France will hold a summit in the first quarter of 2023 aimed at reinforcing military and defence cooperation. 

President Macron said last year: “Our partnership with the United Kingdom must be raised to another level. I hope that we will actively resume our dialogue on operations, capacities, nuclear and hybrid areas, and renew the ambitions of our two countries as friends and allies.”

Franco-British mayors event

A follow-up event to last year’s Franco-British mayors and councillors forum in Nancy will also be held, this time in the UK. 

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