The measures and reforms of presidents Macron, Hollande, and Sarkozy

Before addressing this article on the main reforms of the last three presidents, Emmanuel Macron, François Hollande, and Nicolas Sarkozy, we remind you that you can read our year-by-year news summaries to grasp the context in France and in the world essential to understanding the political actions carried out by the last presidents of the Fifth Republic.

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Key measures and reforms under the Macron quinquennium


  • State of health emergency in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • Decree of October 17, 2020: the state of health emergency is declared
    • Law of November 14, 2020: authorizes the extension of the state of health emergency and puts in place several measures to manage the health crisis
    • Law of February 15 2021: the state of health emergency is extended until June 1 2021.
  • Unemployment insurance reform
  • Islamist separatism bill
  • Climate bill
  • Global security” bill
  • Reform of the ENA
  • Reform of pensions
  • Yellow vests” measures

Income tax collected at source

Laws for confidence in political life:

  • They concern the potential conflicts of interest of the president of the Republic, parliamentarians, elected officials in general.
  • Additional penalties of ineligibility can be pronounced.
  • new incompatibility of functions is formulated

Ordinances to reform the labor code:

  • the terms and conditions of fixed-term contracts are determined by the industry
  • Implementation of a project contract
  • The social and economic committee (CSE) replaces and merges the works council, the health, safety and working conditions committee (CHSCT) and the staff representatives.
  • Capping of compensation in case of unfair dismissal
  • An increase in legal compensation for dismissal
  • Shortened time limit for recourse to the industrial tribunal
  • The professional prevention account replaces the “compte pénibilité”. The declaration of the factors of arduousness is abolished.
  • Negotiation of bonuses at company level
  • As almost all very small companies do not have union delegates, it is now possible to negotiate with an employee who is not mandated by a union.
  • The employer’s right to make a mistake for VSEs and SMEs.
  • A teleworker has the same rights as all employees. All employees can ask to telework. The employer must justify any refusal in writing.

Law strengthening internal security and the fight against terrorism:

Measures applicable until December 31, 2020, subject to parliamentary oversight.

  • Protective perimeters
  • Closure (maximum six months) of places of worship
  • Restricting the freedom and surveillance of a person whose behavior can be seriously thought to be a serious threat to security. (after informing the relevant prosecutors)
  • Search of a place frequented by a person threatening public security.
  • Controls in border areas, ports and airports

Climate and Energy Transition Plan:

  • A reduction in the proportion of nuclear power among the energies used in France
  • Help to evaluate the energy use of modest houses
  • Stop importing products from deforestation
  • End of gasoline and diesel cars in 2040

Bill on the growth and transformation of companies:

  • Protection of strategic sectors
  • Disposal of Aéroport de Paris, Française des jeux and Engie holdings
  • A single platform for business creation. Obligation to have a bank account abolished below €10,000 of turnover/year.
  • Facilitated transmission of business
  • Decrease of costs for small or medium-sized companies
  • Fundraising in cryptocurrency

Housing Evolution and Digital Development Act:

  • Development of rent observatories
  • Non-mandatory rent control but the prefect can decide on its implementation upon request
  • New type of residential lease: the “mobility lease”.
  • Building permits
  • Transformation of offices
  • Encouraging the mobility of HLM residents
  • Co-location in HLM housing encouraged
  • Facilitate the eviction of squatters
  • Possible dematerialization of a part of the lease
  • Fight against abusive tourist rentals (mainly +120 nights per year)

Abolition/lowering of the housing tax:

  • For 80% of households. Decrease for the remaining 20%.
  • The complete abolition of the property tax “will occur by 2021 at the latest”, according to what Emmanuel Macron wants.

Main measures and reforms under the Hollande five-year term

→ Short biography of François Hollande

Marriage for all:

  • The law opens marriage and adoption to all couples, whether of different sexes or the same sex
  • France became the 9th European country and the 14th country in the world to authorize same-sex marriage.

The law on transparency in public life:

  • Prohibition for deputies and senators to combine their mandate with certain jobs
  • Obligation for 9,000 public decision-makers to declare their assets to an independent commission: the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP).

The Macron law

  • Liberalization of bus transportation
  • Expansion of access to regulated professions (bailiffs, notaries, auctioneers) and cheaper services
  • Relaxation of Sunday and night work

The labor law

Manuel Valls, Prime Minister, engages for the labor law 3 times the responsibility of his government by Article 49.3.

  • The Labor Law in the digital age
  • Collective bargaining
  • Economic dismissal
  • Working hours
  • Apprenticeship
  • Professional branches
  • Right to disconnect
  • Seasonal employment
  • Professional training
  • Employer groups
  • Disability
  • Occupational medicine
  • Strengthening the consideration of disability in the Labor Law
  • Seconded work

Main measures and reforms under the Sarkozy quinquennium

→ Short biography of Nicolas Sarkozy

  • Transfer to universities of the management of their real estate, of which they become the owners, their budget and their human resources

The Tepa law (work, employment, purchasing power)

  • Tax exemption for overtime,
  • reduction of the wealth tax and inheritance tax.
  • Tax shield that caps income taxation at 50%. (later repealed)

Constitutional reform

  • Limits to two consecutive presidential terms.
  • Parliament’s prerogatives extended.
  • Priority question of constitutionality (QPC)

Reform of public broadcasting

  • Suppression of advertising in the evening on public service channels

Active solidarity income (RSA)

  • Replaces the RMI
  • Completed by the Hadopi 2 law of December 31, 2009,
  • Seeks to protect copyright on the internet

A ban on the wearing of full-face veils in the public space


  • The minimum legal retirement age is pushed back from 60 to 62
  • And for a retirement without discounts from 65 to 67 years

Territorial reform:

  • The creation of the “conseiller territorial”, a local elected official sitting at both the region and the department

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