Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It's not completely true: the president is leading the armed forces when engaged: he has the final say in using nuclear weapons. But he does not decide all military matters. He has to consult the parliament in case of declaration of war (unlikely) or in case of foreign intervention (mali type). He is completely helpless in choosing the size and organisation of armed forces. He has no power to decide which treaties are to be signed...and ratified.

And he has to sign the laws passed by his government. It's an obilgation, even if he could delay them a litle. The french constitution is a lot less presidential than what is usually considered. It's just that, after the III and IV republic regimes, we sort of collectively choose a more presidential regime over the situation that prevailed before. And even this consensu is being modified in the last years, as more and more people ask for a return to IV republic era mechanisms.

by Xavier in Paris on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 10:15:03 AM EST
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