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Living in the Languedoc:    Central Government:    The Constitution    Other Aspects

the Economic and Social Council. The Constitution created another body, not belonging to Parliament. This is the Economic and Social Council, which brings together what are mysteriuously called the "living forces of the Nation", i.e. prominent people in civil society, the voluntary sector, trade unions and employers' associations. Its powers are consultative only.

International Law. France formally recognises the rules of international public law, (Commentators have noted that it could hardly be otherwise, since France is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, but there again that never stopped the USA from ignoring international law).

The European Union. Since 1992 the French Constitution has included new Articles (88-1 to 88-4) legalising France's participation in the European Communities and European Union, and the sharing of sovereignty with it. Any further transfer of essential elements of sovereignty must be authorised in advance by a further revision of the Constitution. That revision, like any other, can in any event be decided upon only if both the National Assembly and Senate separately give their consent. Once this step has been taken, there may be a choice, before any reform is definitively ratified, between a national referendum and, the simpler procedure of adoption by a three-fifths majority of both chambers meeting together in Congress.
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