France's Parliamentary Administration


France has a hybrid political system, categorized as semi-presidential, presidentialist or parliamentary with presidential capture. The executive is divided between the President, endowed with important prerogatives, directly elected by the people and not accountable to the Parliament, and the Cabinet, accountable only to the Assemblee nationale. The chapter highlights how the autonomy and independence of the French parliamentary administration reinforces its democratic legitimacy. It focuses on the administration of the lower house, the Assemblee nationale, although occasional comparative references will be made to the Senat. The parliamentary administration of the French lower chamber is made up of four different general administrative bodies: clerks, deputy-clerks, secretaries of administrative services and agents and 20 specialized bodies. One of the key features of the French parliamentary administration is its bicephalic structure. Two senior officials, designated by the Bureau of the Assemblee nationale, are leading two different poles: an administrative service and a legislative one.