chapter  2
27 Pages


ByDiane Roman

This chapter provides a general overview of recent political and legal changes to the French social welfare on the basis of budgetary constraints and 'austerity lite' policies and to assess, where relevant, the impact of the rule of law and judicial review to protect the social constitutional provisions against infringements. According to non-governmental organisation (NGO) reports, French society is an increasingly unequal one with two disconnected extremes: the working class, which is growing poorer, and the richest people, who form the only category whose incomes are continually growing. In an attempt to lower the social security deficit, access to retirement pensions, healthcare and job-replacement benefits has been made more difficult. Since France is living in a time of financial constraints on public spending, a political choice has been made to reduce other social expenses.