State Service of France - State and Municipal Service

French Public Service

If you follow French sources, then the civil service should be defined as the totality of people in the service of the state, local collectives and their administrative institutions. Thus, the concept of civil servants unites all those who serve in central and local government bodies.

French legislation quite fully and clearly regulates the organization of civil service in the country. Its main principles are enshrined in the Constitution of the French Republic of 1958, as well as in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789 and in the Preamble of the Constitution of 1946, which are integrated into the modern constitutional law of France. More detailed regulation of civil service is carried out by the General Statute of Public Service, which includes four laws that are its sections:

- The law of July 13, 1983 on the rights and duties of officials;

- The law of 11 January 1984, containing the provisions of the statute on public public service;

- The law of January 26, 1984, containing provisions of the statute of the local public service;

- The law of January 6, 1986, containing the provisions of the statute on the state medical service.

The first two laws have a direct bearing on the regulation of public service. The general statute is the legal basis for public service in France, and it applies to all employees regardless of their rank or rank in the state hierarchy. In addition to the general statute, there are special statutes that specify the application of the general statute to employees of certain state bodies. They record the functional duties of employees, the conditions and procedure for admission to the service, promotion and appropriation of relevant ranks and grades, various types of official position. Special statutes are made by decree of the Council of State after consultation with the Supreme Council of the Central Civil Service. A number of fundamental provisions relating to public service are contained in decisions of the Constitutional and State Councils.

The organization of the public service of France combines the recruitment system ("open public service") and the career system ("closed government service"). In accordance with this, civil servants are divided into two large groups:

1) employees who are not officials who work in public employment agencies - these include support staff who are recruited either on contract (up to three years) or on time work (not more than 120 hours per month), trainees ;

2) civil servants who form the backbone of the civil service: employees of the central state administration and administration of regions, departments, communes and their institutions (excluding employees of parliament and judges of courts of general jurisdiction), permanently included in the staff of the state management body for positions corresponding to their rank.

The official is a person appointed to a permanent position, included in a certain body (state) of civil servants and received a certain rank (rank) in the hierarchy of administrative bodies, services, institutions of the state or local collectives.

The corps unites officials performing the same work (teachers, clerical employees, treasury inspectors, civil administrators, etc.). In total there are about 1000 such buildings in the central civil service system. Entering the corps, an official can remain in his entire professional life. Special rules govern the movement of an employee from one body to another.

Within the body, officials are divided into four categories (classes): A, B, C, D. Category A unites officials who perform functions to develop concepts and leadership; they must have a higher education. Officials belonging to category B are tasked with the implementation of managerial concepts, secondary education is compulsory for them. Officials of categories C and D carry out purely technical and auxiliary functions (category D will be gradually abolished).

Each official in the appointment to the post is given a rank (rank). Rank is a title that gives the holder the right to occupy certain positions. Any appropriation of a rank is considered void if it is related to the employment of a post and activity in the civil service. Each rank covers several levels in the job hierarchy. Thus, with the advancement of a civil servant, the step is raised and the rank is promoted. In the event of a reduction in the post, an official is entitled to a new position on terms determined by the statutory provisions of the relevant service.

Each body consists of many ranks, which, in turn, are divided into stages. Although the ranks and positions in principle depend on each other, there can be no complete coincidence between them. Increasing in rank does not necessarily entail promotion in the post (the same as in the army, where promotion in military rank and in office does not coincide). The career of an official usually passes inside the corps by increasing in rank and rank (and, of course, in many cases in office). Gaining the rank is determined by the results of competitive examinations and the passing of advanced training. Increase in rank depends on seniority and attestation. Attestation is also a condition for promotion. To transfer to a higher category, you need either a management decision or a contest. Competition is usually necessary and when changing to another building.

Speaking about entering the service and moving to other buildings, we can not say that according to the Constitution, all French citizens have the right to enter the civil service regardless of gender, race, religious or political beliefs. This principle of equality has been consistently confirmed by judicial decisions in a number of specific cases. Exceptions can only take place when, for example, some functions require the work of only men or women, or when this person is deprived of civil rights, has not fulfilled his duties to the state, resulting from the laws on military service, or for health reasons can not to perform official duties. For some posts there are also age restrictions and special requirements for the educational level. So, for example, the maximum age for many posts is from 40 to 45 years, and foreign citizens are accepted only for non-staff posts.

The system of selection of civil servants in France is rather complicated. The general charter provides for the holding of a competition before appointment to a position for most categories of employees. It tests their overall culture and professional level. To a large extent, the competition allows to ensure equality of candidates' chances, not to allow favoritism.

However, not all echelons of employees fall under the competitive system. At the top, the prefects, ambassadors and directors of ministries (class A) are appointed by order of the government. At the bottom of the staff of executive and technical personnel at the level of classes C and D are recruited through tests and examinations in the specialty, but not by competition.

The competition is held either in the form of examinations, or in terms of degrees and titles, when the track record of candidates is compared.

There is a difference between the external contest (for candidates from outside with higher education) and "internal" - for persons who are already in the civil service but who are applying for another position.

In parallel, usually held three competitions: the first - for graduates of universities; the second - for staff members who may not even have a diploma (except for doctors, for which a diploma is required); the third - for elected to the National Administrative School of elected officials of local communities, leaders of associations and trade unions.

A special case is a competitive examination in the National School of Administration, regional administration institutes and a number of specialized administrative schools that constitute a rather coherent and thoughtful system for training civil servants.

The National School of Administration (ENL), founded in 1945, trains civil servants of the highest category. The end of the ENA opens the way to the highest administrative positions. In five cities (Bastia, Lille, Lyon, Metz, Nantes) there are regional administration institutes (IRA), training cadres for the central public service. Each of them is recruited annually for the competition 100-120 people. The IRA is training cadres for all ministries, but some of them have their own specialized schools.

Interesting fact

Every year the size of the annual set in the ENA decreases (Table 11.1). This general rule tends to preserve and continue, as evidenced by the statements of the head of state on the future of public service in France.

Table 11.1

External competition, people

Internal competition, people

The third contest, a man

Competition for foreigners, people

Total, people

Release of the name Leopold Sedar Senghor (2004)






Release of the name of Romain Gary (2005)






Release of the name Simone Veil (2006)






Release of the name of the Republic (2007)






Release of the name of Aristide Briand (2008)






Release of the name Willy Brandt (2009)






Release of Emile Zola's name (2010)






Release of the name of Robert Badener (2011)






Release of the name of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (2012)






Competitive examinations for admission to a position in Class A are aimed at identifying extensive general and specialized knowledge and to achieve confidence that the candidate has sufficient intellectual ability and a solid character. They must testify to the general and professional education of a high level. Candidates for class B must be able to regulate and evaluate, according to laws and by-laws, the activities of persons under their management. To do this, they require greater flexibility, extensive general and professional knowledge. Examinations and tests for candidates in class C should identify first of all their special knowledge, technical and executive skills, and not the ability to be proactive.

Passing the contest does not necessarily lead to the immediate appointment of the winner to the position. It has as a consequence its enrollment in the list for the employment of vacant posts. Those who passed the competition are usually given the opportunity to enter the relevant specialized educational institution for study there within 2-3 years. Prior to appointment to the post, the applicant usually works in the institution for a year as an intern.

Each official receives a salary in accordance with the tariff scale. The ratio between the lowest and highest salaries is 1: 5. The salary of employees consists of three parts: basic salary, additional remuneration and social benefits.

The rights, including social, political, and duties of officials are formulated in the General Statute of Civil Service. Rights include: freedom of belief and conscience; freedom of expression (only for officials who are candidates for elected office or performing representative functions); the right to strike (but not political); the right to trade union activities; the right to participate in the discussion of decisions concerning civil servants; the right to an annual five-week paid vacation, sick leave, for women - for maternity leave and childcare; the right to continuous professional retraining; the right to hygiene and work safety. Laws prohibit any mention in an employee's personal file of his political and philosophical views, religious beliefs. As for duties, they are divided into two groups: 1) official duties that the official is obliged to fulfill in good faith, and 2) the so-called status obligations: exercise restraint, loyalty, observe dignity, impartiality, moderation.

The career of an official ends automatically with a retirement on reaching the age limit (for the majority, the retirement age is 60 years, but work is allowed up to 65). The official can leave the civil service and at his own request, resigning.

It should be noted that the legal status of servicemen, employees of the parliament and courts, employees of public commercial and industrial enterprises, as well as security personnel: police, correctional facilities, air traffic controllers, some civil aviation services, and is regulated by special charters. Officials of these services are withdrawn partly from the operation of the General Charter. They do not have, for example, the right to strike, but they enjoy a number of material advantages.

Interesting fact

There is a mocking-contemptuous (and sometimes envious) expression "put on slippers" (fr. pantoufles, pantoufler , pantouflage, pantouflards ). It came from the Polytechnic School, where it is said that military men, who are going to military personnel after graduation, say they put on boots. Those who depart from the military cadre service are considered "wearing slippers."

By analogy, in ENA putting on slippers are considered graduates who deliberately did not go to the civil service or left it previously laid 10 years of mandatory work. However, for the right to wear home slippers you have to pay and quite expensive.

Cost of "home slippers" (French pantoufles ) in the ENA varies between 50-60 thousand euros, depending on the number of unearned years, which must be reimbursed to the state treasury. If earlier this amount was mainly paid by private enterprises, banks and firms that enticed ENA graduates, now graduates should do it from their own pocket.

For offenses and offenses, officials can be held accountable. Responsibility can be criminal (in cases of corruption and abuse of official position for personal gain); financial - if the official causes material damage to the institution in which he works; disciplinary. In the latter case, the case is resolved by the parity administrative commissions, which submit recommendations to the higher body. If he issues a disciplinary penalty, it should be justified. The state has the right as a disciplinary penalty to dismiss an official, and if it is a serious misconduct, then deprive him of his pension.

The system of the central civil service is formally headed by the Prime Minister, who signs all orders regulating the work of employees (although, in accordance with Article 13 of the Constitution of the French Republic, the President also has a number of powers - appoints persons to higher civilian and military positions, as well as members of the State council, prefects, ambassadors, senior judicial officials, university professors, etc.). Usually, he transfers his powers to a member of the government (minister or secretary of state for public service). Currently in France there is a special Ministry of Civil Service, State Reform and Decentralization, which includes the General Directorate of Administration and Public Service. Its tasks are as follows: to monitor compliance with the General Statute (statute) of the civil service, collect statistical data, manage the relevant property, supervise the work on reorganizing administrative institutions. The powers of the General Directorate apply to all civil servants. It also participates in the management of educational institutions for the training and retraining of personnel for the civil service.

The Prime Minister presides over the Supreme Council of the Central Civil Service. The Council takes part in resolving general issues related to the civil service, developing recommendations, preliminary consideration of draft laws.

There are also a number of advisory bodies in the central civil service system: 1) parity administrative commissions for each body (staff) of employees, consisting of an equal number of representatives of the administration and staff; they deal with issues of promotion and discipline; 2) parity technical committees dealing with organizational and statutory issues of the civil service; 3) hygiene and safety committees established in each institution (most places in them belong to staff representatives).

The main governing body in the public service system is the budget department of the Ministry of Finance, which deals with two major issues: staffing and pay. The second place in the management of the civil service belongs to the main administration of the state administration and public service engaged in research and coordination. The lack of funds and staff does not allow it to have a significant impact on the organization and functioning of the civil service. And finally, in each ministry there is a personnel department that directly and directly manages its staff in the center and in the field.

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