Summary of the programme

for the constituencies of French citizens established outside France

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Schooling and language

The French education network abroad is a unique and fundamental "soft power" tool for France, which must be maintained and developed.

Finance

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  1. Maintaining an education system abroad is of course expensive and it is unrealistic to lower tuition fees significantly. Volt would like to see at least no increase in fees within 5 years. We expect an audit of the AEFE and an increase in its budget, thus reducing the annual costs that can be shared.
  2. Volt supports the doubling of French education resources internationally by 2030.

Bridge between French and European systems

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  1. Facilitate the access of European high schools to a national school number and thus to the digital environment of Parcours Sup in order to solve the problem of bridging between secondary and higher education.
  2. Develop and financially support bilateral initiatives such as "ABIBAC" (France-Germany), a pathway alongside the common core in two countries to validate secondary education and access to higher education. As a pan-European party, Volt is the right partner to harmonise secondary education throughout the EU. This solution, which is less expensive than setting up a new French school, also makes it possible to broaden the target public and to insert the French language into a local reality.
  3. Opening up French education to multilingualism and multiculturalism, not remaining in a vacuum.

Promotion of the French language

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  1. Provide financial support to associations promoting the French language, e.g. "Les Francophilous" in Eindhoven.
  2. The continuation of the labeling of local institutions with the LabelFrancÉducation (objective was 500 in 2022, we propose 700 in 2025)
  3. Disseminate information about the different possibilities of language learning and schooling for French people living abroad

Pensions

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Attachment to the French system

Since 2020, French pensioners abroad have to provide a certificate of existence every year. This can be done at the town hall of the country of residence. European countries and Switzerland communicate on deaths every month exempting the majority of pensioners from the existence certificate.

  1. Provide translation of life certificates in all languages, including regional languages where applicable (e.g. Catalan) to reduce the administrative burden on pensioners.
  2. Bilateral agreements on the communication of death certificates between countries that do not have such agreements in order to facilitate the procedures of French citizens abroad.
  3. Reduce the minimum contribution period in France for French expatriates to 5 years (currently 15 years) to access the FDE fund.

Establishment of a European pension system

Today, good bilateral interconnection between European countries in most cases but no European system to view and trigger rights.

  1. In the short term, a "European Pensions Platform" portal bringing together all the pension rights obtained in different countries and making it possible to trigger rights from the country of residence.
  2. In the long term, the establishment of a European pension agreement recognising a single European pension scheme to facilitate the process, subject to taxation in the country of residence (private or public pensions).
  3. Automatic inclusion of French expatriates in pension insurance career records through the automatic allocation of a social security number to all French people regardless of their place of residence or birth.

Mobility

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  1. Guaranteeing and protecting the right to free movement despite crises and the reflex to close national borders when this has no or negative effect (e.g. covid, migrant crisis). This is particularly crucial for businesses and cross-border workers.
  2. Development of the European rail network in all its forms: high speed, intercity, night trains: the main European cities must have fast and regular connections between them.
  3. Harmonisation of pricing methods and ease of reservation for trains, development of the Interrail offer (season tickets or fixed period) to travel in Europe, at any age, under advantageous conditions. Move towards the creation of a European transport card giving access to all trains (at least those that do not require reservations).

Violence against women and children

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More than half of all female murder victims in the EU are killed by a sexual partner or family member. Some 3,500 deaths per year from domestic violence in the EU, more than nine per day. And these estimates are underestimates, as the gap between reported and actual violence is huge.

Volt propose :

  1. Open a European communication line on violence against women so that a single number is used, similar to 112 for the police or 116 000 for missing children.
  2. Open up the right to emergency repatriation to France in the event of domestic violence and to have the assurance of escape.
  3. Opening of psychological support cells for survivors of online or permanent aggression abroad, in French.

Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy

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Unfortunately, not all European resident countries are equal when it comes to voluntary termination of pregnancy. For example, a French woman living in Malta cannot have an abortion under any conditions, even in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother's life; in Poland, only these conditions are often difficult to prove and involve a very difficult administrative process.

Volt propose :

  1. To allow people with French nationality to return to France in an emergency to have an abortion like any other person residing in France.
  2. To allow people with French nationality to return to France in an emergency to have an abortion like any other person residing in France.

Consular administration, settlement assistance, voting

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Facilitating arrival in a country for all

Arriving in a country is not always easy, especially if you are not coming as an expatriate organised by a company. There are many aids or opportunities that are not easily known or accessible.

Volt proposes:

  1. Accompany the registration at the consulate and the register of French nationals abroad with the delivery of an integration kit. This kit will include all the assistance (French and basic local devices), opportunities, representations (delegates, advisors, type of voting) to allow a good arrival in a country.
  2. This also involves renegotiating certain tax treaties to eliminate double taxation, for example in Italy, Belgium and Greece.

Facilitating the return to France

The methods for connecting to France Connect do not apply if you do not pay taxes in France, are not covered by French social security or do not have a French telephone number. However, in order to regularise your tax situation or to benefit from social security when you return to France, the easiest way is to use France Connect.

Volt proposes:

  1. Assign a French social security number to all persons with French nationality, even if they were born outside France, in order to facilitate their return to France.
  2. To be able to benefit from unemployment in France by proving a period of employment abroad, within the European Union (on the basis of specific agreements) without going through the administration of the host country, all without a waiting period.
  3. Facilitate enrolment in crèches, schools, colleges and lycées for the children of citizens coming to live in France after an expatriation, in particular by making it possible to initiate the evaluation process even before returning to France, via the "France Consulaire" platform for example.

Simplification of administrative procedures

France Consulaire, the new information service, is a digital platform and a centralised call centre that informs French people about the specific procedures for French people living abroad. It is a step in the right direction, and should be expanded in the coming years.

Volt proposes:

  1. Generalise France Consulaire to all countries and publicise its creation. Digitise most administrative services, while maintaining physical appointments for those who need them.
  2. Developing the "Euro connect" digital identity for all EU citizens. 
  3. Many French services have 08 numbers, which cannot be reached from abroad. We want to provide a number that can be reached from abroad.
  4. Abolish the request for proof of residence and replace it with the equivalent documents of the country of residence, e.g. registration at the town hall.

Improving the representation of french citizens abroad

Most FDEs are not aware of the existence of representation, the abstention rate in consular and legislative elections is well over 50% as it is not easy to vote.

Volt proposes:

  1. Simplify the procedures for access to voting for all: postal voting, facilitation of proxies, consular visits, generalisation of electronic voting.
  2. Develop the work of French advisers abroad and make them more visible, while referring certain administrative functions such as the allocation of grants to the consular services.
  3. To fill the posts of honorary consuls and give preference to French citizens, recruited by the consul, in all transparency on the competences to allow more consular tours.
  4. Reorganise the Association of French Citizens Abroad to avoid a two-tier representation (directly and indirectly elected).

Entrepreneurship and professional mobility

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Professional mobility and the ease of doing business in a common European area is an opportunity for French entrepreneurs and workers, which is still underused and often reserved for a qualified elite. 

Entrepreneurship

  1. Create a European one-stop-shop for business start-ups - create your own business in three working days at a minor administrative cost. In the long term, harmonise the costs and procedures for setting up a company. 
  2. Participate in the financing of the worldwide CCI France International network, which is currently independent and self-financed, yet essential support for French entrepreneurs/companies wishing to develop abroad and vice versa.
  3. Be inspired by the best European administrative practices, for example in Estonia or the Netherlands, where contacts with the administration are simplified and digitised.
  4. Allow access to exceptional national public support schemes for foreign companies in the event of a crisis.

Professional and student mobility

  1. Improved cooperation of job centres to make the opportunities of the European labour market available to all: matching skills and needs across Europe.
  2. Extend ERASMUS to high school students.

French and European culture abroad

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France is renowned for its heritage, and for its broad and inclusive cultural policies. Abroad, it could go further to make cultural policy a real soft power tool.

Volt proposes :

  1. Establish bi-national and European cultural institutes.
  2. Stop the closure of cultural centres and have a real heritage management policy. Avoid fire sales of heritage.
  3. Strengthen the existing structures for the dissemination of French, the Instituts français, the Alliances françaises and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie.
  4. Organising the music festival abroad.

Any questions? Any comments?

(Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash)