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According to recent news:

On Thursday, French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced that the government was resorting to Article 49.3 of the Constitution to force the bill through parliament without a vote. The news prompted thousands of people to take to the streets of Paris in protest. Since January, there have been eight mass protests against the pension reform, and prolonged strikes in key sectors, such as garbage collection in Paris. Following the news on Thursday, unions have called more strikes.

How many laws were passed using this Article?

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  • 4
    All the information you could need is here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Stuart F
    Mar 17, 2023 at 17:01
  • Details are in that wikipedia article, but IIRC, there have changes made over how often it can be used. i.e. frequency in the past does not correspond directly to current frequency of use. Also one really has to note the flip side of using this article, the possibility of losing a confidence motion: it's not a "safe nuclear option" to use Mar 17, 2023 at 17:20

1 Answer 1

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According to the official data of today it's been used exactly 100 times since 1958, on 55 laws/texts. The reason why there are more uses than laws is that some laws needed 3 readings, and to bypass each reading the "engagement de responsabilité" was used.

Approximately two-thirds of the time (67 times), the opposition also introduced a "motion de censure" (no confidence motion), which essentially is a vote. So the number of truly no-vote/unopposed uses was 33. A no confidence motion was in fact introduced on every prior use by the Borne (current) government, and in fact (updated) two motions were introduced on this last occasion; one was defeated 287-278, the other 287-94.

As a reminder of the procedure (Wikipedia)

Article 49.3 allows the government to force passage of a bill without a vote unless the parliament passes a motion of no confidence to veto the government's "commitment of responsibility".

(I've tweaked the wording a bit.)

One thing that this article does allow is to pass a law without considering every individual amendment. In this last instance, around 7,000 amendments were introduced by the opposition. Apparently nearly 2,000 were somewhat discussed (in a committee) in the 28 hours of debate, with slightly under 5,000 left when the allotted time ran out.

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