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Статья опубликована в рамках: Научного журнала «Студенческий» № 24(194)

Рубрика журнала: Экономика

Секция: Регионоведение

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Библиографическое описание:
Slesareva O.A. PROBLEMS OF ETHNIC SEPARATISM IN FRANCE // Студенческий: электрон. научн. журн. 2022. № 24(194). URL: https://sibac.info/journal/student/194/260859 (дата обращения: 02.02.2023).


Slesareva Olga Alexandrovna

4th year student, faculty "Public Policy and Social Sciences", Institute of Social Sciences, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration,

Russia, Moscow



Слесарева Ольга Александровна

студент 4 курса, факультет «Публичная политика и социальные науки», Институт общественных наук, Российская академия народного хозяйства и государственной службы при Президенте РФ,

РФ, г. Москва



The article considers the problem of ethnic separatism in France. First of all, the rights of ethnic minorities living in the country were studied, and their disadvantage was highlighted, leading to the desire of citizens to create independent states. The main centers of separatism, the history of their emergence and the actions taken by the French authorities to resolve the tense situation generated by this movement are also studied.


В статье рассмотрена проблема этнического сепаратизма во Франции. В первую очередь изучены права этнических меньшинств, проживающих в стране, и выделен их недостаток, приводящий к стремлению граждан создавать независимые государства. Также изучены основные центры сепаратизма, история их возникновения и предпринимаемые действия французских властей по урегулированию напряжённой обстановки, порождаемой данным движением.


Keywords: France, separatism, independence, rights, national minorities.

Ключевые слова: Франция, сепаратизм, независимость, права, национальные меньшинства.


Human rights in France are officially enshrined in the country's constitution. Of course, there are many of them in the Republic, but it is worth considering those rights or innovations of the government that somehow affect representatives of other ethnic groups in the country – those who were born or migrated to France.

Despite the fact that there is no censorship law in France, there is a Geisseau law in French legislation – this is a law that prohibits the coverage of propaganda of racist or religious activities in the media [1]. Public slander, insults against minorities and other manifestations of racism are also not just criminally punishable, but are aggravating circumstances of the crime.

In addition, France is an EU country, therefore, after the introduction by the European Union of the directive "On ensuring the implementation of the principle of equality of persons regardless of race or ethnicity" (2000), the Republic also adapted its national legislation by 2003, adopting the law "On strengthening penalties provided for racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic offenses" [2].

In the same year 2003, the immigration policy was modified by the authorities. A report of the Supreme Council for the Integration of Migrants was issued, where a provision was written that cultural assimilation was not required of them, and their own was not prohibited. There is only the obligation of its laconic combination with the French and compliance with the laws of the country.[3]

The law "on Holocaust denial" was created and applied - the law on genocide: in 2014, France, together with the United States, paid $ 60 million to French Jews who were deported during the Holocaust.

The country's sports code also has a chapter in which a ban on the manifestation of racial intolerance towards a referee or players by anyone is prescribed - violation of the law is also criminally punishable.

The country has anti-discrimination legislation that allows the French Government to take all measures to support ethnic minorities in society. Protection on the basis of race is guaranteed in such areas as education, goods and services, medicine, social protection.[4]

We can also mention the law of freedom of religion, it is prescribed in the constitution. But, as a rule, the authorities restrict activities for religious movements. Thus, the wearing of religious symbols in public schools is considered illegal.

There is also the "Ideal Republican" project, whose goal is equality of rights for all French people. However, according to its rules, it is forbidden to keep statistics on ethnic or religious affiliation, which reduces the identity of indigenous minorities in the Republic.

And several human rights organizations: Cimade (works with refugees), GISTI (support for immigrants), HRW (requires politicians and society to respect migrants, refugees, etc.), MRAP (anti-racist company), SOS Racism.

Also in the country, at the legislative level, employers or state bodies are prohibited from asking about the nationality or religion of citizens.

Nevertheless, despite the many legislations and organizations that have been created, in practice the French Government has not yet been able to fully defend the rights of national minorities.

For example, the French Government's decree on the national language also promotes the acculturation of minorities. If before the revolution the locals used their own languages (Celtic, German, Occitan), then after the centralization of the Republic, French, as the main language, was introduced in all institutions of the country. And unlike some other States, France does not allow migrants to receive education in their language, recognizing only rights in the context of citizenship. [5].

It follows from this that representatives of minorities cannot fully feel comfortable on the territory of the country, which often leads to such a problem as separatism.

Separatism is a movement for separation or expansion of autonomy. This phenomenon was also observed in France, as a number of ethnic groups living in the country sought to form independent nation-states.

One of the most famous centers of separatism is Corsica.

Corsica is one of the islands in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the 27 regions of France. In 1769 the island was captured by the French, but in 1794 it rebelled against the regime, but two years later it became French again. At that time, the state was already striving for the "franking" of national minorities, so their cultural characteristics were not recognized, and the region itself was poor. But in Corsica, clan thinking was widespread, violence as a method of fighting for their rights, which eventually resulted in the threat of an uprising. The authorities understand this and are trying to take measures: in April 2007, one of the representatives of the President said that the issue of institutional reform guaranteeing the people the right to self-determination was being considered. Nowadays, the French elite believes that Corsicans should restore the rule of law, integrate into the national society in order to remain in the Republic. The problem of contradictions boils down to the fact that the question "are Corsicans French?" It is still open on the island itself. A total of 400,000 people live there, two-thirds of whom live outside Corsica - 72% are indigenous, and the rest are immigrants. But the locals also lose their national identity by marrying other ethnic groups. However, Corsica has preserved the peculiarities of behavior and lifestyle, and they differ from the French ones. This proves the inability of the authorities to fully assimilate the island. In addition, proposals are being put forward to abandon Corsica due to the huge budget of the country allocated to the island. In the 90s, the island was really going through a financial crisis and unemployment, development slowed down, which gave rise to a movement for autonomy in our time. [6]

Another example is Brittany, a region in northwestern France. In 1532, it became part of France, and in 1963 the "Front for the Liberation of Brittany", that is, independence, was created. In 1964, the Democratic Breton Union Party was also created for this purpose [7]

New Caledonia is an overseas administrative-territorial entity of France in the Pacific Ocean. It received the status of a French territory in 1946. In the 80s-90s, there were movements on the island in favor of its independence. Now the island has a special status: in 1998 there was a referendum on independence with a negative result [8] According to the results of the 2018 referendum, the inhabitants of the island also decided to remain part of France [9]

Savoy is an area in the south–east of France, in 1860 it was annexed to France. The region also has a separatist party, the Savoy League (founded in 1995), which advocates the independence of Savoy [10]

For their part, the French authorities are strongly opposed to this phenomenon. So, on February 16, 2021, the French National Assembly approved a bill against "separatism". It obliges religious organizations to cover data on donations, public sector employees to adhere to secularism. According to the state, this was done in order to reduce the influence of radical religious teachings on society and promote a liberal version of Islam, in accordance with the values of the republic. [11]

So, it is obvious that France promotes its interests and keeps the territories under control by establishing centralization. The result is disapproval of national minorities who remain without the possibility of highlighting their national identity.

The way out of this situation will be the integration of national minorities into the political, cultural, social-economic and legal space of France, while maintaining respect for the national specifics of ethnic groups.



  1. Geissot's Law // Wikipedia - scientific encyclopedia // URL: https://wiki2.wiki/wiki/Gayssot_Act
  2. Anti-discrimination legislation - National Policy Project // URL: https://www.ru.civic-nation.org/frantsiya/vlast/zakonodatelstvo/antidiskriminatsionnoe_zakonodatelstvo/
  3. The crisis of national identity in France// thewallmagazine URL: https://thewallmagazine.ru/france-s-crisis-of-national-identity/#_ftn15
  4. Anti-discrimination legislation - National Policy Project // URL: https://www.ru.civic-nation.org/frantsiya/vlast/zakonodatelstvo/antidiskriminatsionnoe_zakonodatelstvo/
  5. Human rights in France // Wikipedia - scientific encyclopedia URL: https://ru.qaz.wiki/wiki/Human_rights_in_France
  6. Separatism in France // Wikipedia - scientific encyclopedia URL: http://wp.wiki-wiki.ru/wp/index.php/Сепаратизм_во_Франции
  7. Brittany // Wikipedia - scientific encyclopedia URL: http://wp.wiki-wiki.ru/wp/index.php/Бретань#.D0.98.D1.81.D1.82.D0.BE.D1.80.D0.B8.D1.8F
  8. New Caledonia // Wikipedia - scientific encyclopedia URL: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/new_kaledonia#History
  9. The referendum on the independence of New Caledonia // Wikipedia - scientific encyclopedia URL: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Референдум_о_независимости_Новой_Caledonia_(2018)#:~:text=Референдум%20о%20независимости%20Новой%20Каледонии,Франции%20или%20станет%20независимым%20государством
  10. Savoy League // Wikipedia - scientific encyclopedia URL: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savoy_league
  11. France has started approving a bill against "separatism" // Interfax URL: https://interfax-ru.turbopages.org/interfax.ru/s/world/751258

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