On the Agenda: Everything that’s happening in France this week

On the Agenda: Everything that's happening in France this week
Photos: AFP/Depositphotos
Here's a look at the big news and cultural events that will take place in France this week.

Monday May 13th 

The official campaign for the European elections, set to take place on May 26th, kicks off on Monday. 

This year, for the first time, France has adopted the 'whole country' system, instead of the eight constituencies that previously covered France. This means that instead of voting by constituency, voters in France vote nationally, and the parties with the largest numbers of votes get the most MEPs. 

And this year's election promises to be interesting, with French President Emmanuel Macron feeling the pressure as opinion polls for his La République en Marche (LREM) party and allies have taken a turn for the worse. 

READ MORE on the European elections:

OPINION: The déja vu of the European election polls masks a dangerous game in French democracyPhoto: AFP

On Monday, French MPs will examine the bill detailing the government's controversial plan to transform the country's public sector

Public sector workers went on strike on Thursday to denounce the government's plan, which includes greater use of contract workers for some state services and a cut of 120,000 jobs out of 5.6 million by 2022.

Also, the 52nd congress of the hard left CGT union begins in Dijon on Monday and the 31st “Nuit des Molières” – an evening recognising excellence in French theatre – will take place at the Folies Bergère in Paris. 

Tuesday May 14th

Senators will examine the government's plans for far-reaching reforms to France's school system (called 'Loi Blanquer' after France's education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer) which was voted through France's parliament in February.

The world famous Cannes film festival is set to open on Tuesday, with veteran directors Ken Loach and Terrence Malick heading the line-up of a gritty and highly political 72nd edition of the event. 

Photo: AFP

Wednesday May 15th

Macron will receive Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj at the Elysée on Wednesday. 
The French president reiterated France's support for Libya's beleaguered Government of National Accord (GNA), after talks took place last week between the two leaders. 
Macron will also meet with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as the two leaders bring together global leaders at a Paris summit aimed at stopping social media being used to organise and promote terrorism.
Thursday May 16th
The fourth edition of Vivatech – “the world’s rendezvous for startups and leaders to celebrate innovation” – opens in Paris on Thursday. 
Friday May 17th 
Grand prix de France moto, May 17th, 18th, 19th, Le Mans 
Another big sporting event to put on your calendar. Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend upon the western French town of Le Mans for the motorcycling Grand Prix. Here's a preview to get you revved up.
Photo: AFP
Saturday May 18th 
On the evening of the 18th museums across the whole of France will throw open their doors free of charge to visitors between 6pm and midnight. Most museums will also offer special activities such as concerts, workshops and screenings.
Or if you'd rather stay at home on Saturday night, you can tune into the Eurovision song contest, which will be screened on France 2 from 9pm.

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