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What changes about life in France in 2022?

2022 will be a busy year for France. Read our guide to stay on top of it.
2022 will be a busy year for France. Read our guide to stay on top of it. (Credit: Flickr)
The new year will bring about a series of changes for everyone living in France. Here's a roundup of the big ones to look out for throughout the year.

JANUARY

Brexit – Britons who have been full-time residents in France since before December 31st 2020 must be in possession of a carte de séjour residency card by January 1st, 2022. From this date you can legally be asked for the card in a range of situations.

European Union – France officially takes over presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months on January 1st.

New public service for eco-renovation – From January 1st, a new public service called France Renov’ becomes active. It is essentially an advice service for people looking to make energy efficient renovations to their homes. These low interest loans only apply to properties that are over 15-years-old. 

Culture pass expanded – The French culture pass is being extended to 15-17 year olds, whereas previously, only 18-year-olds could benefit. This scheme is designed to allow young people, with EU nationality, to receive money to benefit from cultural activities in France. It is free to sign up. French schools will also receive a certain amount of money, per month, per student, to facilitate cultural excursions. 

Free contraception for women under 25 – All women under the age of 25 will be entitled to free contraception from January 1st. Previously only minors were entitled to this. Some 3 million women will benefit from the new measure. Read our explainer on the reform HERE

Minimum wage – France’s minimum wage – known as the SMIC – will go up on January 1st. The exact amount will not be made public until closer to the time, but government officials have said it will be higher than the 0.6 percent recommended by a panel of economists. After the last increase, in October 2021, a full-time worker on minimum wage earned €1,589.47 before tax, which works out at €10.48 an hour. After tax, workers took home €1,258 a month.

Postage fees increase – Sending letters in France is set to become more expensive from January 1st. The cheapest option, known as Écopli, will increase from €1.06 to €1.14. The most expensive option, the lettre recommandée, will cost at least €4.55. 

Better protections for digital consumers – If you are an avid purchaser or mobile apps, digital subscriptions (including streaming services) and video games, then this is good news. A new law that comes into force on January 1st means that you can ask for compensation, replacement or repair if the product doesn’t conform to the description given pre-purchase. The law also means that any digital good purchased must not require new software updates for continued use. Consumers must be informed of planned software updates. 

Bargain hunt – The winter sales across most of France run from Wednesday, January 12th, to Tuesday, February 8th. The sales in Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Meuse and Vosges run from Monday, January 3rd, to Sunday, January 30th.

Health Pass changes – Health passes for those over the age of 18 who are eligible for the booster, but have not received it within a deadline of seven months since their last dose, will be deactivated from January 15th. The gap between second and third doses was cut to five months in November, giving holders two months to get their third dose. Find out how to book your booster dose HERE.

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FEBRUARY

Motorway tolls – More financial bad news for cash-strapped households. The cost of motoring is set to rise for millions of drivers with autoroute tolls in France set to increase more than two percent, on average, from February 1st.

Savings – For anyone with small savings in France’s much-maligned yet popular and simple Livret A savings scheme, there is good news. The interest rate will – as has been long expected – rise on February 1st. The rate is currently set at  0.5% – and though the new figure is not going to be proposed until January, the governor of the Banque de France has said that it ‘will take into account the inflation of the last six months’

MARCH

Register to vote – The Presidential and Legislative elections take place in 2022. March 4th is the deadline for French citizens to register to vote for the next President of the Republic. Only people with French citizenship over the age of 18 are allowed to vote in presidential elections in France.  You can read our guide to gaining French citizenship HERE

Campaigning begins – You may think the race for the Elysee has been going on for months, but the official election campaign only begins on March 28th. The campaign period is then suspended the day before the first round of voting and the official publication of the second-round candidates, during which time no campaigning is allowed. It ends finally the day before the second round, again when no campaigning is permitted.

Post-Brexit marriage rules – EU spouses of UK nationals will be subject to the full visa process if they wish to move to the UK, which includes fulfilling qualifications around language, skills and sufficient financial resources. Those who don’t meet the criteria may not be allowed to enter, despite being married to a Briton, from March 31st. For full details click HERE.

APRIL 

Tax – The online platform for income tax declarations opens on April 7th.

Vote – The polling days for the 2022 Presidential elections are Sunday, April 10th, for the first round and Sunday, April 24th for the second, if required – which it probably will be. 

Jours Feriés – April 18th is the first public holiday of 2022 that doesn’t fall on a weekend. For the second year in a row, French public holidays that fall during the week are hard to come by – even in May, with both May 1st and May 8th celebrations falling on a Sunday. 

READ ALSO Why 2022 is a bad year for public holidays in France 

MAY

First presidential term is over – 13th May marks the end of President Emmanuel Macron’s first term. If he wins reelection, he will be sworn in again. If he loses the election, then this is the latest date by which a new president can be sworn in after the second round of polling on April 24th.

Elections – The deadline for French citizens to register to vote in the 2022 Legislative elections, which decide the make-up of the French parliament for the next five years, is May 6th.

Night at the museum – France’s museums, along with cultural venues across Europe, open their doors to the public long into the night for the now annual Nuit européenne des musées on May 21st.

JUNE

Vote – The two-round Legislative elections to decide the make-up of the 577-deputy National Assembly take place on Sunday, June 12th, and Sunday, June 19th.

Féte de la musique – Streets across France will be alive with it on the Fête de la musique on June 21st.

Summer sales – The summer sales across most of France begin on Wednesday, June 22nd and run to Tuesday, July 19th – except in Alpes-Maritimes, Pyrénées-Orientales and Corsica. Shoppers there have to wait until July.

JULY

La Tour de France- Returning to its usual mid-summer slot after Covid-19 disruptions, the Tour de France gets under way in Copenhagen, Denmark, on July 1st. It finishes, as usual, on Paris’s Champs-Elysées on July 24th.

Grants for eco-efficient renovations – The government is set to give away up to €2 billion in grants to people who have made/are making energy efficient renovations of their property. These are known as primes CEE par geste and primes CEE Coup de pouce rénovation performante. These grants only apply to buildings that are 15-years old or older. 

Summer shopping spree – Running a couple of weeks behind the rest of the country, sales in the Alpes-Maritimes and Pyrénées-Orientales begin on Wednesday, July 6th, and end on Tuesday, August 2nd. In Corsica, they begin on Wednesday, July 13th, and end on Tuesday, August 9th.

Breaking up is easy to do – France’s schools break up for the annual grandes vacances on July 7th.

Tax notices – Income tax notices for 2022 should drop into you letter box around the end of July.

Health pass – The law that allows the government to maintain or reimpose health pass rules, impose mask mandates and to prohibit or restrict travel without the need to involve parliament, is set to run out on July 31st.

SEPTEMBER

Rentrée – Pupils head back to school on Thursday, September 1st. In France ‘rentrée’ is more than ‘back to school’, it’s also ‘back to work’ for many high-level government officials after their summer holidays.

DECEMBER 

Definition of “decent housing” changes – People looking to rent out properties in France benefit from certain advantages if their property counts as “decent housing”. The criteria for having this label is becoming tougher from January 2023, meaning December is the last month in which to make any necessary renovations.

The main change concerns energy efficiency. The maximum energy consumption of a household is going to be fixed at 450 kWh/m2 , which means it is possiblly the right time for you to insulate!

 

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