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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

What changes about life in France in 2022?

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.

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)

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.

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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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

What changes about life in France in May 2022?

A new government, May marches, flowers and public holidays as well as a rise in the minimum wage, tax deadlines, and the return of the Cannes Film Festival - here's what is happening in France in May.

What changes about life in France in May 2022?

Public Holidays

There are several public holidays in the month of May, but sadly two of the three fall on Sundays this year.

International Worker’s Day, or May Day, is on Sunday, May 1st. The holiday also coincides with the first Sunday of the month, when many museums offer free access. Though several businesses will close their doors on May Day, some museums will stay open and offer free entry, like the Air and Space Museum.

The other two public holidays are May 8th (Victory in Europe Day), which will also fall on a Sunday, and May 26th (Ascension) which will fall on a Thursday. May 8th is marked with military parades and remembrance events in towns and cities around France.

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

May Day

As we mentioned, May 1st falls on a Sunday this year but although there is no extra day off work the other May Day traditions remain in place – notably trades union demonstrations and marches and the giving of the lucky lily-of-the-valley flowers.

School holidays end

Schools in zone B (northern France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) have already returned after the Easter holidays, but schools in Zone A (central France) restart classes on Monday, May 2nd while schools in Zone C (Paris and south west France) go back on Monday, May 9th). 

New government

The newly re-elected president Emmanuel Macron is shaking up his government, with Prime Minister Jean Castex having announced that he will resign.

This allows Macron to create a new top team of ministers and appoint a new PM, whose focus will be on fighting the parliamentary elections in June.

Voter Registration Deadline

If you are a French citizen but are not yet registered to vote for the parliamentary elections, then do not delay because you have until Wednesday, May 4th to do so online and until Friday, May 6th to do the process in person (either at your town hall or by the post).

READ ALSO When are the parliamentary elections and why are they important?

Candidate deadlines

Aspiring deputés (the French equivalent of MPs) must file their declaration of candidacy with their respective préfecture between Monday, May 16th and Friday May 20th. 

Tax Deadlines

May brings the first deadlines for the annual tax declaration – compulsory for almost everyone in France.

If you choose to file your tax returns on paper, the deadline is May 19th, 2022, regardless of where you live. For the online declarations, you have until May 24th if you live in the départements 1 to 19, and until May 31st 2022 for the départements from 20 to 54. For the remaining départements, you have until June 7th, 2022 at midnight.

READ ALSO The French tax calendar 2022

Minimum wage increase

Due to inflation, the minimum wage automatically increases on May 1st. INSEE, the national statistics bureau of France, has specified the minimum wage must increase by 2.65 percent (or €33) starting May 1st – this means that the gross hourly minimum wage will increase from €10.57 to €10.85.

Benefit increases

In line with the minimum wage increases, there will also be an increase of 1.8 percent to certain benefits including the RSA, family allowance and disables persons allowance. The back-to-school grant that families get in August will also increase to €376.98 for children aged 6 to 10, €397.78 for those aged 11 to 14 and €411.56 for teenagers aged 15 to 18.

Jobseekers training

A new payment system comes into effect for jobseekers who are undertaking extra professional training – trainees aged 16-18 will be paid €200 a month instead of the current €130. For trainees aged between 18 and 25, it will be €500, and €685 per month for those aged 26 and over.

Black boxes in cars

All new cars on sale in France are now required to be fitted with a ‘black box recorder’ similar to those in planes, in accordance with an EU measure voted into place in 2019. The measure will be extended to all cars on sale, including used cars, by 2024.

Bac delays

Initially scheduled for mid-March, the speciality tests for the general and technological baccalaureate have been postponed to May 11th-13th due to disruptions caused by the fifth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. 

The Cannes Film Festival 

The 2022 festival will take place from May 17th to 28th at the Palais des festivals et des congrès in Cannes. It will be the 75th edition of the world renowned festival.  

Bubble Museum

The new bubbles, balls and inflatables exhibition at the Grand Halle of La Villette in Paris, will let you continue diving into ball pits until August 21st. 

VIDEO Check out Paris’ new bubble exhibition 

Deadline set for student grants

If you are interested in obtaining a student grant, student social housing, or aid for the 2022-2023 academic year, you have until May 15th to apply. According to the official website, even if you do not have all the elements required for the application, it is still important to fill out the application by the stated deadline.

A new increase in the interest rate?

The tax-free, government-regulated savings account known as the Livret A – used by over 55 million French people – may increase its interest rates due to inflation starting May 1st, 2022. For the moment, no official announcement has been made. But if this announcement is confirmed, then it will be a first in the history of the Livret A. Usually, the rate of the Livret A and the Livret de développement durable et solidaire (LDDS) can only be increased twice a year, specifically on February 1st and August 1st. The rate of the Livret A already changed on February 1st this year, from 0.5 percent to 1 percent. 

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