The week in France: What you need to know

From new Covid protocols in schools, to Russia talks and a festival of cows and politicians in Paris, here's what it happening this week in France.

The week in France: What you need to know
The Paris Salon de l'agriculture is ideal for those who like cattle or politicians, or both. Photo by Bertrand GUAY / POOL / AFP)


New schools protocol – Schools returning from the February holiday are able to introduce a more relaxed Covid protocol, with inside sports allowed once again and masks no longer required in outdoor areas.

The February school holidays are staggered across the country so schools in Zone B will return on Monday to the new protocol, while those in Zone A (central and south west France) return on February 29th and Zone C (south of France and Paris) return on March 7th.

Economic plans – the businesses leaders’ association Medef is meeting with candidates in the presidential election, where they will present their manifesto plans for business and the economy. Six candidates have accepted the invitation; far right Rassemblement National leader Marine Le Pen, Green candidate Yannick Jadot, Communist Fabien Roussel, centre-right Les Républicains candidate Valérie Pécresse, the centre-left Parti Socialiste’s Anne Hidalgo and extreme right Eric Zemmour.  


Mali military – following the announcement that French troops will be withdrawn from Mali, a formal declaration will be made to parliament about the military engagement in the Sahel region of west Africa.

Reader question: Why were French troops in Mali?

Election debate – Radio France hosts an event in which 100 young people can pose questions to some of the leading candidates in the French presidential race.


Abortion law – MPs formally adopt the new law allowing women to terminate pregnancies up to 14 weeks, instead of the current maximum limit of 12 weeks.


G7 meeting – G7 leaders are scheduled to meet in a video conference to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Also on Thursday, American and Russian ministers will meet to discuss a summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian premier Vladimir Putin, which was brokered by French president Emmanuel Macron.


Césars – The annual ceremony for the César awards – the French equivalent of the Oscars – is held in Paris.


First day of the Paris Salon de l’agriculture – the massive farm show, held at the exhibition centre at Porte de Versailles, brings together farmers and their prize-winning animals from all over France. The show also attracts presidential candidates who love to pet cows and generally show that they are men or women of the people. The show runs until Sunday, March 6th – full details and tickets here

EXPLAINED Why petting cows at the farm show is a crucial skill for French politicians


Finale of the Menton lemon festival in the town of Menton which nestles on the border with Italy – full details here

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On the Agenda: What’s happening in France this week

From lots of political drama to music festivals and the summer sales, here's what is happening this week in France.

On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week


Political horse-trading – after Emmanuel Macron lost his majority in parliament in Sunday’s elections, he and his Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne will need to build an alliance with opposition MPs in order to pass legislation over the next five years. 

Speaking as the results came in on Sunday, Borne said: “We will work from tomorrow to build a working majority.”

Negotiations are likely to take some time.

READ ALSO What happens next after Macron loses majority in parliament?

Energy sector strike – the militant CGT union has called a strike of workers in the energy sector, in a dispute over pay.


Fête de la musique – Tuesday marks June 21st, the longest day, which in France is also the day of the Fête de la musique, where towns and cities all over the country stage concerts and music events.

READ ALSO 5 things to know about the Fête de la musique

Parliament ends – the current session in the Assemblée nationale ends, so this marks the last day in parliament for all the deputés (MPs) who failed in their re-election bids, or who decided not to stand again. The first session of the newly-elected parliament is the following Tuesday, June 28th. 

Funeral – the funeral will be held in Paris of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, the French TV journalist who was killed while reporting in Ukraine.

Champs-Elysée film festival – running throughout the week, the Paris festival will screen a wide selection of French and American independent films in different movie theatres across the Avenue des Champs-Elysées.


Summer sales – in most of France (apart from Alpes-Maritime and Corsica) the summer sales begin. Sales in France are tightly regulated and the dates are set by the government. These sales run for four weeks with plenty of bargains to be had.


Brussels trip – Macron heads to Brussels for a meeting of the European Council.


Rugby final – France’s top-flight rugby league the Top 14 holds its grand final on Friday night, where Castres Olympique will take on Montpellier. The final is always held at the Stade de France, so if you’re in Paris you might suddenly notice a lot of southern French accents and rugby tops.


Pride parades – as Pride month comes to a close several big cities hold their Pride parades, including Paris, Biarritz, Bourges and Montpellier.