The week in France: What you need to know

From election campaigning to European meetings and a customs strike, here is what happening in France this week.

The week in France: What you need to know
Emmanuel Macron is hosting EU leaders at Versailles this week to discuss European defence and energy. Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP


Elections – the campaign for the 2022 French presidential elections formally gets underway. Candidates had until Friday at 6pm to formally declare their candidacy and gain the necessary 500 signatures of support and at 12noon on Monday the Constitutional Council publishes the official list of candidates.

Macron event – Monday also marks the first campaign event for Emmanuel Macron. A planned rally in Marseille has been cancelled because of the international situation, but Macron’s team say that he will go ahead with an event in the greater Paris Île-de-France region. He has already told people that ‘the context” means that he will not be able to campaign as he would have liked.

School holidays end – Schools in Zone C, which includes Paris, Créteil, Versailles, Montpellier and Toulouse resume classes after the two-week winter break. Schools in the rest of the country have already returned. 

Nantes climate summit – the city of Nantes hosts the European climate summit Climate Chance.


International Women’s Day – there will be events and demonstrations across France in support of the International Day of Women’s Rights.

Deliveroo case – the online platform for takeout services is in court on Tuesday, along with three former employees who are accused of undeclared labour.

The Local podcast – if you’re interested in French society and politics, check out Episode 1 of Talking France, The Local’s French election podcast, which will be released on Tuesday.


European leaders summit – Macron will host EU leaders at Versailles for a two-day summit in response to the war in Ukraine. The leaders will look at two things – co-ordinated European defence and how to make the Bloc more independent in its energy supplies, to avoid the problem of dependence on Russian gas.

Customs officers strike – unions representing French customs officers have called for a one-day strike in protest over working conditions. This could lead to delays at ports and train stations for international arrivals.

Gérard Depardieu rape accusations – a decision is expected on Thursday on whether to proceed with the rape case against actor Gérard Depardieu.


‘Look Up’ marches – marches and demonstrations are planned across France calling for the climate emergency to be put at the heart of the French presidential election campaigns. The name comes from the Netflix drama Don’t Look Up, a satire on the response to climate change.

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

From a new government and a tax deadline to a public holiday and an influx of football fans in Paris - here's what is happening in France this week.

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


Council of Ministers – this will be the first meeting of the Council of Ministers from the newly-formed French government, announced on Friday. The regular weekly meeting of the highest-ranking French ministers tackles all aspect of government.

READ ALSO Who’s who in the new French government

Paris transport strike – services in the city’s bus and tram network will be affected on Monday as staff take strike action in a long-running dispute over service reorganisation. Metro services are not affected.


Tax deadline day – this is the first deadline for the completion of the annual tax declaration online, and it applies to people who live in départements 1-19 or those who live outside France. For help with completing the declaration, head to our tax section.

READ ALSO Who has to fill in the annual French tax declaration?

Besson case – the court of appeal is set to publish its judgement in the case of the film director Luc Besson, who has been accused of rape.

Marseille literature festival – the literary festival Oh les beaux jours begins in Marseille.


Music festival – the festival of electronic music Nuits sonoré begins in Lyon.


Ascension Day – The Christian holiday of Ascension marks the first public holiday of the month. Normally May 1st (workers’ day) and May 8th (VE Day) are both holidays in France, but this year they fell on a Sunday, meaning no extra day off. Ascension also represents one of the rare chances to faire le pont in 2022.


Champions League final – If you’re in Paris, expect it to be full of Spaniards and Scousers as Real Madrid take on Liverpool for the Champions League final at the Stade de France. The final was originally set to be held in Russia, but was relocated due to the invasion of Ukraine.

READ ALSO What Liverpool fans coming to Paris for the Champions League final need to know

End of Cannes film festival – the film festival ends on Saturday after two weeks of celebration in the southern French seaside resort.