What’s happening this week in France?

From another Brexit deadline to a welcome discount on fuel prices, here's what is happening this week in France.

What's happening this week in France?
Fuel prices fall on Friday. Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP


Election campaigning begins – yes, we know candidates in the French presidential elections have been campaigning for months (years in some cases) but Monday marks the official start of the campaign, and all around France the election boards have gone up.

READ ALSO What changes in France when the campaign officially begins?

This change primarily affects the media, with broadcasters required to give all candidates equal airtime. The official campaign period is suspended before the first round of voting on Sunday, April 10th, then restarts for the two-week period until the second round on Sunday, April 24th.


Brexit deadline – Yes, another one. This affects UK nationals who are married to EU citizens and want to move back to the UK with their spouse. From March 29th, 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 Brit. For full details click HERE.


Farmers’ debate – all the presidential candidates, with the exception of Emmanuel Macron and green candidate Yannick Jadot, take part in a debate on agricultural policy organised by farming unions.

Slow down in Lille – the 30km/h speed limit that covers much of the central part of Lille comes into force on Wednesday. A similar limitation is already in place in Paris.


Demos in Paris – the hardline CGT union has called for a day of demonstrations in Paris, demanding better development and investment in the country’s rail services;

Trêve hivernale ends The period, known in France as la trêve hivernale, during which landlords are not allowed to evict a tenant comes to an end on March 31st. 

Macron bonus deadline March 31st marks the deadline for businesses to pay the so-called ‘Macron bonus’ to employees. These payments are not obligatory, but were brought in in 2019 as a response to the ‘yellow vests’ movement. Last year close to 4 million people were paid a €506 bonus, but payments can reach up to €2,000. 


Fuel price discounts – the cost of fuel at the pump falls by 15c per litre from Friday. This is the government’s discount scheme to help motorists deal with the soaring cost of petrol and diesel, which is over €2 a litre in many parts of France. The 15c per litre discount is applied at the till when you pay, and then the government refunds the seller.


Macron rally – Emmanuel Macron holds his first campaign rally at the La Défense arena in Paris. Until now the candidate, distracted by the war in Ukraine, has been campaigning in a more low-key way, while his ministers have been hosting campaign events around the country.

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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.