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What changes in France in May 2024

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
What changes in France in May 2024
A person holds lilly of the valley flowers as people march in the annual May Day workers' rally in Lyon, southeastern France, on May 1, 2015. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP)

From four public holidays to the Olympic torch relay and tax deadlines - here's what is happening in France in May.

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Public Holidays

There are several public holidays in the month of May - this year, all four of them fall on weekdays, meaning workers can benefit from plenty of time off.

The first is International Worker's Day, or May Day, which is on Wednesday, May 1st. Expect trade union demonstrations and marches and the giving of the lucky lily-of-the-valley flowers.

The other public holidays are Wednesday, May 8th (Victory in Europe Day), Thursday, May 9th (Ascension), and Monday, May 20th (Whit Monday, or lundi de Pentecôte) - although Pentecost is for some workers only

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May 8th often involves military parades and remembrance events in towns and cities around France. This year will mark the 79th anniversary of the end of the war.

Elections deadline

If you are eligible to vote in the European elections, you should verify you are properly registered. May 1st is the deadline for online registrations, while May 3rd is the deadline for those sent by the post or registrations done at your local town hall.

READ MORE: How to register in France to vote in the 2024 European elections

The elections themselves are in June.

Tax Deadlines

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

If you are unable to file the declaration online, you can use a paper declaration. This must be mailed by May 20th.

For the online declarations, you have until May 23rd (at 11.59pm) if you live in the départements 1 to 19, and until May 30th for the départements from 20 to 54. For the remaining départements, you have until June 6th at midnight.

READ MORE: The bumper French tax guide for 2024

Professional training funding

Starting on May 1st, workers in France will have to put €100 of their own money toward professional training, or 'compte formation professionel'. This is the state-funded programme to help people get work-related training, but you can use it for other practical things such as getting a driving licence if you do not already have one.

READ MORE: Mon CPF: What changes with France's €500-a-year training budget

MaPrimeRénov changes

France's scheme to help households pay for energy renovations to their homes will change between May 15th and December 31st. First, you will still be able to use it to finance single projects work, such as fixing insulation, and you will be able to do this without giving a prior energy rating, which means that homes with lower energy scores will be eligible for single-project renovations longer.

READ MORE: GUIDE: French property grants you might be eligible for

Natural gas prices

Starting in May, bills will increase slightly for those who either heat their homes with gas, or use it for cooking/ heating hot water. 

The Commission de Régulation de l'Energie (CRE) announced a 1.4 percent increase in the benchmark price of gas, which means that for people using gas for cooking and heating, there will be an increase of €1.48 per MWh including tax, i.e. €111.19 megawatt per hour compared with €109.71 in April 2024.

Anniversaries

There are several anniversaries this May 2024 - from May 4th (the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Paris Olympic Games) to May 6th (the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel).

Increased medical costs

In January, the French government announced plans to double two healthcare expenses, the franchise médicale and the participation forfaitaire. The franchise médicale was already increased at the start of April, but the participation forfaitaire will increase from a flat rate of €1 to between €2-3 starting on May 15th. 

These are the small healthcare costs for things like prescriptions, appointments and travel to and from healthcare visits that are not reimbursed by the state.

READ MORE: Why medical costs are rising in France in 2024

Olympics events

The Olympic torch has already started its journey from Greece, and will arrive in Marseille on May 8th before beginning its relay around France. You can see the route here.

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For Paris residents, if you live within the area closest to the Seine river, close to where the Opening Ceremony will be hosted, then you will need to register with a QR code for security purposes. The platform to do so will open on May 10th.

READ MORE: Which areas will be closed in Paris during the Olympics?

Assisted dying legislation

French President Emmanuel Macron announced in March that a bill on assisted dying will be presented to parliament before the summer.

Parliament is set to start examining it on May 27th. It follows a lengthy consultation via a citizens' council of 184 French citizens, who came up with a series of measures to legalise "active assistance to dying".

European night of Museums 

On Saturday, May 18th many museums will keep their doors open - for free - all night long as part of the "European night of museums". This year will mark the 20th edition of the event since its launch in 2005. Several Paris museums take part, outside of Paris you can find more information on the website for your local town hall. For Paris, more information here.

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The Cannes Film Festival 

The 77th edition of the Cannes film festival will take place from May 14th to 25th at the Palais des festivals et des congrès in Cannes. 

Eurovision 

You can watch France compete in the Eurovision song contest in Sweden this year. The semi-finals are set for May 7th and May 9th (although France goes straight through to the finals every year as one of the 'big five' who fund the contest). The final is on Saturday, May 11th. France will be represented by the artist Slimane. 

READ MORE: 5 things to know about France's 2024 Eurovision song

Sports

The final of the Coupe de France football tournament is on May 25th, with the time and location TBD.

The French Open (Roland-Garros) tennis tournament will also take place in May - starting on Sunday, May 26th and going until June 9th.

Mother's Day and Neighbour's Day

There are a couple of important days you won't want to miss this May.

Mother's Day in France will fall on May 26th, though if your mother is in the UK you may have already missed it (it was on March 10th). For Americans, Mother's Day always falls on the second Sunday of May - so be sure to mark May 12th in your calendar.

Then there is also Neighbour's Day, or the Fête des Voisins, which is the perfect opportunity to say hello to your neighbours. This year it will take place on May 31st. 

READ MORE: Fête des Voisins: All you need to know about 'neighbours day' in France

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