French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a radical overhaul of the country’s government.
Speaking at the historic Palace of Versailles, he said he planned to cut the number of lawmakers by a third. Doing so would produce a more efficient government and put France on a “radically new path”, said Mr Macron.
The French president says he has a broad mandate after sweeping wins in presidential and parliamentary elections this year.
If his proposed changes were not passed by parliament within a year, he said he would take the decision to a referendum.
In his 90-minute speech, the 39-year-old leader vowed to return a “collective dignity” to France.
“In the past, procedures have taken preference over results, rules over initiative, living off the public purse over fairness,” he said.
The proposed cuts would reduce the number of National Assembly members from 577 to 385, and the numbers of Senate members from 348 to 232.
He also said:
The European Union had “lost its way” in the past 10 years amid growing bureaucracy – a solution was a “new generation of leaders”
France’s electoral system would be changed to allow more proportional representation, so more voices would be heard at government level.
France’s state of emergency, put in place after terror attacks, would be removed by the autumn Mr Macron is not the first president to convene a session at Versailles, the grand 17th Century palace outside Paris built by Louis XIV, “the Sun King”.