France, Macron: "Six months of parental leave for both parents"

January 16, 2024, 10:05 p.m

The National Institute of Statistics has recorded a sharp decline in the birth rate, the lowest since the post-war period: fewer than 700,000 children were born in 2023


In France President Emmanuel Macron announced the introduction of a “birth leave” (Parental leave) of six months for both parents. On the day that Insee, the National Institute of Statistics, noted a sharp decline in the birth rate, the lowest since the post-war period (less than 700,000 children were born in 2023), Macron stressed that the birth rate is “falling”. also because infertility among men and women is progressing and many men and women are suffering from it.” He also announced a “big plan against this scourge.”

The head of state wants to look to the future with optimism and promises a series of measures to create a country – in his words – “stronger and fairer”. Despite crises such as the war in Ukraine and the Middle East, he told hundreds of French and international journalists in the Elysée ballroom: “I am convinced that we have all the qualities to be successful. I am convinced that our story of progress is not yet over” and that our children will live better tomorrow than we do today.

According to the Institute of Statistics, births in 2023 were just 678,000, down 6.6% from the previous year, the lowest level since the end of World War II. To remedy this, Macron announced the new measure. “Following the extension of paternity leave,” he specified, “I deeply believe that the introduction of a new birth leave could be a useful element of such a strategy to boost birth rates.” The French leader also promised a “great national plan” against the “ “Scourge” of male and female infertility, which is considered the “big taboo” of our time.

The presidential goal of a “stronger France” also affects schools, the economy and security. The reforms being implemented in the coming months by Gabriel Attal's new government will be “the leanest and most recent” in the history of the Fifth Republic, he said.

Among the measures announced for schools and young people, Macron is considering regulating the use of screens “for our children,” according to an expert report compiled last week. He also wants to strengthen teaching of “civic education” in schools, but also theater and art history. An attempt to create a “uniform clothing outfit” for students in a hundred institutes was also announced with a view to possible generalization in 2026.

Macron then emphasized in detail security, the fight against radical Islam and deepening the community integration process. “A more united and sovereign Europe” is an “indispensable element” for the future of France, he explained, recalling important results achieved at EU level such as the NextGenerationEu economic recovery plan.



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