La réforme des institutions françaises : vers une VIème République ou une Vème bis ?

Près de cinquante ans après la naissance de la Ve République, Nicolas Sarkozy vient d’ouvrir le chantier de la réforme des institutions, en installant une commission d’experts et d’hommes politiques qui doivent lui remettre leurs propositions pour le 1er novembre 2007.

Des observateurs étrangers peuvent être surpris de voir les débats institutionnels prendre en France une importance aussi démesurée. Il est vrai qu’à la différence de la démocratie anglaise, qui s’est enracinée sans texte constitutionnel et de la démocratie américaine, qui n’a connu qu’une Constitution depuis 1787, assortie d’une trentaine d’amendements, la France a fait une abondante consommation de textes constitutionnels, plus d’une quinzaine depuis 1789. Seule la IIIème République avait jusqu’ici bénéficié d’une relative longévité, soixante-cinq ans, de 1875 à 1940.

Mises en place dans l’urgence en 1958 par le Général de Gaulle, en pleine crise algérienne, les institutions de la Vème République ont été d’abord vivement contestées. Tout devait changer, lorsque François Mitterrand, qui avait violemment attaqué la Constitution de 1958, s’est mis à la trouver fort à son goût après son élection comme Président de la République en 1981.

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