French Communist Party

The French Communist Party (French: Parti communiste français, PCF ; ) is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.

Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), and considerable influence in French politics: two presidencies of the conseil général, 186 seats in regional parliament, and about 800 mayors. It is one of the most influential parties in France, behind the Socialist Party and the UMP. The PCF remains the largest party in France advocating communist views.

Founded in 1920, it participated in three governments:

  • in the provisional government of the Liberation (1944–1947),
  • at the beginning of François Mitterrand's presidency (1981–1984) and
  • in Plural Left's cabinet led by Lionel Jospin (1997–2002).

It was also the largest French left-wing party in a number of national elections, from 1945 to the 1970s, before falling behind the Socialist Party (PS) in the 1980s. The PCF has lost further ground to the Socialists since that time.

During the course of the Twentieth Century, the French Communists were pioneers in local government, providing not only efficient street lighting and clean streets, but also public entertainment, public housing, municipal swimming pools, day nurseries, children’s playgrounds, and public lavatories.

Since its participation in François Mitterrand's government, the PCF has sometimes been considered by the far-left to be a social-democratic party. It supports alter-globalization movements although it may sometimes also criticise them, in particular their lack of organisation.

After a poor performance in the 2007 French legislative election, the party did not have, for the first time since 1962, the minimum level of 20 deputies needed to form a parliamentary group by itself. The PCF then allied itself with The Greens and other left-wing MPs to form a parliamentary group to the left of the Socialist Party, called Democratic and Republican Left.

The PCF is a member of the Party of the European Left, and its MEPs sit in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left group.

Read more about French Communist Party:  Elected Officials, Popular Support and Electoral Record, Publications

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Famous quotes containing the words french communist, party, french and/or communist:

    I will soon be going out to shape all the singing tomorrows.
    Gabriel Péri, French Communist leader. Letter, July 1942, written shortly before his execution by the Germans. Quoted in New York Times (April 11, 1943)

    When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man’s moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides?
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    The German intellect wants the French sprightliness, the fine practical understanding of the English, and the American adventure; but it has a certain probity, which never rests in a superficial performance, but asks steadily, To what end? A German public asks for a controlling sincerity.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.
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