French National Assembly
21 July 2016

New extension of the state of emergency and formation of a national guard

The Parliament has passed the bill extending the state of emergency for a further six months into law. At the same time, a national guard will be formed from the army, police and gendarmerie reservists.
Content published under the Government Valls III from 2016 11th February to 2016 06th December
The act extending the state of emergency for a new six-month period, so until January 2017, was promulgated without delay by the President.
With a new terror threat looming, as the Nice attack starkly highlights, this will enable the security services to take swift, effective action to dismantle networks, place individuals under surveillance and prevent acts from being committed.
Thanks to the fruitful work accomplished in just a few days by the MPs and senators, the state of emergency has been reinforced, shored up by new measures in accordance with the Rule of Law in a spirit of national unity. The changes made regarding administrative searches (seizures and analyses of telephone and IT tools) are significant steps forward.

Formation of a national guard

On 20 July 2016, the President announced his "choice to appeal to all women and men who, alongside their studies or professional choice, have decided to sign up to the cause of protecting the French people".
A national guard will be formed by calling on the police, gendarmerie and army reserve forces.
  • Calling up the first-level operational reserves of the gendarmerie and police: 12,000 operational reservists from the gendarmerie and police are currently available and this figure should be increased to 15,000 by the end of July. Access to enlistment will also be extended. It will now be possible to join the national police reserve from 18 years of age and the upper age limit for enlisting in the gendarmerie will rise from 30 to 40 years old. Moreover, the possibilities for becoming a volunteer firefighter through the voluntary service initiative for young people to work in the public interest (service civique) will also be extended. A major communication campaign will be launched online and on the social networks to reach out to as many people as possible with the reasons for joining the operational reserve.
  • Calling up the second-level reserve made up of retired gendarmes. This reserve represents an additional pool of 10,000 veteran gendarmes who have been retired for less than two years and are still capable of being operational.
  • Calling up the army reserves with 28,000 enlistment contract holders set for mobilisation. Following the November 2015 attacks, the President has called for the army reserves to be increased to 40,000 by 2019, in order to ensure permanent deployment and to bolster the regular army in the face of the greatest threats.
The Government is appealing to all citizens who would like to volunteer their energy and experience, without any discrimination, in serving the operational reserve as well as the fire brigade, civilian protection associations, first aid training programmes and the service civique. Regarding the gendarmerie, 2,000 calls have already been recorded since 15 July, and the gendarmerie’s recruitment website "La gendarmerie recrute" was viewed more than 20,000 times between 14 and 18 July – a figure that stood at no more than 681 between 7 and 11 July.

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