The Constitution of 1958 is an important phenomenon in European constitutionalism. Although it is a response to political challenges resulting from particular circumstances in which it was created, its basic ideas seem to have universal application. According to original intent of its author, the Constitution of 1958 had to express their disapproval of deficiencies of political life of the Third and Fourth Republic. The state was to regain its “steerability” by strengthening the executive power exercised mostly by President of the Republic. This was accompanied by substantial changes in the functioning of the legislative power. The Constitution introduced several mechanisms to improve the functioning of parliament. However, its adoption occurred not only as a result of the denial. Its authors had a political philosophy, evolved over time by the leader of Free French and awaiting practical application. The system provided by it was aimed at satisfying the democratic principles, thereby giving the French the sense of unity by focusing them on the common good, i.e. the State. Over 50 years of its operation, the Constitution of 1958 has passed many political tests which proved its functionality, especially in times of social crises and in the changing circumstances of political environment. The rationality of the applied systemic solutions were tested by the instruments of 'alternance politique' and 'cohabitation'. The systemic synthesis, proposed by the authors of the Constitution, turned out to be a functional solution, because it has created new and, at the same time, clear rules of the political game. The most important review of the basic law has been enacted, probably, in the recent years. The amendments adopted by the Congress, by means of the Constitutional Act of 23rd July 2008 will contribute, according to their sponsors, to the recovery of an institutional balance, mostly due to improvement of the status of parliament. Despite the criticism of the Constitution of 1958 and the real nature of the amendments adopted, the idea contained in this Act still deserves a careful study. K
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.