The path to national decoration

Nomination to a national Order is the culmination of a long process, involving a series of steps according to a specific timetable. The procedure is built on precisely assigned roles.

The path to national decoration

in 7 steps

1. The search

1/1 The network of French society

Mayors, members of parliament, prefects, ministerial offices and territorial governments, as well as corporations and non-profit organizations are on the lookout all year round to identify potential honorees.

1/2 Citizens' initiative

Since 2008, all citizens, with the support of 50 signatories in their department of France, can personally file a nomination dossier in the prefecture to honor an individual whom they deem to be deserving.

==> Prefects forward selected dossiers to the ministries relevant to the proposed nominations.

2. Proposed nomination

2/1 Selection by ministries

Only ministers are entitled to propose candidates for nomination and promotion. Every ministry has a predetermined quota of decorations, proportional to the fields of activity that it represents.

2/2 Nomination dossier

The dossier includes a detailed statement of the nominee’s professional occupations and all other activities (as an elected official, as a volunteer...), a list of any publications, a copy of the police record, a background check, and the opinion of the ministry if any.

==> For every nominee, ministers assemble a nomination dossier, which they send to the Grand Chancellor.

3. Dossier review

3/1 Administrative check

The Grand Chancery’s services check that the conditions required for admissibility are met and analyze the dossiers before submitting them to the members of theCouncil of the Order.

3/2 Dossier assessment

Members of the Council of the Order assess proposed nominations that fall within their area of competence.

4. Deliberations

The Council of the Order

Chaired by the Grand Chancellor, the Council of the Order meets once a month, deliberates and decides on the admissibility of dossiers under the code and in light of precedents. The board dismisses about 15% of proposed nominations.

==> The Council of the Order meets and deliberates.

5. Decision

Decisions are presented to the President of the Republic.

The Head of State confirms the final list of honorees. As Grand Master of the Order, the Head of State may remove names from the list but cannot add any.

Approval of the Council of Ministers.

For the rank of commander and the two titles, the Council of Ministers gives its approval.

6. Publication

The President signs decrees for nomination and promotion. They are then published in the Official Journal.

7. Notification letter

Honorees are informed

Honorees receive a letter of congratulations and instructions from the Grand Chancellor.

Induction ceremony

Honorees then organize their ceremony to receive their insignia, an essential step to becoming a member of the Order.

For foreigners, only the Minister of Foreign Affairs has the capacity to propose dossiers of nominations and promotions. He leans on ambassadors to identify potential honorees. The induction ceremony is not mandatory here.