President Nickolas Sarkozy thinks they can do better (writes Golda on Newshour) and has called for a nationwide debate on French identity.
Over the next few months the government wants to hear people’s views on what it means to be French in the 21st century.
His critics accuse him of electioneering, of unpacking an issue that he first brought up while campaigning for the presidency in 2007.
But polls show that this resonates with French voters: France is home to the largest muslim community in Europe and identity and integration are among the biggest challenges for this defiantly secular state.
So does France need a debate on identity? And what is really at the heart of being French?
Newshour will be chewing this one over tomorrow.