A French parliament report has called for a ban on the full Islamic veil in all schools, hospitals, public transport and government offices.
The parliament commission said the burqa is an affront to French values following six months of hearings.
'The wearing of the full veil is a challenge to our republic. This is unacceptable,' the report by a parliament commission said. 'We must condemn this excess.'
The report recommended that women who turn up at government offices wearing the full veil should be denied services such as a work visa, residency papers or French citizenship.
However, the panel stopped short of proposing broad legislation to outlaw the burqa on the streets or in shopping centres after cautioning that such a move would have to be reviewed by the courts to establish its legality.
President Nicolas Sarkozy set the tone for the debate in June when he said the burqa was 'not welcome' in France.
Mr Sarkozy described it as a symbol of women's 'subservience' that cannot be tolerated in a country that considers itself a human rights leader.
The French government estimates that just 1,900 women in the country wear the full veils.