Backwards progress, lol.
France didn't actually have a formal "Age of Consent". Before this revision, prosecutors had to prove that the sexual activity was "forced" in order for the accused to be charged with rape.
Two 11yo girls had sex consensually with an adult. The prosecutors were unable to successfully prove that the girls were raped so the charges were reduced to "sexual activity with a minor".
That's what caused the outcry and the response was to fix an Age of Consent before which a person can strictly not agree to sexual intercourse in the eyes of the law.
On the other hand, I wonder how liberal France's laws are with regards to lesser types of non-coercive sexual activity.