May 18, 2017
18 ministers have been named in the government of new Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who will be crucial in implementing the programme of President Emmanuel Macron.
The new cabinet of the French government has been announced today, comprising 18 ministers and 4 secretaries of state. Emmanuel Macron appears to have achieved several of his objectives with these appointments. There is parity in the number of men and women in the government, people from the right, left, and centre of French politics, as well as from civil society. The most controversial appointments are Bruno Le Maire as Minister of the Economy, previously a candidate to lead the Conservative party Les Républicains in the presidential election, and Nicolas Hulot as Minister for Ecological Transition, a figure of the campaign for environmental protection in France.
Edouard Philippe is a French conservative from Les Républicains, Member of parliament and mayor of Le Havre. He is a close ally to former Prime minister Alain Juppé, who unsuccessfully competed for the conservative primaries. His appointment will divide the right in France in terms of their decision to support or not the new President, Emmanuel Macron. He is a former Head of Public Affairs of Areva, and has practised as a lawyer.
Gérard Collomb is one of the heavyweights of the new government. He was the first member of the Socialist Party to endorse Emmanuel Macron for his Presidential bid, when few believed in his chances to succeed. He is a long-time politician, and is Mayor of Lyon and Senator. Collomb is a strong figure in the Lyon region, and was until his endorsement for Macron a relatively unknown national figure. He is considered by some as the spiritual father of the new President.
A former TV star, presenting a discovery and adventure show, Nicolas Hulot is one of the most popular figures for environmental protection in France, and has contributed to the rise of environmental concerns in France since the 1990s. He already attempted to enter the political scene in the past but never really succeeded before, running for the Presidency in 2007. Amongst his various roles, he was a special advisor to President Hollande, as “Special Envoy for the Protection of the Planet”, and was one of the figures behind the success of the COP 21 in Paris in 2015. It is one of the most surprising appointments of the new government.
François Bayrou has been on the French political scene for a long time and is a figure of the centre-right. A former member of Parliament, he has been Education secretary (1993-1997) and is Mayor of Pau. Pro-European, former President of the centrist UDF party, he chairs the Mouvement Démocrate and presented himself three times to the French Presidential elections (in 2002, 2007, 2012) but – despite good scores – lost all of them. He joined Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in late February and their two movements now form an alliance. Bayrou lost his MP seat in 2012 and is therefore succeeding in his comeback into French Politics. As Minister for Justice he will bring to Parliament a bill on the moralisation of Public Service.
A very well-respected MEP for more than 10 years, recognized for her European expertise, she is a figure of the centre-right. She was one of the earliest supporters of the new president. She has made European issues her specialty and worked in the office of Romano Prodi, then President of the European Commission, from 2001 to 2004. She also worked with Valéry Giscard d’Estaing on the European Constitutional Treaty. She is convinced that the reconstruction of Europe requires the reconstruction of the Franco-German couple. Her nomination as Minister for Defence is a total surprise as she was expected to be nominated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A pillar from the Socialist Party in France, Jean-Yves le Drian was Minister for Defence for the past five years. A well-known Minister in time of crisis and terror attacks on the French soil,he is a recognized figure and has been unanimously praised by his peers. He has been one of the most successful Defence Minister who sold defence materials such as Rafale’s firefighters and submarines abroad. He ensures a form of continuity with the past Government. He was expected to stay as Defence Minister and his nomination as Foreign Minister is a surprise. He is also the President of the Regional Council of Brittany. After hoping that Hollande would seek another term, he then supported former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, and finally turned to Macron, whose political approach reminded him of his own practices. A timely choice.
A Member of Parliament since 2012, he is alongside Gérard Collomb, one of the first to have endorsed Emmanuel Macron and has been since instrumental in organizing the young En Marche movement, as its secretary-general, and to turn it into a party of Government. He was the general rapporteur of the Macron Bill in 2015 and then began to work with the then Minister of Economy.
A civil servant, former Private Secretary to former Prime minister Dominique de Villepin (2005-2007), he is a member of Parliament since 2007. He has been Minister for Agriculture under Nicolas Sarkozy’s Government (2008-2012). He unsuccessfully competed for the leadership of the conservative party in 2014, against former president Nicolas Sarkozy. He failed but his unexpected score (29%) caught the attention of commentators. He later competed during the French Conservatives primaries during the 2017 presidential election. He is seen as a pragmatist.
A leading figure of the digital economy, Mounir Mahjoubi is an expert in digital technology and was president of the national council for digital technology. He took part in the Socialist presidential campaigns in 2007 and in 2012 , where he was in charge of digital matters. He was then Emmanuel Macron’s advisor for digital technology.
Agnès Buzyn comes from civil society. She is a medical doctor, specialized in hematology, and was previously at the head of the High Authority for Health. She chaired the National Institute for Research on Cancer.
Françoise Nyssen also comes from civil society. She is a recognised figure in publishing and is CEO of the publishing company Actes Sud.
Muriel Penicaud comes from civil society and is a recognised expert in labour regulation. She has worked both in the public sector, as head of Business France, Special advisor to the Minister of Labour, but also in the private sector, at Danone, as head of Human Resources, and deputy CEO of Dassault Systèmes.
Jean-Michel Blanquer is a legal expert and is the Managing Director of the famous French business school ESSEC. He previously worked as special advisor to the Minister for Education.
Jacques Mézard is a left-wing politician who is not well-known nationally but well implanted locally, and has been a Senator since 2008.
Gerarld Darmanin is a young right-wing politician, and represents a good catch for Emmanuel Macron as he comes from a political movement from the right which is opposed to any possible alliance with the new President.
Frédérique Vidal comes from civil society, is a researcher in Life Sciences, and was the President of the university of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
Annick Girardin is a left-wing politician who served under the former government, as Secretary for Francophonie and Minister for State Reform.
Laura Flessel-Colovic is a five-time Olympic fencing champion.
Elisabeth Borne worked as Private Secretary for the last Minister for Ecology and has held important positions in the private sector, such as CEO of RATP Group (Paris Underground and Transportation company).
Former Member of the European Parliament and member of François Bayrou’s centrist party. She is a very close ally to François Bayrou.
Member of Parliament and part of Emmanuel Macron’s party En Marche, since its early days.
A figure in the associative world and a great supporter of persons with disabilities.
Founder and president of the network ‘Mum works’, and involved in Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in charge of gender equality.