An overview of the new French Prime Minister and Government appointed this week by President Macron.
Friday, 19 May 2017
Our colleagues in Fipra France provided us with the below useful overview of the new French Prime Minister and Government.
The new French Prime Minister:
- President Macron appointed Edouard Philippe as his Prime Minister. MP and Mayor of Le Havre, Mr. Philippe belongs to the center-right Les Republicains (LR) party and is close to Mr. Alain Juppé (former PM and leader of the moderate branch within LR).
- This nomination confirms the choice of President Macron to enter a coalition with the moderate Right, which is rather aligned with his policy orientations, in order to try and gather a majority at the Parliament and avoid a “cohabitation” scenario where he would have to face an opposing majority. It is important to keep in mind that the actual margin of action of the Prime Minister largely depends on the parliamentary majority. Given that there is no Parliament session at the moment and that the National Assembly will be renewed in June, the newly appointed Prime Minister will be, at least for the moment, under the total supervision of President Macron, who will decide on his scope of action/decision on the main policies.
- 46-year-old with a classic high-civil servant training (ENA), he is a politician from the Center-Right Party Les Republicains (LR).
- He has been a Member of the Parliament since 2012 and the Mayor of Le Havre city since 2010.
- Belonging to the moderate branch of the LR party, he is a close ally of Alain Juppé, the former center-right Prime Minister. Having accompanied him in several of his functions (notably as member of his Ministerial team), he also was his spokesperson during his campaign to obtain the LR nomination for the presidential election.
- He started his political career within the “economically liberal wing” (i.e. pro-market) of the Socialist Party before shifting to the right-wing UMP party (today renamed Les Republicains).
- He also spent some time in the private sector, in law firms and also as the Head of Public Affairs in the energy group Areva.
- With pro-business and pro-Europe views, he is considered as “compatible” with Macron’s program for his Presidential mandate.
- His extensive field experience in local government and the political world, his moderate positions and his good relations with the centrists are considered as assets to build a future majority in the Parliament.
Composition of the first Government of President Macron
- This Government is made of 18 Ministers and 4 Deputy Ministers. Compared to Mr. Hollande’s first Government which included 34 members, this is a narrowed team. The gender equality is fully respected and among the 22 members of the Government, 11 come from the civil society.
- As expected, most members of the Government come from the center-right and the center-left political spectrum, but President Macron also decided to include certain figures of the right-wing party Les Republicains, such as Bruno Le Maire who, after seeking the center-right nomination for the Presidency last November, now becomes the Minister of Economy, or Gérald Darmanin, who supported Nicolas Sarkozy and is now appointed Minister of Public Accounts and Action.
- The Government also counts a few Socialist personalities, including some who were already present in Hollande’s Government, such as Jean-Yves Le Drian who was the Minister of Defense and is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Symbolic figures from the civil society have joined the Government, such as Nicolas Hulot, the popular founder of a foundation dedicated to the protection of environment and fight against climate change, who becomes Minister of Ecology, or Mounir Mahjoubi, well-known from the private tech sector, who becomes Deputy Minister of Digital Affairs.
- Such a composition is rather unique in French modern history as it mixes several political currents/positioning, further blurring the lines of the French political spectrum. President Macron seems, so far, to succeed in his ambition to shake up the French traditional party system. It remains to see how this will impact the results of the legislative elections, in particular for the center-right LR Party which is internally divided as to whether to favor a coalition with President Macron to govern or to try and obtain a majority in the Parliament by itself.
- It is important to keep in mind that depending on the results of the legislative (Parliament) elections to be held in June (e. if the new president has a Parliamentary majority or not), this first Government might be totally reshuffled or adjusted (including the PM).
Click here to see some of the main members of the new Government.