Who's who: All you need to know about Macron's 'balanced' French government

The Local France
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Who's who: All you need to know about Macron's 'balanced' French government
Photo: AFP

Emmanuel Macron named his first government on Wednesday. Here's a rundown on the 22 names in a cabinet that balances the left and the right and contains an equal number of men and women.


Bruno Le Maire - Minister of the Economy
Le Maire is a conservative politician with right-wing Republicans party who was a candidate for the presidential election.
He served as minister of the economy and then agriculture between 2007 and 2012 in Francois Fillon’s conservative (UMP at the time) government. Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine the 48-year-old is like Macron, a graduate of both Sciences Po and the prestigious École nationale d'administration (ENA).
Gerard Collomb - Minister of the Interior 
Longstanding and active member of the Socialist party and mayor of Lyon since 2001, Gerard Collomb has been confirmed for the post of Minister of the Interior. 
One of the first supporters of Macron's En Marche! movement, Collomb has been at Macron's side from almost the beginning of his journey towards the Elysée.
He was reduced to tears during Macron's inauguration last Sunday.
Elected Socialist municipal councillor for the 9th arrondissement in the French municipal elections in 1977, in 1981 the 69-year-old was elected to the French National Assembly aged just 34. 
François Bayrou - Minister of Justice
The 65-year-old is a former education minister (1993 - 1997) and founder of the centrist Democratic Movement (ModEm) political party. He is also also a three time French presidential candidate (2002, 2007 and 2012). This year, in a surprise move, he chose not to enter the race but instead to endorse Emmanuel Macron’s candidacy. His endorsement was seen as a key moment in Macron's campaign.
Sylvie Goulard - Defence Minister 
Praised for her experience of the EU institutions, 52-year-old Goulard (pictured above to the right of Macron) is Member of the European Parliament for Francois Bayrou's MoDem party.
Having organized Macron's visit to Berlin with German chancellor Angela Merkel on March 16th, Goulard was also Romano Prodi's advisor when he presided the European Commission. But Goulard lacks heavyweight parliamentary experience in France and is unknown to most French people.
Jean-Yves Le Drian - Foreign Minister
The 69-year-old Le Drian as probably the most heavyweight member of Macron's government.
One of the two surviving members of Francois Hollande's Socialist government Le Drian was always touted as a member of Macron's cabinet for the work he has done and due to the fact he is respected on both the left and the right.
He has been defence minister for five years under Hollande and was instrumental in rolling out Operation Sentinel, which put 10,000 soldiers on France's streets after the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks as well as France's military offences against Isis and in Mali.
He is also the president of the Brittany regional council.
Nicolas Hulot - Minister of Ecology
The 62 year old is a journalist and tv producer most famous for his environment based work. This includes his documentary show "Ushuaïa" which focuses on nature and the environment. The popularity he’s gained from this has allowed him to exercise some influence on the political debate, such as in 2007 when he forced five of the major presidential candidates (including Nicolas Sarkozy) to sign an agreement that they would prioritise environmental protection.
Muriél Penicaud - Minister of Labour
The 62-year-old is the director of Business France, a national agency responsible for supporting the international development of the French economy. 
Agnès Buzyn - Minister of Health
The 54-year-old is a doctor whose specialty is haematology. The Parisian is a professor at the Marie Curie university and president at the national institute of cancer. 
Jacques Mézard - Agriculture Minister 
Leftist Jacques Mezard is a member of the Parti Radical de Gauche (PRG). The 69-year-old is a member of the France's senate, representing the Cantal department.
Frédérique Vidal - Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation
The 53-year-old from Monaco has been the president of the University of Nice for five years. She became an established professor of biochemistry in 2002.
Laura Flessel - Sports Minister 
Olympic medal winner Laura Flessel is a champion fencer. The 45-year-old has five Olympic medals, more than any other French female athlete. 
Jean Michel Blanquer - Education Minister
Blanquer is a former director general of national teaching (2009 - 2012). The 52 year old has a doctorate in public law and has studied at the Sorbonne, SciencesPo and Harvard. Since 2013 he’s been Director general of the École Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC) group. 
Gérald Darmanin - Budget Minister
The 34-year-old is a member of the conservative Republicans (LR) party. He is an MP and mayor of Tourcoing, a small city on the border with Belgium. Trained as a legal advisor he has twice served as deputy secretary general of the Republicans (formerly UMP). In 2014 he was the spokesperson for Nicolas Sarkozy’s successful campaign to become President of the UMP.
Richard Ferrand - Minister for the cohesion of territories

The Socialist MP for Finistère in Brittany, Richard Ferrand, 54, is one of Macron's oldest and closest allies and became general secretary to En Marche.

Ferrand worked closely with Macron on the former minister's controversial reforms to free up sections of the economy, like the Sunday shopping rules. 

Ferrand is someone "who has a will to lead a fight. He is someone who already has political experience, that's undeniable”, Macron told Le Parisien before his election.

Elisabeth Borne - Minister of Transport
The 56-year-old has been the CEO of state-owned public transport company RATP for two years, following a year working with Socialist Minister for Ecology Ségolène Royal as her principal private secretary.
Annick Girardin - Minister for Overseas Territories 
A member of the radical left party (PRG), 52-year-old Annick Girardin was minister for the civil service under Francois Hollande and she will continue as Minister of Overseas Territories in Macron's government.
Francoise Nyssen - Minister of Culture
Nyssen is an editor and the co-director of the french publishing house Actes Sud. The 66-year-old was born in Brussels and has dual Belgian-French nationality. In 2008 she became a commander of the order of arts and letters and in 2013 she was named an officer of the Légion d’honneur. 
Marielle de Sarnez - Minister for European Affairs
The 66-year-old De Sarnez is another member of Bayrou's centrist MoDem party and is a member of the European parliament for the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France.
Four secretary of states were named
Christopher Castaner will be the government's spokesperson and will also be in charge of relations with parliament. Marlene Schiappa is the secretary of state for equality, Sophie Cluzel is the secretary of state for disabled people and Mounir Mahjoubi is the secretary of state for digital technology.


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