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Who's who in France's new government

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Who's who in France's new government
Prime minister Gabriel Attal (top L) and his ministers (from top left) Bruno Le Maire, Minister Gerald Darmanin, Eric Dupond-Moretti, Sebastien Lecornu, Amelie Oudea-Castera, Stephane Sejourne, Christophe Bechu, Sylvie Retailleau, Catherine Vautrin, Marc Fesneau, Rachida Dati, Stanislas Guerini, Nicole Belloubet, and Prisca Thevenot. Photo by AFP

It's been a long and painful process, but France finally has a complete government, more than a month after Emmanuel Macron began his latest reshuffle. Here's a look at the new (and old) faces of government.


Back on January 9th, French president Emmanuel Macron announced that he was appointing a new prime minister, in an attempt to give his troubled government a reset.

That new PM was Gabriel Attal, at 34 France's youngest ever prime minister and his first job in office was to appoint the government ministers.

5 things to know about Gabriel Attal

By convention in France it is the prime minister who nominates ministers, although it's usually understood that the president is also closely involved in the process.


Attal swiftly named a partial government - covering the biggest ministerial posts such as the finance, interior, health and education ministries - but it took him a month to finalise his list of ministers and fill the junior minister roles such as housing, transport and families.

That month was long enough for the newly appointed education minister to steer herself into a major controversy and provoke a teachers strike, while failed negotiations with Macron's centrist ally François Bayrou also provoked a crisis in the parliamentary party.

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But with the drama finally over, France now has a complete government.

Here's who is in it:

Prime minister - Gabriel Attal. France's youngest and first ever out gay prime minister, Attal is a career politician originally hailing from the left who was an early convert to Macronism. A popular politician and a good communicator, his role will be to try and re-energise the Macron project.

Finance minister - Bruno Le Maire. The only one of Macron's original ministers to hang on to his job, Le Maire has been at the finance ministry since Macron was first elected in 2017 and is seen as a possible successor.

Interior Minister - Gérald Darmanin. In post since 2020 and seen as to the right of the party, Darmanin is known for his hard line on issues such as immigration, crime and drugs. He recently managed, after a lot of political wrangling, to get his pet project passed, the new immigration law which toughens up conditions for immigration and also for integration of foreigners already here (such as new language test rules). 

Education Minister - Nicole Belloubet. The first stage of the reshuffle created a 'super ministry' of sport and education and put sports minister Amélie Oudéra-Castéra in charge of it. She had a shocker in her first weeks in the job, provoking a teachers strike and getting caught out when she tried to defend sending her children to private school. The second stage of the reshuffle relieved her of the post of education minister, although she remains sports minister. The new education minister is Nicole Belloubet, a former law professor and ex-justice minister who, it is hoped, will be less controversial.

Health and labour minister - Catherine Vautrin. The first part of the reshuffle was described as a 'tilt to the right by Macron' in some quarters, and the appointment of Vautrin - the former spokesperson for Nicolas Sarkozy and a minister under Jaques Chirac - was part of the reason for this. Her appointment also worried LGBTQ groups as she was an outspoken opponent of equal marriage.

Agriculture Minister - Marc Fesnau. A member of Bayrou's allied centrist party Modem, Fesneau kept his post as agriculture minister. His role has been a challenging one in recent weeks as farmers blockaded roads around France. 

Culture minister - Rachida Dati. The big surprise of phase one of the reshuffle was the appointment of Dati - a rightwinger and former minister in the government of Nicolas Sarkozy. She is mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris and is locked in a bitter (and seemingly quite personal) battle with Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who she has already said she intends to challenge again in 2026. Hidalgo reacted to Dati's appointment by wishing 'good luck' to everyone working in the culture sector.


Armed forces minister - Sébastian Lecornu. The popular young minister keeps his role, despite rumours that he was going to be set aside in favour of Bayrou.

Justice Minister - Eric Dupond-Moretti. Despite a series of controversies the pugnacious former lawyer Dupond-Moretti keeps his post as justice minister. Well known in France even before entering politics, he has represented high-profile figures including Julian Assange. 

Foreign minister - Stéphane Séjourner. One of the earliest members of Macron's party, Séjourner's previous role was in the European parliament, leading the Macronist party in Brussels. This is his first ministerial role in France. Previously in a civil partnership with Attal, the two have been separated since 2022. 

Environment minister - Christophe Béchu. Career politician Béchu keeps his role but the environment ministry itself has been slimmed down with only one senior minister now in place.

Minister of public affairs - Stanislas Guérini. Another one, with Séjourner, of the original Macronists who were involved in the creation of the party, Guérini keeps his role as minister for 'transformation and public functions'.

Sports Minister - Amélie Oudéra-Castéra. It's been a wild ride for the former junior tennis champion, from sports minister to education and sports minister then back to sports minister all in the space of a month. She will (barring more political crises) be minister with responsibility for the Paris Olympics and Paralympics this summer. 


Higher education minister - Sylvie Retailleau. Another one to retain her post, Retailleau remains in charge of France's higher education programme with responsibility also for academic and scientific research.


The above are all regarded as senior ministerial roles, but there are also the ministres délégué - junior ministers - who occupy the lower-profile roles. They are arranged within ministries - for example the public accounts minister is part of the finance ministry and reports to finance minister Bruno Le Maire.

Government spokesman - Prisca Thevenot. In France, the government spokesman is a ministerial role and requires a good communicator and 'all-rounder' who is able to be across the details from all parts of the government. They hold a weekly press conference on Wednesday in which all subjects are on the table. Thevenot took over from previous spokesman Oliver Véran at the start of January.

Minister for relations with parliament - Marie Lebec. Not normally a high-profile role, this has taken on more importance since Macron's party lost its overall majority in parliament in 2022. 


Equality minister - Aurore Bergé. The former leader of Macron's party in parliament, Bergé has spoken out about the anti-Semitic abuse she has received since the Hamas attacks of October 7th and was the joint organiser of the march against anti-Semitism in France. Her full title is minister for 'equality between men and women and the struggle against discrimination'.

Industry minister - Roland Lescure. Lescure remains in place in one of the key roles within the finance ministry, charged with achieving Macron's aim of a 'green reindustrialisation' of France.

Business and tourism minister - Olivia Grégoire. A former government spokesman, Grégoire takes on the role of representing businesses and also tourism - the industry that contributes 10 percent of France's total GDP.

Public accounts minister - Thomas Cazenave. He replaces Olivier Dussopt, the minister who was made the public face of the pension reform and was rewarded by being burned in effigy all over France as protests raged over the raising of the pension age. Dussopt, Véran and Clément Beaune were all seen as being on the left of Macron's party and all had reportedly expressed disquiet over the new immigration bill. All are now out of government.


Rural affairs and regions minister - Dominique Faure. In post since 2022, Faure keeps her role.

Minister for overseas territories - Marie Guévenoux. Never forget that parts of the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and South America are also 'France' in the form of the French overseas territories. This role had previously been merged with that of the Interior Ministry, but now Darmanin will focus on l'Hexagone (mainland France).

Children and families minister - Sarah El Haïry. Modem member El Haïry, 34, is one of the up-and-coming members of parliament who now has several junior ministerial roles under her belt.

Disabilities and older people's minister - Fadila Khattabi. The former English teacher gets her first ministerial role. Like El Haïry, she is the children of immigrants from the Mahgreb (El Haïry's parents were Morrocan, Khattabi's were Algerian) - although this is a big group of people in French society, they have historically been extremely under-represented in politics. 

Minister of health and prevention - Frédéric Valletoux. Regarded as one of the 'specialists' being brought in to fill junior ministry roles, Valletoux is not a doctor but has had a long career in the medical world, most recently as head of the federation of French hospitals. During the pandemic he had a high-profile role in organising hospital responses and - frequently - issuing public warnings that hospitals were at risk of being overwhelmed.


Minister of Agriculture and food sovereignty - Agnès Pannier-Runacher. Previously the joint environment minister, the former business high-flier Pannier-Runacher is now in charge of the contentious role of ensuring that France produces enough to feed its population, while also adhering to environmental standards.

Minister for economic attractiveness - Franck Riester. In the amusingly named 'attractiveness ministry', Riester returns to the post he occupied between 2020 and 2022. His role is to attract overseas companies and workers to France, and he also has responsibility for French people living overseas and for promoting the French language around the world.

Europe minister - Jean-Noël Barrot. Part of the foreign ministry, the Europe minister's primary role is to liaise with the EU.

Transport minister - Patrice Vergriete. Until the last reshuffle, Vergriete was Minister of Housing. The ex-mayor of Dunkirk leans left and has a full in-box from day one, with public transport for the 2024 Olympics top of his immediate agenda. Notably, predecessor Clément Beaune, once regarded as a future high-flier, has no role in the new government. Like Attal he is young, gay, from a leftist background and regarded as a good communicator, but the two apparently do not get on.

Housing minister - Guillaume Kasbarian. The joint author of France's 2023 new law on dealing with squatters, his appointment has provoked controversy among the left, who saw the squatters bill as too harsh on people unable to pay their rent.

European affairs and international partners minister - Chrysoula Zacharopoulou. Briefly holding the post of health minister in an earlier Macron government, the former gynaecologist returns in a junior minister role.

Digital affairs minister - Marina Ferrari. The MoDem member is also the founder of a start-up in her native Savoie and has a strong knowledge of the digital sector. 

Minister for green transition, urban affairs and citizenship - Sabrina Agresti-Roubache. Very much giving the impression of a ministerial role cobbled together from the jobs left over, the principal part of this ministry is the 'green transition' - or moving France towards its goal of Net Zero by 2050.

Green transition, maritime and biodiversity minster - Hervé Berville. The traditional role of maritime minister has been given extra 'green' responsibilities in the title, but the previous incumbent remains in post.

Military veterans minister - Patricia Mirallès. In post since 2022, Mirallès keeps her role.


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