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x-ray of five years of government under Macron

Five years ago, Emmanuel Macron came to power with many promises. Parity within the government, ministers from all political sides, with new faces. France Inter has analyzed these three governments and their reshuffles.

Part of Jean Castex’s government, in the summer of 2020, in the gardens of the Elysée. © Elysee

A page turns on Friday with the end, at midnight, of Macron’s first five-year term. But the prime minister will not resign until he returns from the Vatican on Sunday. Jean Castex will represent France on the occasion of the canonization of the priest Charles de Foucault. The great unknown remains the future government, nothing filters. Who stays ? Who leaves ? And above all, who will be appointed Prime Minister? Emmanuel Macron has already given his robot portrait. He wants “someone who is attached to the social question, to the environmental question and to the productive question”.

Five years ago, in front of the press, on March 28, 2017, the candidate Emmanuel Macron had given more indications. He had sketched out the contours of his future government. Ministers from the right and the left, total parity, and new personalities from the business world, to do politics “differently”. Five years later, we take stock of these promises, which have been partly kept. If the various governments had almost as many women as men, the imbalance is total when we compare the most important portfolios, reserved in large majority for men. We also note that many ministers and secretaries of state of left-wing sensitivities have joined Emmanuel Macron.

A respected parity

It was one of the big promises during the campaign. Emmanuel Macron wanted a joint government. Once elected President of the Republic, he also made equality between women and men a “great national cause” of his five-year term. Including its prime ministers, two men, the governments were globally equal. The equality was perfect in June 2017, after the legislative elections, with 15 men and 15 women. In July 2020, following the arrival of several Secretaries of State, the Castex government had 22 women and 21 men.

For example, in July 2019, women became the majority in government after the resignation of the Minister of Ecological Transition François de Rugy, because of controversies over his lavish lifestyle. Upon his appointment on July 3, 2020, Jean Castex had declared : “Parity is not negotiable. It’s a strength, it’s a chance and an evidence” . Due to the departure of certain ministers in March 2022, the balance has become unbalanced, there are ten male ministers (including Jean Castex) and seven women.

If parity was respected during the five-year term, this was not the case for the main ministries, called sovereign. They include the Ministries of Defence, Interior, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Economy. Three women have held one of these positions: Sylvie Goulard, Florence Parly and Nicole Belloubet. In the three governments, four men occupied a regal ministry, against a woman.

Parity within a government did not appear with Emmanuel Macron. In 2012, under François Hollande, the first team of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was made up of 48.6% women according to a report by the High Council for Equality between Women and Men published in August 2014.

Many leftist ministers, few environmentalists

The “neither right nor left” raised as a fundamental principle during his campaign by Emmanuel Macron is found in the various governments of the previous five-year term. In all, the President and his two prime ministers (from the right) convinced 29 left-wing personalities, most of whom had joined him during the campaign and won a seat in the National Assembly. Among them: Olivier Véran, Christophe Castaner and Richard Ferrand.

There are also 15 elected officials and right-wing politicians: Bruno Le Maire, Gérald Darmanin, Jean-Paul Delevoye. Seven come from the MoDem and the center (Jacqueline Gourault, François Bayrou) when only three ecologists have decided to take the plunge: Nicolas Hulot, Barbara Pompili and François de Rugy.

From seasoned ministers to politics

Emmanuel Macron promised a new wind, with unknown faces, and personalities from civil society. “My government will not be made with the staffs of the political parties. We must put an end to the ministers who have no other legitimacy than that of an apparatchik” wrote the candidate in March 2017 on Twitter.

From the first government, Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe entrusted ministries and appointed secretaries of state to political novices. Some were from the public service, such as Elisabeth Borne, Muriel Pénicaud, Agnès Buzyn or even Jean-Michel Blanquer. Others from civil society: François Nyssen, Sophie Cluzel. Personalities with a solid experience of the “world of work” and who sat at LREM in the National Assembly have also joined the government, like Amélie de Montchalin, Brune Poirson and Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.

Among the 69 ministers of the various governments, a handful have resisted the reshuffles: Jean-Yves Le Drian, Bruno Le Maire, Jean-Michel Blanquer, Gérald Darmanin, Annick Girardin, Elisabeth Borne, Frédérique Vidal, Marlène Schiappa and Sophie Cluzel . The perimeter remained the same for five of them like Bruno Le Maire, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Jean-Michel Blanquer. Others have changed offices, such as Gérald Darmanin, first to public accounts before being promoted to the Ministry of the Interior.

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