- Former Labor Secretary Elizabeth Bourne will become the new French Prime Minister. French President Emmanuel Macron, 61, has named Jean Castex’s successor.
- Bourne’s inauguration will take place on Monday evening. She was tasked with forming a new government.
- The French government headed by Prime Minister Castex submitted his resignation this afternoon. The move is considered a formality in France after the presidential elections.
There has already been speculation about the possible appointment of Elizabeth Bourne as head of government. Born belongs to the left wing of Macron’s party, La République en Marche. After Edith Cresson (she held the position from May 1991 to April 1992), she is the second head of government in the history of the French Fifth Republic.
Workaholics with Negotiation Skills
Born in Paris, Elizabeth Bourne graduated from the Faculty of Engineering and worked for many years in various ministries as well as the SNCF State Railways and the Paris Public Transport Company. In 2017, she became first assistant minister, then minister for environmental transformation in 2019 and minister of labor in 2020. During her tenure as labor minister, unemployment fell to its lowest level in 15 years.
Borne aligns with Macron’s desire to fill the position with someone committed to social issues, environmental challenges and productivity. She is an efficient, loyal, and discreet manager with a knowledge of human nature, less interested in political games and more knowledge of files and topics.
I am a left-wing woman. Social justice and equal opportunity are the struggles of my life.
Bourne is also described as a conservative technocrat. During Macron’s first term, she made a name for herself as a tough negotiator with unions. “She’s a real workaholic, she goes until 3am and comes back at 7am,” said a former Borne employee.
“I am a left-wing woman. Social justice and equal opportunity are the dilemmas of my life,” the new prime minister said in a recent interview. “Helping everyone free themselves through work is a leftist value.”
Support for Macron collapses
With Bourne’s candidacy, Macron is also reacting to the election result when he was re-elected a month ago. In the runoff, he was able to clearly assert himself against his right-wing populist rival Marine Le Pen. However, forces grew on the extreme left and right of the party spectrum.
Many in the country are disappointed or frustrated with his policies. As Macron’s next hurdle is parliamentary elections in a month, it is important for liberals to appeal to left-wing and conservative voters with a new government headed by the new prime minister. With Bourne, a politician with environmental, social and political credibility became Prime Minister.
Castex’s resignation was expected
Prior to Bourne’s nomination, incumbent Jan Castex tendered his resignation on Monday. It is common in France for the prime minister to submit the government’s resignation before the re-elected president or the new president formally takes office. The move came surprisingly late, three weeks after the presidential election. Jan Castex was prime minister for 22 months.
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