Macron appoints new government for second term

Catherine Colonna, career diplomat and recent ambassador to the United Kingdom, takes over France’s foreign affairs portfolio.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a new cabinet, with a new foreign minister part of the revamped lineup behind France’s first female prime minister in 30 years.

Three senior ministers – Gérald Darmanin at the Interior Ministry, Bruno Le Maire at the Economy and Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti – all survived the sweeping reshuffle of re-elected Macron’s second term.

Catherine Colonna, a career diplomat and most recently French ambassador to the UK, has taken over the foreign affairs portfolio as France is deeply engaged in international efforts to support Ukraine against Russian invasion.

Led by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who was appointed on Monday, the Cabinet’s top priority will be to try to secure the parliamentary majority Macron needs to implement the policy proposals he campaigned on during the presidential election last month.

French legislative elections to determine seats in the National Assembly are held over two rounds in June and far-left and far-right parties are trying to whittle down Macron’s centrist majority.

The Cabinet appointments were announced by Macron’s office in a statement read aloud by an aide on the stairs of the presidential Elysee Palace, in keeping with tradition.

Scholar Pap Ndiaye, a specialist in American movements for the defense of minority rights, has been named the new French Minister of Education. Ndiaye was previously responsible for the national museum of immigration in France.

In an interview with The Associated Press last year, Ndiaye said France needed to fight racial justice by confronting its often violent colonial past, noting that “French people are very reluctant to look at the dark dimensions of their own history. “.

Colonna replaced Jean-Yves Le Drian, Macron’s foreign minister throughout his first term. She is the first woman to lead the Quai d’Orsay, the plush seat of French diplomacy on the banks of the Seine, since the end of Michèle Alliot-Marie’s short term as Minister of Foreign Affairs in February 2011.

The new government also has a new spokesperson, Olivia Grégoire. The former deputy minister replaces Gabriel Attal and will be one of the most visible members of the administration.

Borne’s central cabinet and 17 ministers are evenly split between men and women. One of the new recruits, sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, is also minister for the Olympics and Paralympics, a new title ahead of the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

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