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France: New Government, New Minister of Education

Following his announcement that he had replaced Jean-Marc Ayrault with Manuel Valls (51) as French Prime Minister, French president François Hollande announced on 2 April a new cabinet of 16 ministers. The new smaller cabinet is an attempt to respond to the defeat suffered by the Parti Socialiste, the Socialist Party, in local elections.

Benoît Hamon (46), who was previously a junior minister in the Ministry for Economy and Finances, has been promoted with the enlarged Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research. In addition to higher education and research, the new ministry has been enlarged to include primary and secondary education as well. Hamon graduated from the University of Brest with a degree in history. From 1993 to 1995 he was president of the Movement of the Young Socialists (Mouvement des Jeunes Socialistes). He was a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, and was elected to the National Assembly in 2012.

Former Minister of Higher Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso, has not lost much of her responsibilities after the reshuffling. Although not quite welcome by members of the academic community, Ms Fioraso remains in the government as Secretary of State of Higher Education and Research.

Harlem Désir (54) has been appointed as state secretary of European affairs under the responsibility of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of Laurent Fabius. Harlem Désir is a French politician and Member of the European Parliament. He was chairing the French Socialist Party.

More information (in French)