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Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (French: [emanɥɛl makʁɔ̃]; born 21 December 1977) is a French politician who has been President of France since 2017. Macron is ex officio one of the two Co-Princes of Andorra. He previously was Minister of Economics, Industry and Digital Affairs under President François Hollande from 2014 to 2016, and as Deputy Secretary-General to the President from 2012 to 2014. He is a founding member of Renaissance, a centrist political party.
This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. (August 2023)
|25th President of France
14 May 2017
|Minister of Economics, Industry and Digital Affairs
26 August 2014 – 30 August 2016
|Deputy Secretary-General to the President
15 May 2012 – 15 July 2014
Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron
(1977-12-21) 21 December 1977 (age 46)
Amiens, Somme, France
|Laurence Auzière-Jourdan (stepdaughter)
|List of honours and decorations
|Co-Prince of Andorra
|14 May 2017 – present
Born in Amiens, Macron studied philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, later completing a master's degree in public affairs at Sciences Po and graduating from the École nationale d'administration in 2004. He worked as a senior civil servant at the Inspectorate General of Finances and later became an investment banker at Rothschild & Co.
Appointed Élysée deputy secretary-general by President François Hollande shortly after his election in May 2012, Macron was one of Hollande's senior advisers. Appointed Minister of Economics, Industry and Digital Affairs in August 2014 in the second Valls government, he led a number of business-friendly reforms. He resigned in August 2016, in order to launch his 2017 presidential campaign. A member of the Socialist Party from 2006 to 2009, he ran in the election under the banner of En Marche, a centrist and pro-European political movement he founded in April 2016.
Partly as a result of the Fillon affair which sank the Republican nominee François Fillon's chances, Macron topped the ballot in the first round of voting, and was elected President of France on 7 May 2017 with 66.1% of the vote in the second round, defeating Marine Le Pen of the National Front. At the age of 39, he became the youngest president in French history. In the 2017 legislative election in June, his party, renamed La République En Marche! (LREM), secured a majority in the National Assembly. He appointed Édouard Philippe as prime minister. When Philippe resigned in 2020, Macron appointed Jean Castex to replace him.
Macron was elected to a second term in the 2022 presidential election, again defeating Le Pen, thus becoming the first French presidential candidate to win reelection since Jacques Chirac defeated Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002. However, in the 2022 legislative election, his centrist coalition lost its absolute majority, resulting in a hung parliament and the formation of France's first minority government since the fall of the Bérégovoy government in 1993. Macron's current prime minister is Gabriel Attal, youngest head of government in French history and first openly gay man to hold the office, whom he appointed in January 2024 to replace Élisabeth Borne, the second female Prime Minister of France, after a major government crisis.
During his presidency, Macron has overseen several reforms to labour laws, taxation, and pensions; and has pursued a renewable energy transition. Dubbed "president of the rich" by political opponents, increasing protests against his domestic reforms and demanding his resignation marked the first years of his presidency, culminating in 2018–2020 with the yellow vests protests and the pension reform strike. From 2020, he led France's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination rollout. In 2023, the government of his prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, passed legislation raising the retirement age from 62 to 64; the pension reforms proved controversial and led to public sector strikes and violent protests. In foreign policy, he called for reforms to the European Union (EU) and signed bilateral treaties with Italy and Germany. Macron conducted €42 billion in trade and business agreements with China during the China–United States trade war and oversaw a dispute with Australia and the United States over the AUKUS security pact. He continued Opération Chammal in the war against the Islamic State and joined in the international condemnation of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Macron was born on 21 December 1977 in Amiens. He is the son of Françoise Macron (née Noguès), a physician, and Jean-Michel Macron, professor of neurology at the University of Picardy. The couple divorced in 2010. He has two siblings, Laurent, born in 1979, and Estelle, born in 1982. Françoise and Jean-Michel's first child was stillborn.
The Macron family legacy is traced back to the village of Authie, Picardy. One of his paternal great-grandfathers, George William Robertson, was English, and was born in Bristol, United Kingdom. His maternal grandparents, Jean and Germaine Noguès (née Arribet), are from the Pyrenean town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Gascony. He commonly visited Bagnères-de-Bigorre to visit his grandmother Germaine, whom he called "Manette". Macron associates his enjoyment of reading and his leftward political leanings to Germaine, who, after coming from a modest upbringing of a stationmaster father and a housekeeping mother, became a teacher then a principal, and died in 2013.
Macron was educated mainly at the Jesuit institute Lycée la Providence in Amiens before his parents sent him to finish his last year of school at the elite Lycée Henri-IV in Paris, where he completed the high school curriculum and the undergraduate program with a "Bac S, Mention Très bien". At the same time, he was nominated for the "Concours général" (most selective national level high school competition) in French literature and received his diploma for his piano studies at Amiens Conservatory. His parents sent him to Paris due to their alarm at the bond he had formed with Brigitte Auzière, a married teacher with three children at Jésuites de la Providence, who later became his wife.
In Paris, Macron twice failed to gain entry to the École normale supérieure. He instead studied philosophy at the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense, obtaining a DEA degree (a master level degree), with a thesis on Machiavelli and Hegel. Around 1999 Macron worked as an editorial assistant to Paul Ricoeur, the French Protestant philosopher who was then writing his last major work, La Mémoire, l'Histoire, l'Oubli. Macron worked mainly on the notes and bibliography. Macron became a member of the editorial board of the literary magazine Esprit.
Macron did not perform national service because he was pursuing his graduate studies. Born in December 1977, he belonged to the last cohort for whom military service was mandatory.
Macron obtained a master's degree in public affairs at Sciences Po, majoring in "Public Guidance and Economy" before training for a senior civil service career at the selective École nationale d'administration (ENA), training at the French Embassy in Nigeria and at the prefecture of Oise before graduating in 2004.
Inspector of Finances
After graduating from ENA in 2004, Macron became an Inspector in the Inspection générale des finances (IGF), a branch of the Finance Ministry. Macron was mentored by Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the then-head of the IGF. During his time as an Inspector of Finances, Macron gave lectures during the summer at the "prep'ENA" (a special cram school for the ENA entrance examination) at IPESUP, an elite private school specializing in preparation for the entrance examinations of the Grandes écoles, such as HEC or Sciences Po.
In August 2007, Macron was appointed deputy rapporteur for Jacques Attali's "Commission to Unleash French Growth". In 2008, Macron paid €50,000 to buy himself out of his government contract. He then became an investment banker in a highly-paid position at Rothschild & Cie Banque. In March 2010, he was appointed to the Attali Commission as a member.
In September 2008, Macron left his job as an Inspector of Finances and took a position at Rothschild & Cie Banque. Macron left the government when Nicolas Sarkozy became president. He was originally offered the job by François Henrot. His first responsibility at the bank was assisting with the acquisition of Cofidis by Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe.
Macron formed a relationship with Alain Minc, a businessman on the supervisory board of Le Monde. In 2010, Macron was promoted to partner with the bank after working on the recapitalization of Le Monde and the acquisition by Atos of Siemens IT Solutions and Services. In the same year, Macron was put in charge of Nestlé's acquisition of Pfizer's infant nutrition division for €9 billion, which made him a millionaire.
In February 2012, he advised businessman Philippe Tillous-Borde, the CEO of the Avril Group.
Macron reported that he had earned €2 million between December 2010 and May 2012. Official documents show that between 2009 and 2013, Macron had earned almost €3 million. He left Rothschild & Cie in 2012.
In his youth, Macron worked for the Citizen and Republican Movement for two years, but he never applied to be a member. Macron was an assistant for Mayor Georges Sarre of the 11th arrondissement of Paris during his time at Sciences Po. Macron had been a member of the Socialist Party since he was 24, but last renewed his membership for the period 2006–2009.
Macron met François Hollande through Jean-Pierre Jouyet in 2006 and joined his staff in 2010. In 2007, Macron attempted to run for a seat in the National Assembly in Picardy under the Socialist Party label in the 2007 legislative elections; however, his application was declined. Macron was offered the chance to be the deputy chief of staff to Prime Minister François Fillon in 2010, though he declined.
Deputy Secretary-General of the Élysée
On 15 May 2012, Macron became the deputy secretary-general of the Élysée, a senior role in President François Hollande's staff. Macron served with Nicolas Revel. He served under the secretary-general, Pierre-René Lemas.
During the summer of 2012, Macron put forward a proposal that would increase the 35-hour work week to 37 hours until 2014. He also tried to hold back the large tax increases on the highest earners that were planned by the government. Hollande refused Macron's proposals. In 2013, his was one of the deciding votes against regulating the salaries of CEOs. Nicolas Revel, the other deputy secretary-general of the Élysée opposed Macron on a proposed budget responsibility pact favoured by the Medef.
On 10 June 2014, it was announced that Macron had resigned from his role and was replaced by Laurence Boone. Reasons given for his departure included his disappointment at not being included in the first Government of Manuel Valls and his frustration with his lack of influence on the reforms proposed by the government. This was following the appointment of Jean-Pierre Jouyet as chief of staff.
Jouyet said that Macron left to "continue personal aspirations" and create his own financial consultancy firm. It was later reported that he was planning to create an investment firm that would attempt to fund educational projects. Shortly afterwards he was hired as a research fellow at the University of Berlin with the help of businessman Alain Minc. He had also sought a position at Harvard University.
Offered a chance to be a candidate in the municipal elections in 2014 in his hometown of Amiens, Macron declined, leading François Hollande to reject Manuel Valls's idea of appointing him Budget Minister, as he had never been elected to public office.
Minister of Economics and Industry
He was appointed as the Minister of Economics and Industry in the second Valls Cabinet on 26 August 2014, replacing Arnaud Montebourg. He was the youngest Minister of Economics since Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 1962. Macron was branded by the media as the "Anti-Montebourg" due to being pro-EU and much more moderate, while Montebourg was eurosceptic and left-wing. As Minister of Economics, Macron was at the forefront of pushing through business-friendly reforms. On 17 February 2015, prime minister Manuel Valls pushed Macron's signature law package through a reluctant parliament using the special 49.3 procedure.
Macron increased the French share in the company Renault from 15% to 20% and then enforced the Florange law which grants double voting rights on shares registered for more than two years unless two-thirds of shareholders vote to overturn it. This gave the French state a minority share in the company though Macron later stated that the government would limit its powers within Renault.
Macron was widely criticized for being unable to prevent the closing down of an Ecopla factory in Isère.
A law which had originally been sponsored by Arnaud Montebourg before he left the government, and which had focused on "purchasing power", grew into the Macron law [fr], a grab bag of measures liberalizing laws prohibiting work on Sunday and at night; restrictions on coaches for public transportation; regulations for debt collectors, barristers and auctioneers; and rules governing the rental of equipment by the military from private companies. The law also sought to simplify many government procedures, such as that for obtaining a driving licence. Manuel Valls, fearing that it would not pass in the National Assembly, decided to push the law through with the 49.3 procedure and so it was adopted on 10 April 2015.
2017 presidential campaign
Formation of En Marche and resignation from government
Macron first became known to the French public after his appearance on the French TV programme Des Paroles Et Des Actes in March 2015. Before forming his political party En Marche!, he gave a number of speeches, his first one in March 2015 in Val-de-Marne. He threatened to leave Manuel Valls' second government over the proposed removal of dual-nationality from terrorists. He also took various foreign trips, including one to Israel where he spoke on the advancement of digital technology.
Tensions around the question of Macron's loyalty to the Valls government and Hollande increased when they turned down a bill he put forward dubbed "Macron 2", which had a larger scope than his original law. Macron was given the chance to help draft into the El Khomri law and put specific parts of "Macron 2" into the law though El Khomri was able to overturn these with the help of other ministers.[clarification needed]
Amid tensions and deterioration of relations with the current government, Macron founded an independent political party, En Marche, in Amiens on 6 April 2016. A liberal, progressive political movement that gathered huge media coverage when it was first established, the party and Macron were both reprimanded by President Hollande and the question of Macron's loyalty to the government was raised. Several MEPs spoke out in support for the movement though the majority of the Socialist Party spoke against En Marche including Manuel Valls, Michel Sapin, Axelle Lemaire and Christian Eckert.
In June 2016, support for Macron and his movement, En Marche, began to grow in the media with Libération reporting that L'Express, Les Échos, Le 1 [fr], and L'Opinion had begun to support him. Following several controversies surrounding trade unionists and their protests, Acrimed [fr] reported that major newspapers began to run front-page stories about Macron and En Marche. Criticized by both the far-left and the far-right, these pro-Macron influencers in the press were dubbed "Macronites".
In May 2016, Orleans mayor Olivier Carré invited Macron to the festival commemorating the 587th anniversary of Joan of Arc's efforts during the Siege of Orléans. LCI reported that Macron was trying to take back the symbol of Joan of Arc from the far-right. Macron later went to Puy du Fou and declared he was "not a socialist" in a speech amid rumours he was going to leave the current government. On 30 August 2016, Macron resigned from the government ahead of the 2017 presidential election, to devote himself to his En Marche movement. There had been rising tensions and several reports that he had wanted to leave the Valls government since early 2015. He initially planned to leave after the cancellation[clarification needed] of his "Macron 2" law but decided to stay on temporarily after a meeting with President François Hollande. Michel Sapin was announced as Macron's replacement, while Hollande said he felt Macron had "methodically betrayed" him. An IFOP poll showed that 84% of those surveyed agreed with his decision to resign.
First round of the presidential election
Macron first showed his intention to run by forming En Marche, but following his resignation from the government, he was able to dedicate more time to his movement. He first announced that he was considering running for president in April 2016, and after his resignation from the position of economy minister, media sources began to identify patterns in his fundraising indicating he would run. In October 2016, Macron criticized Hollande's goal of being a "normal" president, saying that France needed a more "Jupiterian presidency".
On 16 November 2016, Macron formally declared his candidacy for the French presidency after months of speculation. In his announcement speech, he called for a "democratic revolution" and promised to "unblock France". He had expressed hope that Hollande would run several months earlier, saying that—as the sitting president—he was the legitimate Socialist party candidate. Macron's book Révolution was published on 24 November 2016 and reached fifth position on the French best-seller list in December 2016.
Shortly after announcing his run, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis and Manuel Valls both asked Macron to run in the Socialist Party presidential primary, which he ultimately refused to do. Jean-Christophe Cambadélis began to threaten to exclude members who associated or supported Macron following Lyon mayor Gérard Collomb throwing his support behind him.
Macron's campaign, headed by French economist Sophie Ferracci, announced in December 2016 that it had raised 3.7 million euros in donations, three times the budget of then-front runner Alain Juppé. Macron came under criticism from several individuals, including Benoît Hamon−who requested he reveal a list of his donors and accused him of conflicts of interest due to the time he spent at Rothschilds, which Macron dismissed as "demagogy". Journalists Marion L'Hour and Frédéric Says later reported that he had spent €120,000 on setting up dinners and meetings with various personalities within the media and in French popular culture while at Bercy. Christian Jacob and Philippe Vigier accused him of using this money to campaign without campaigning. His successor, Michel Sapin, saw nothing illegal about his actions, saying that he had the right to spend the funds. Macron called the allegations "defamatory" and said that none of the ministerial budget had been spent on his party.
Macron's campaign enjoyed considerable coverage from the media. Mediapart reported that over fifty magazine covers were dedicated purely to him. Friends with the owners of Le Monde and Claude Perdiel, the former owner of Nouvel Observateur, he was labelled the "media candidate" by the far-left and far-right and was viewed as such in opinion polls. Many observers compared his campaign to a product being sold due to Maurice Lévy, a former Publicis CEO, using marketing tactics to try to advance his presidential ambitions. The magazine Marianne reported that BFM TV, owned by Patrick Drahi, broadcast more coverage of Macron than of all the other main candidates combined. Marianne speculated that this might be due to the campaigns links with Drahi through Bernard Mourad.
François Bayrou, with whom Macron had been compared, announced he was not going to stand in the presidential election and instead formed an electoral alliance with Macron, whose poll ratings began to rise. After several legal issues surrounding François Fillon were publicized, Macron overtook him in the polls to become the front-runner.
Macron attracted criticism for the time taken to spell out a formal program during his campaign; despite declaring in November that he had still not released a complete set of proposals by February, attracting both attacks from critics and concern among allies and supporters. He eventually laid out his 150-page formal program on 2 March, publishing it online and discussing it at a marathon press conference that day.
Macron accumulated a wide array of supporters, securing endorsements from François Bayrou of the Democratic Movement (MoDem), MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the ecologist candidate François de Rugy of the primary of the left, and Socialist MP Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of En Marche, as well as numerous others – many of them from the Socialist Party, but also a significant number of centrist and centre-right politicians. The Grand Mosque of Paris urged French Muslims to vote en masse for Macron.
On 23 April 2017, Macron received the most votes in the first round of the presidential election, with more than 8 million votes (24%) and faced Marine Le Pen in the second round, with the support of former candidates François Fillon and Benoît Hamon and the sitting president François Hollande.
Second round of the presidential election
Many foreign politicians supported Macron in his bid against right-wing populist candidate Marine Le Pen, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former US President Barack Obama.
In March 2017, Macron's digital campaign manager, Mounir Mahjoubi, told Britain's Sky News that Russia is behind "high level attacks" on Macron, and said that its state media are "the first source of false information". He said: "We are accusing RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and Sputnik News (of being) the first source of false information shared about our candidate ...".
Two days before the French presidential election on 7 May, it was reported that nine gigabytes of Macron's campaign emails had been anonymously posted to Pastebin, a document-sharing site. These documents were then spread onto the imageboard 4chan, which led to the hashtag "#macronleaks" trending on Twitter. In a statement the same evening, Macron's political movement, En Marche, said: "The En Marche movement has been the victim of a massive and coordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information". Macron's campaign had previously been presented a report in March 2017 by the Japanese cyber security firm Trend Micro detailing how En Marche had been the target of phishing attacks. Trend Micro said that the group conducting these attacks was the Russian hacking group Fancy Bear, also accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee on 22 July 2016. 21,075 verified emails and another 50,773 emails it could not verify were released in July 2017 by WikiLeaks. This followed Le Pen accusing Macron of tax avoidance.
On 7 May 2017, Macron was elected President of France with 66.1% of the vote to Marine Le Pen's 33.9%. The election had record abstention at 25.4%, and 8% of ballots were blank or spoiled. Macron resigned from his role as president of En Marche and Catherine Barbaroux became interim leader.