Bruno Le Maire (born 15 April 1969) is a French politician and former diplomat. He served as Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing from June 2009 to May 2012 and was appointed in May 2017 to be Minister of the Economy.
Bruno Le Maire was born on 15 April 1969 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He is the son of Maurice Le Maire, an executive at the oil company Total and Viviane Fradin de Belâbre, a headmistress of private Catholic schools, mainly Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague. Le Marie was educated at Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague until he obtained his baccalauréat.
Le Maire began attending École Normale Supérieure in 1989 where he studied French literature. He graduated from Sciences Po in 1995 and was accepted into École nationale d'administration (ENA) in 1996.
He speaks French, English and German.
After leaving ENA in 1998, Bruno Le Maire found a job in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. He eventually joined the a team assisting the Secretary General of the Office of the President, Dominique de Villepin. He went on to a role of Foreign Affairs Advisor in the Foreign Affairs ministry in 2002, then onto an advisor role in the Interior ministry in 2004.
Following several roles in Government including one working directly with Dominique de Villepin, Le Maire was chosen to be political advisor to the Prime Minister. In July 2006, Le Maire was appointed to the role of being Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister, replacing Pierre Mongin remaining in the role until Villepin's departure from the office of Prime Minister.
From 2007 to 2008, he was a member of the National Assembly of France, representing Eure's 1st constituency. After becoming a political advisor to the UMP, Le Maire was appointed to be Secretary of State in charge of European Affairs, replacing Jean-Pierre Jouyet, in December 2008, serving until 2009.
In June 2009, Le Maire became the new Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing in the government of François Fillon. During his tenure at the Ministry, he created a new framework to modernize French agriculture, food and fishing. He also hosted the G20 Agriculture summit in 2011, which resulted in the creation of AMIS (Agricultural Market Information System). The main objective of AMIS is to monitor the global agricultural market under a rotating presidency. An intervention Forum can be convoked if the presiding country judges it necessary.
On August 2012, Le Maire announced that he would be a candidate for the presidency of the Union for a Popular Movement, competing against former Prime Minister François Fillon, Secretary General Jean-François Copé and former Minister for Ecology Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. He decided to develop a reformist line and to focus his campaign around four main axes:
But he failed to obtain the necessary number of sponsors.
In November 2014, Le Maire obtained 29.8% of votes against Nicolas Sarkozy in the election for the presidency of Les Republicains (formerly UMP).
Le Maire was considered a serious challenger of the 2016 center-right primary as the polls suggested he could be third-placed but got a poor result with 2.4%. He became LR candidate François Fillon’s international affairs spokesman, but resigned when Fillon was embroiled in a financial scandal during his campaign. Le Maire has since distanced himself from his party, calling for the right to work constructively with Macron to ensure the president's five years in office succeeds and prevents the far-right National Front making further electoral inroads.
In May 2017, Le Maire was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron Minister of the Economy in the Philippe Government. In this capacity, he is supported by Gerald Darmanin, the budget minister. Shortly after being appointed as the Minister of Economy, Le Maire defected to La Republique En Marche ! following conflicting reports that he was excluded from the Republicans party. Le Maire was able to win reelection in his constituency after beating National Front candidate, Fabienne Delacour.
Bruno Le Maire vowed on the 9 July 2017 to put forward a plan to protect French companies from foreign takeovers.
Le Maire caused controversy on July 20, 2017 when he told the French Parliament's economic affairs committee, "The United Kingdom has a remaining balance to pay to the EU budget of €100 billion" The view held by Le Maire has been shared by European Leaders since April 2017 with some of them believing the "divorce-bill" will lead the UK to owing the European Union £50 billion Jean Claude Juncker has said that Britain's exit bill will be "hefty" and can be as high as €100 billion. This is following Le Maire promising to set up a special court to handle English-law cases for financial contracts after Brexit during a conference in New York.
During the conservative primaries in 2016, Le Maire shifted to the right, taking a tough stance on law and order and national identity issues. He called for the immediate expulsion of foreigners regarded as suspect by the security services, the deportation of foreign nationals who complete jail terms, and a curb of refugee numbers.
Le Maire has set out a free-market economic agenda, calling for the privatisation of France's labour offices, the end of subsidised jobs and capping of welfare benefits.
In 2016, however, Le Maire was quoted as saying the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union was a “fabulous opportunity for France” as it would remove the bloc’s main champion of deregulation. He has expressed his opposition against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and also argued for a more protectionist trade policy in order to better defend against “dumping” by China.
In August 2017, he called upon EU nations to step up efforts to address how they tax the digital economy and stated that a “new momentum” was needed to get a fairer contribution from digital platforms, after a report that Airbnb paid less than €100,000 of taxes in France in 2016. He categorised low tax payments as "unacceptable".
On foreign policy, Le Maire is a traditional Gaullist, favouring French national independence. He has argued for a reinforced European defense policy to secure the bloc’s exterior borders and fight terrorism, with more spending on the military by Germany in particular.
Le Maire is married to Pauline Doussau de Bazignan. They have four children.
In the movie La conquête (The conquest), about Nicolas Sarkozy's career, he was played by Emmanuel Noblet.
|Minister of Agriculture
Stéphane Le Foll
|Minister of the Economy