Who is Elisabeth Borne, the second woman in French history to become Prime Minister

Emmanuel Macron reorganizes his government: designates the transfer of power between Jean Castex and Elisabeth Borne in the Head of Ministers (CHRISTIAN HARTMANN /)

What was a strong rumor in the last hours was confirmed this Monday. The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, accepted the resignation of Jean Castex and then appointed Elisabeth Borne Prime Minister. Who was head of Ecology and then Labor she is the second woman in the history of France to be catapulted to this position, thirty years after Edith Cresson. With this decision, he will now have the responsibility of forming a new government.

“I am really very moved tonight, I have a thought for the first woman to hold these positions: Edith Cresson. I dedicate this quote to all girls to tell them ‘pursue your dreams’ and that nothing should stand in the way of the fight for women’s place in our society”were the first words of Elisabeth Borne.

Borne’s name had been speculated on since Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the presidential election due to his résumé ticking several boxes. With a vast background in French politics, the 61-year-old Ecole Polytechnique alumnus was prefect of the Poitou-Charentes region from 2013 to 2014 and chief of staff to Ségolène Royal at the Ministry of Ecology under François Hollande the following year. . She then served as Minister of Transport, Ecological Transition and Labor in the governments of Edouard Philippe and Jean Castex between 2017 and 2022.

The Head of State, in effect, was looking for a profile “attached to the social issue, the environmental issue and the productive issue”pointed out Elysee sources. He also wanted to entrust the reins of government to a woman, thirty years after Edith Cresson, the only woman to hold office in France until then.

“I am a woman of the left. Social justice and equal opportunities are the battles of my life” assured Elisabeth Borne in February in BFM TV . In government, he joined the Territories of Progress party in 2020, which brings together left macronists.

The Head of State was looking for a profile
The Head of State was looking for a profile “attached to the social question, the environmental question and the productive question”, pointed out sources from the Elysee, to justify the election of Borne (POOL /)

Borne was very present in the media to defend government action, especially the measures to avoid layoffs during the health crisis and to promote teleworking.

In March 2021, he spent several days in hospital after contracting coronavirus. The official acknowledged that it was a “distressing” experience and that they had to “administer oxygen from time to time.”

Very discreet about her private life, she lost her father “very young” and her mother had “no real income”. Borne confessed that she found in mathematics “something quite reassuring, quite rational.”

From the sectors of the opposition they question his policy as a generator of “social damage”. For the leader of the extreme right, Marine LePen, recently defeated in the second round by Emmanuel Macron, with this election the president “continues his policy of social destruction”, he considered. Meanwhile, for the communist presidential candidate, Fabien Roussel, “With Elisabeth Borne, Macron has found his Mrs. Thatcher.” For many others, a technocrat who will not print changes in the style of government, criticized for a management that turns its back on the most neglected sectors.

Finally, the only woman to hold her position, she made some brief comments about the challenge that the new prime minister will face. “It is not the country that is sexist, it is its political class,” said Edith Cresson, the first woman to be head of government, in an interview with a French media newspaper. I will not give you any advice. I’m just telling you that she’s going to need a lot of courage.”

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