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Xavier Bertrand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Xavier Bertrand
President of the Regional Council
of Hauts-de-France
Assumed office
4 January 2016
Preceded byClaude Gewerc (Picardy)
Daniel Percheron (Nord-Pas-de-Calais)
Mayor of Saint-Quentin
In office
4 October 2010 – 14 January 2016
Preceded byPierre André
Succeeded byFrédérique Macarez
Minister of Labour, Employment and Health
In office
14 November 2010 – 10 May 2012
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon
Preceded byÉric Woerth (Labour, Solidarity and Civil Service)
Christine Lagarde (Economy, Industry and Employment)
Roselyne Bachelot (Health and Sports)
Succeeded byMichel Sapin (Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue)
Marisol Touraine (Social Affairs and Health)
Secretary-General of the Union for a Popular Movement
In office
5 December 2008 – 17 November 2010
Preceded byPatrick Devedjian
Succeeded byJean-François Copé
Minister of Labour, Social Relations and Solidarity
In office
18 May 2007 – 15 January 2009
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon
Preceded byJean-Louis Borloo (Labour, Social Cohesion and Housing)
Succeeded byBrice Hortefeux (Labor, Social Relations, Family, Solidarity and the City)
Minister of Health and Solidarity
In office
2 June 2005 – 26 March 2007
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon
Preceded byPhilippe Douste-Blazy (Health and Sports)
Succeeded byPhilippe Bas (Solidarity, Health and the Family)
Roselyne Bachelot (Health, Solidarity, Social Security, the Elderly, Handicapped Persons and the Family)
Personal details
Born (1965-03-21) 21 March 1965 (age 55)
Châlons-sur-Marne, France
(now Châlons-en-Champagne)
Political partyUnion for a Popular Movement (Before 2015)
The Republicans (2015–17)
Emmanuelle Gontier
(m. 1998)
Alma materUniversity of Reims Champagne-Ardenne

Xavier René Louis Bertrand (French pronunciation: ​[ɡzavje bɛʁˈtʁɑ̃]; born 21 March 1965) is a French politician who has been serving as president of the regional council of Hauts-de-France since the 2015 regional elections.

Earlier in his career, Bertrand was Minister of Health from 2005 to 2007 in Dominique de Villepin's government under President Jacques Chirac, then served as Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Solidarity from 2007 to 2009 and as Minister of Labour, Employment and Health from 2010 to 2012.[1] He played a leading role in Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential campaign in 2007. He was a member of Union for a Popular Movement, later The Republicans, until 11 December 2017, when he announced that was "definitively leaving" the party after Laurent Wauquiez was elected the leader of the party.[2]

In 2020, Bertrand publicly expressed interest in challenging incumbent President Emmanuel Macron in the 2022 French presidential election.[3][4]

Early life and education

Bertrand was born on 21 March 1965 in Châlons-sur-Marne, in the Marne département, of the Champagne-Ardenne région of France. He studied in Reims, where he obtained a master's degree in public law, then a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures Spécialisées (DESS) in local administration.

Bertrand began his professional life as an insurance agent.

Political career

Early beginnings

At the age of sixteen, Bertrand volunteered for the Rally for the Republic (RPR) and quickly went into politics.

In 1992, Bertrand led the campaign for the 'no' to the Maastricht Treaty in his department, the Aisne in the region of Picardy. He was at the time assistant to the mayor of Saint-Quentin, Aisne. He was one of the pioneers of the 'Saint-Quentin beach', an event similar to Paris-Plage. From 1997 to 2002, he was parliamentary assistant to Jacques Braconnier, Senator for the Aisne, and he was elected to the National Assembly on 16 June 2002 for the 18th legislature (2002–2007), representing the second constituency of the Aisne Department.

In 2003, Alain Juppé, President for the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), put him in charge of leading the debate and explaining the subject of pensions reform during a "Tour of France". He was chosen to defend this draft bill in the National Assembly. At the same time he was part of the 'Club de la boussole,' a group of deputies who declared their loyalty to then-President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

Career in government

During this period, Bertrand received favourable attention in the right-wing political milieu. On 31 March 2004, when Raffarin appointed his third government, Bertrand was named Junior Health Minister for Health Insurance. Under his Senior Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, he led the reform on health insurance. Later on, he pronounced himself strongly in favour of a European Constitution for the referendum on 29 May 2005.

After the majority of the French electorate answered "no" to the referendum, Raffarin resigned as Prime Minister. Under his successor Dominique de Villepin, Bertrand became the Senior Minister for Health, when Douste-Blazy was reappointed Foreign Affairs Minister. His mandate as Health Minister was marked by the chikungunya epidemic and the law against smoking in public places, ratified in 2004.

Bertrand announced his support to UMP presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy on 29 September 2006. He was named Sarkozy's official spokesperson on 15 January 2007. He quit the government on 26 March to devote himself fully to the campaign. On 18 May 2007, he was named Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Solidarity in the new Prime Minister François Fillon's government.

On 19 June 2007 Bertran was appointed Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Solidarity in Fillon's second government after the first one handed in its resignation the day before for rehandling after government number two Alain Juppé, Minister of Ecology and Development and the only Minister of State, resigned after having lost in the legislative race to deputy of Bordeaux. He then served as Minister of Labour, Employment and Health from 2010 to 2012.

Later career

Following the 2012 French legislative election, Bertrand announced his candidacy for the post the UMP parliamentary group’s chair. Having been endorsed by François Fillon, he lost an internal vote against Christian Jacob.[5]

In the 2015 regional elections, Bertrand won over Marine Le Pen and became the president of the Regional Council of the Hauts-de-France.[6]

Amid the Fillon affair, in March 2017, Bertrand joined Valérie Pécresse, Christian Estrosi and others in calling for Alain Juppé to replace François Fillon as the party’s candidate in the 2017 French presidential election.[7][8]

By early 2021, Betrand was widely tipped by French and international media to be a candidate for the 2022 presidential election.[9] According to polls, he would be in 3rd position behind Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

Political positions

Bertrand is considered as representative of France's moderate right.[10]

In 2013, Bertrand led a group of fellow UMP politicians who joined forces with the Green Party in trying to force a constitutional review of a new law introduced by the Socialist Party which expanded government powers to monitor phone and Internet connection data. However, in a blow to the campaign, UMP parliamentary group leader Christian Jacob later wrote to his colleagues that the group would not seek a legal review.[11]

In July 2014, Bertrand defended President François Hollande’s decision to push ahead with delivery of a Mistral-class amphibious assault ship to Russia in defiance of calls by key allies, despite the Ukrainian crisis; the deal was later called off.[12]

Personal life

Bertrand was married to Emmanuelle Gontier, advisor on human resources, on 11 July 1998. They have three children, two of whom are twins. He has been a member of the Grand Orient of France since 1995.[13]


  1. ^ "Assemblée nationale ~ Les députés : M. Xavier Bertrand" (in French). Assemblée nationale. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  2. ^ Loïc Le Clerc (11 December 2017). "Alors que Laurent Wauquiez est au 20h de TF1, Xavier Bertrand annonce sur France 2 qu'il quitte Les Républicains". Europe 1. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  3. ^ Victor Mallet (July 1, 2020), French centre-right faces identity crisis Financial Times.
  4. ^ Tangi Salaun and Laurence Frost (September 20, 2020), Macron challenger presses France to save tyre plant Reuters.
  5. ^ Christian Jacob reste président du groupe UMP Europe 1, June 20, 2012.
  6. ^ Matthias Blamont and Ingrid Melander (December 13, 2015), France's Le Pen says far-right rise unstoppable despite defeat Reuters.
  7. ^ John Irish (March 5, 2017), French conservative party heavyweights to push for Fillon alternative, says senior politician Reuters.
  8. ^ John Irish and Andrew Callus (March 5, 2017), French conservatives in disarray as Fillon clings on Reuters.
  9. ^ Marion Solletty (February 12, 2021), Who’s who: Macron’s top challengers for 2022 Politico Europe.
  10. ^ Marion Solletty (February 12, 2021), Who’s who: Macron’s top challengers for 2022 Politico Europe.
  11. ^ Emile Picy and Leila Abboud (December 12, 2013), Opponents of French surveillance law race to get support for review Reuters.
  12. ^ Yann Le Guernigou (July 22, 2014), France to deliver first warship to Russia despite allies, Ukraine Reuters.
  13. ^ (in French) « Oui je suis franc-maçon » Archived 25 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine interview by Christophe Barbier, in L'Express, 20 February 2008
Political offices
Preceded by
Philippe Douste-Blazy
as Minister of Health and Sports
Minister of Health and Solidarity
Succeeded by
Roselyne Bachelot
as Minister of Solidarity, Health and the Family
Succeeded by
Philippe Bas
as Minister of Health, Solidarity, Social Security, the Elderly, Handicapped Persons and the Family
Preceded by
Jean-Louis Borloo
as Minister of Labour, Social Cohesion and Housing
Minister of Labour, Social Relations and Solidarity
Succeeded by
Brice Hortefeux
as Minister of Labor, Social Relations, Family, Solidarity and the City
Preceded by
Éric Woerth
as Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Civil Service
Minister of Labour, Employment and Health
Succeeded by
Michel Sapin
as Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue
Marisol Touraine
as Minister of Social Affairs and Health
Preceded by
Christine Lagarde
as Minister of Economy, Industry and Employment
Preceded by
Roselyne Bachelot
as Minister of Health and Sports
Preceded by
Pierre André
Mayor of Saint-Quentin
Succeeded by
Frédérique Macarez
Preceded by
Claude Gewerc
as President of the Regional Council of Picardy
President of the Regional Council
of Hauts-de-France

Preceded by
Daniel Percheron
as President of the Regional Council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Party political offices
Preceded by
Patrick Devedjian
Secretary-General of the Union for a Popular Movement
Succeeded by
Jean-François Copé
This page was last edited on 21 February 2021, at 01:36
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