Macron appoints new French defence minister18/05/17Defence
France’s new president Emmanuel Macron has appointed Sylvie Goulard as defence minister, moving the present post holder, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to head of the Foreign Ministry.
Goulard, seen as one of the top political appointments tied to national sovereignty, becomes the second woman to lead the Defence Ministry. Goulard follows Michèle Alliot-Marie, who served as defence minister from 2002 to 2007.
Macron had pledged to appoint women to half of the cabinet positions.
Goulard, a centrist member of the European Parliament since 2009, supports a strong federal Europe. The MEP was among the first politicians to support Macron when he set up his political movement La République En Marche!.
Goulard previously worked as an adviser to Romano Prodi when Prodi served as president of the European Commission.
Radio France Inter reported that appointing Le Drian to the Foreign Ministry was a natural move after his five years at the Defence Ministry, where he was held in high esteem for his role as ‘super salesman’ for selling French weapons to foreign governments.