- Jean-Louis Borloo : ministre d'Etat, ministre de l'Ecologie, du Développement et de l'Aménagement durables
Jean Louis Borloo (of the Parti des Radicaux Valoisiens) made his name as a lawyer in the '80's. He has a reputation of a center right man with a social heart. His previous position made it seem he could give a social taste to the right wing reforms of the government. Fitting in Juppé's shoes might be hard : in this new minister that was created for Juppé, he will have to rule the strong corporations of the top French administration (the famous Grands Corps), a task more suited with the Enarque Juppé than with the semi outsider Borloo.
Also, there is the question of his ecological credentials : he was a founder of the "green" party Génération Ecologie in 1991, a splinter of the Greens which claimed to be neither right wing nor left wing but which continuously drifted rightwards.
- Michèle Alliot-Marie : ministre de l'Intérieur, de l'Outre-Mer et des Collectivités territoriales
A former Chirac supporter, she was the former president's last hope at countering Sarkozy's bid. This big position being the price of her supporting Sarkozy. (It seems the later one announced one's support for Sarkozy, the better the position gained in this government)
- Bernard Kouchner : ministre des Affaires étrangères et européennes
The founder of Médecins Sans Frontière, which went on to found Médecins du Monde when his taste for publicity, and his coïncidental habit of supporting the sides the French government discreetely supported in various Third World wars, no longer fit his former NGO. He also led the international government in Kosovo.
He used to be the most popular French politician, but never could get himself elected ; an outsider to the PS, he feels accepting Sarkozy's proposition is the only way he'll get his dream position.
A champion of the right to intervene militarily in another state's internal affairs in the case of humanitarian risks, he is pushing for international intervention in Darfur. He was also in favor of such an intervention in Iraq, in 2003.
He clearly is the result of Sarkozy's wish to trouble the left with defections : Nicolas also courted Vedrine, Jospin's foreign minister, who didn't get the position because he wanted guarantees of actual independence in his role. Vedrine's realpolitik views on international policies are the exact opposite of Kouchner's.
- Christine Lagarde : ministre de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Emploi
A former partner in the international law firm Baker & McKenzie, she replaces Jean Louis Borloo after a short stint in Agriculture. Apparently she wishes to reform French labor law which she says "constitutes a brake on hirings and entrepreneur decisions" according to her French wikipedia page. She is not currently well known to the French public, or by me...
- Brice Hortefeux : ministre de l'Immigration, de l'Intégration, de l'Identité nationale et du Codéveloppement
Hortefeux has been Sarkozy's closest collaborator for a long time, and gets this ministry with a controversial name (announced by Sarkozy during his campain only as ministry of immigration and national identity in a clear bid for the Le Pen vote). His job will be to put dark skinned people in charters back to their birthplaces in order to please the racist right.
- Rachida Dati : garde des Sceaux, ministre de la Justice
Dati is the daughter of immigrants from the Maghreb, and was judge for 3 years as her credentials for this position. She was a speaker for Sarkozy's campaign, and got a position this important as a show of Sarkozy's pledge to integrate French 'minorités visibles'. Which she will do by instaurating minimum penalties for repeat offenders (France's version of three strikes and you're out) and ending special treatment for minors. It might help integrating French minorities into French jails, for sure. (OTOH her job will also be to try and keep Chirac out of jail, and to do so in a discreet way)
- Michel Barnier : ministre de l'Agriculture et de la Pêche
A former member of the European Commission, who was blamed for the French "no" to the constitution. He will have to negotiate - read keep - the PAC in favor of the French agroindustry.
- Xavier Bertrand : ministre du Travail, des Relations sociales et de la Solidarité
He is the man who successfully ended smoking in labor places. He will have to reduce Social Security pensions (especially the Régimes Spéciaux), make unemployement benefits whither faster, possibly diminish health care reimbursments. If he succeeds without having one-million-people-in-the-streets demonstrations, he will have a good future.
- Xavier Darcos : ministre de l'Education nationale
Sarkozy's wish was to undo the 'carte scolaire', so that parent will be able to choose their children's schools. After that, he will try to do nothing and keep the teachers happy - he has already undone some of the more criticized measures of Gilles de Robien, the former minister of Education.
- Valérie Pécresse : ministre de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche
One of Sarkozy's attack dogs, she knows little about universities and research. Sarkozy claims he wants to increase their funding and make them autonomous, but the right wing has consistently diminished this funding, and the "autonomous" is probably a way to privatize higher education and have students pay for it.
- Hervé Morin : ministre de la Défense
After Kouchner, this is another of the 'traitors'. This one used to support Bayrou, but led the movement of UDF deputies to Sarkozy so that they could keep their seats in parliament. He created the "Nouveau Centre" (new center) which essentially consists of 22 deputies, and nothing else. His whole family was candidate all around France in a bid to have enough candidates to be able to claim state funds for political parties.
- Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin : ministre de la Santé, de la Jeunesse et des Sports
Roselyne Bachelot is well known for her gaffes, dressing in colorful dresses, and being the only RPR member defending gays civil unions in 1998. And little else.
- Christine Boutin : ministre du Logement et de la Ville
Boutin gained fame as the most motivated opponent of said gays civil unions, brandishing the bible in the middle of the debate in the Assemblée Nationale. Positioning herself as the leader of the Catholic right, she tried to get herself out of her reactionary image by calling for some form of universal income. She thus gets this position of what is essentially Minister of the Banlieues, that she knows little about. (God forbid the government could try to solve the banlieues problems in any other ways than mass destruction of HLMs, the French subsidised housing for the poors : Sarkozy has decided engagement with their inhabitants, and crime prevention rather than repression, was for sissies)
- Christine Albanel : ministre de la Culture et de la Communication
She used to be Chirac's advisor for culture and education in the Elysée palace. For her good services she got the job of director of the Versailles palace (a job where she was criticized for being in favor of marketing rather than conservation of the palace). She is one of the many Chirac faithful in the government.
- Eric Woerth : ministre du Budget, des Comptes publics et de la Fonction publique
A liberal member of the UMP who raised Sarkozy's anger when he announced that one of Sarkozy's gifts to the (wealthy) electorate, the deduction of mortgage interests from income tax, would only apply if the house was purchased after May 6th - a nice way to lose a few votes in the then upcoming legislative elections.
- Roger Karoutchi : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du Premier ministre, chargé des Relations avec le Parlement
A little known UMP apparachik for a position - relationship between the government and the parliament, i.e. keeping the deputies happy with enough cocktails - that is practically invisible to the general public.
- Jean-Pierre Jouyet : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre des Affaires étrangères et européennes, chargé des Affaires européennes
Jouyet is another of the formerly left wing members of this government. A former technocrat, who used to be among Jospin's advisors, this maybe illustrate the French technocratic consensus of Europe -that was soundly rejected in the French referendum on the European constitution. Not that this should have any effect on the actual EU policy of the French government.
- Laurent Wauquiez : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du Premier ministre, Porte-parole du Gouvernement
Young (he's only 32) technocrat (he was the best in his ENA class, he went through the prestigious Ecole Normal Supérieur, like Juppé or Fabius), he is being groomed for the future of the UMP.
- Eric Besson : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du Premier ministre, chargé de la Prospective et de l'Evaluation des politiques publiques
The traitor, who noisily left Royal campaign in December, published a book against her in March, and joined Sarkozy's campaign in the end. This position could mean a real role of oversight of the functioning or the French administration. Or it could be an empty position, a bounty for the Judas of this presidential election, as the fact he won't come to the weekly meeting of the government seems to mean.
- Valérie Létard : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre du Travail, des Relations sociales et de la Solidarité, chargée de la Solidarité
She is both a former advisor of Borloo, staying in the ministry he is leaving, and among the former Bayrou supporters who left the orange party for Sarkozy.
- Dominique Bussereau : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre d'Etat, ministre de l'Ecologie, du Développement et de l'Aménagement durables, chargé des Transports
This is former prime minister Raffarin's man in this government. (The strange thing being that Raffarin apparently still has some influence. I suppose Sarko doesn't want the small noises he could make)
- Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre d'Etat, ministre de l'Ecologie, du Développement et de l'Aménagement durables, chargée de l'Ecologie
She was one of the UMP members and Sarkozy close supporters supposed to have some ecological competences. She is supposed to explain what ecology means to newcomer Borloo, I guess.
- Christian Estrosi : secrétaire d'Etat auprès de la ministre del'Intérieur, de l'Outre-Mer et des Collectivités territoriales, chargé de l'Outre-Mer
Estrosi was one of the Sarkozy faithful. As a representative of the Alpes Maritime (Nice's departement), the former Motocycling champion has always asked for a tougher police, and more restriction on immigration. He was hoping to become leader of the UMP group in the Assemblée Nationale, but he would have lost against Jean François Coppé : so he finally accepted this postition he had initially refused, saying it wouldn't bring him any votes in his home circonscription ( a strange concept of National Interest).
- André Santini : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre du Budget, des Comptes publics et de la Fonction publique, charge de la Fonction publique
A former UDF member and Bayrou supporter ; however he started supporting Sarkozy well before the first round of the presidential election, probably because he is the mayor of Issy les Moulineaux, a Paris suburb in the Sarkozy-led Hauts de Seine ; his life could have become hell if he angered our new president.
- Jean-Marie Bockel : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre des Affaires étrangères et européennes, chargé de la Coopération et de la Francophonie
The one new spoil of war of the Fillion 2 government. Bockel is the mayor of Mulhouse in the strongly right wing Alsace region ; he has always led the more right wing side of the Parti Socialiste, and is a self-proclaimed Blairist. Maybe he realised he wasn't much left wing anyway. His defection, along with Kouchner's, shows the right wing of the PS had no qualms going to where power and money are. Should the PS "reform" itself to adopt the program of those people ?
A strange consequence of his nomination is that it seems the Foreign affairs will be led only by former left wing politicians...
- Hervé Novelli : secrétaire d'Etat auprès de la ministre de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Emploi, chargé des Entreprises et du Commerce extérieur
He is the leader of the liberal tendency in the UMP.
- Fadela Amara : secrétaire d'Etat auprès de la ministre de la Ville et du Logement, chargée de la Politique de la ville
A founding member of the Ni Putes ni Soumises association, promoting to cause of women of foreign origins and of the balieues, trying to get out of their assigned role of being considered whores for refusing to wear the hijab. A former PS municipal council member, she'll try to teach to her head minister, Christine Boutin, what banlieues are. Another representative of the "minorités visibles"
- Alain Marleix : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre de la Défense, chargé des Anciens Combattants
He was in charge of deciding who the UMP would desigante in the legislative elections.
- Rama Yade : secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre des Affaires étrangères et européennes, chargée des Affaires étrangères et des Droits de l'homme
Senegalese born member of the UMP, daughter of a Senghor advisor, and a semi technocrat (she is administrator of the Assemblée Nationale, who are recruited with an ENA-level competitive exam). She is criticized as a "token black", which could explain her fast ascension in the UMP.
- Luc Chatel : secrétaire d'Etat auprès de la ministre de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Emploi, chargé de la Consommation et du Tourisme
Another member of the UMP "liberals". He possibly got his position as a matter of having enough liberals in government.
- Martin Hirsch : haut commissaire aux Solidarités actives contre la pauvreté
Hirsch was the president of the Emmaüs association, which was founded by the Abbé Pierre (who used to be the most popular man in France) to help the homeless. He has a leftwing reputation, has tried to dissociate himself from the other leftwing members of the government (most visibly by staying a few meters away from Besson in the official photograph). He claims he is not really a member of the government, and is only here to set up the RMA (Minimal Activity Income) that is to keep people out of poverty traps where one loses income when getting back to work after being on the dole. How this will not end up in a Hartz-like system forcing the jobless to accept any job remains to be seen.
- Bernard Laporte : secrétaire d'Etat auprès de la ministre de la Santé, de la Jeunesse et des Sports, chargé de la Jeunesse et des Sports (à compter de fin octobre 2007)
The more comical aspect of this government. Laporte is a known Sarkozy supporter ; he also is the coach of the French National Rugby Team, that is competing in the Rugby World Cup in october. That world cup is organised by France, so leaving his team just before the competition would be seen as awful. Thus he gets to become minister, but only 4 months from now. Quite ridiculous.
This is enhanced by the fact he is also a businessman, operating bars, restaurants, casinos, and he already had to go through a perquisition for some shady dealings.
Another thing to note is that for the first time since the Jospin government, members of this government aren't supposed to give up on their local executive positions (as mayors, or heads of intermunicipal, departmental or regional councils). Being a minister is again a part time job.