New Delhi: Elisabeth Borne was appointed France’s new prime minister on Monday to become the second woman to hold the post in the country. Borne, 61, the labor minister in French President Emmanuel Macron’s previous government, succeeds Jean Castex, whose resignation on Monday was expected after Macron’s reelection last month to a second five-year term.
Borne is the second woman to hold the position after Edith Cresson, who was prime minister in 1991-1992 under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand.
She has served as Labor Minister in Macron’s previous government since 2020. Before that, she was transport minister and then minister of ecological Transition, also under Macron.
Borne spoke soon after her appointment, noting the emotions she felt at being selected for the highest office a woman has ever held in French political leadership.
“I would like to dedicate this nomination to all the little girls by telling them Go after your dreams!’ Nothing should stop the fight for the place of women in our society,” she said.
Macron and Borne are expected to appoint a new French government in the coming days.
The new prime minister’s first mission will be to make sure that Macron’s centrist party and its allies do well in France’s parliamentary election in June. The vote, scheduled for two rounds, will determine which group holds the majority of seats at the National Assembly, which has the final say over the Senate in France’s law-making process.
Macron also promised a bill addressing the rising cost of living in France, where food and energy prices are surging. It will be prepared by his new government and is expected to be presented just after the parliamentary election.
If Macron’s party wins a majority in the Assembly, the prime minister will then need to ensure that pension changes promised by the president are put into law, including raising the minimum retirement age from 62 to 65. The proposed changes have been criticized by workers, unions and left-wing voters.
Macron also promised that the new prime minister would be directly in charge of “green planning,” seeking to accelerate France’s implementation of climate-related policies. Macron vowed to go “twice as fast” in his second term to curb greenhouse gas emissions.