Élisabeth Guigou

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Élisabeth Guigou
Élisabeth Guigou.jpg
Minister of Social Affairs
In office
18 October 2000 – 6 May 2002
Prime Minister Lionel Jospin
Preceded by Martine Aubry
Succeeded by François Fillon
Minister of Justice
In office
4 June 1997 – 18 October 2000
Prime Minister Lionel Jospin
Preceded by Jacques Toubon
Succeeded by Marylise Lebranchu
Minister for European Affairs
In office
3 October 1990 – 29 March 1993
Prime Minister Michel Rocard
Édith Cresson
Pierre Bérégovoy
Preceded by Édith Cresson
Succeeded by Alain Lamassoure
Member of the National Assembly
for Seine-Saint-Denis' 9th Constituency
Assumed office
19 June 2002
Preceded by Véronique Neiertz
Personal details
Born Élisabeth Vallier
(1946-08-06) 6 August 1946 (age 69)
Marrakesh, Morocco
Political party Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Jean-Louis Guigou
Alma mater Institute of Political Studies, Aix
National School of Administration, Strasbourg

Élisabeth Guigou (French pronunciation: ​[elizabɛt ɡiˈɡu]; born Élisabeth Vallier; 6 August 1946) is a French socialist politician.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Guigou was born in Marrakesh, Morocco. After attending Sciences Po Aix and ENA, France's elite graduate school of public affairs, she worked in Jacques Delors' staff in 1982 before being hired by Hubert Védrine in François Mitterrand's government. She was appointed Secretary-General of the Interminsterial Committee on European Economical Matters in 1986 during the period of cohabitation.

She first got a taste of front-line politics when she was appointed Minister of European Affairs (1990–1993), during the campaign on the Maastricht Treaty, before she was elected to the European Parliament in 1994. During 1994–1995 she was member of the Tindemans group. Together with Elmar Brok, she represented the European Parliament in the negotiations that produced the Amsterdam Treaty.

In 1997, she was elected to the National Assembly in the Vaucluse département and entered incoming Prime Minister Lionel Jospin's cabinet, as Minister of Justice (1997–2000) and then as Minister of Employment (2000–2002).

She failed to be elected Mayor of Avignon and, facing possible defeat in her district, was nominated as a candidate for the National Assembly in 2002 in the heavily left-wing département of Seine-Saint-Denis. She was re-elected in 2007.

She represented France for the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.


Guigou co-sponsored several bills which became law. She co-sponsored a 2000 law, which articulated French policy on presumption of innocence in media by prohibiting magazines and newspapers from publishing photographs of accused individuals wearing handcuffs or other scenes which may "jeopardise a victim's dignity".[2] This law, which was unanimously supported by the Senate, was openly opposed by leading publications such as Paris Match, which ignores the law.

She also co-sponsored a 1998 law which abrogated the requirement of "manifestation of will" for children born in France of foreign parents to gain citizenship.[3]


She is a founding chairwoman and co-president with Jean-Noël Jeanneney of Europartenaires, a group linking business interests with the European Union. She also founded a lobby group called Femmes d'Europe (Women of Europe) and sits on the board of directors of Jacques Delors's foundation Notre Europe (Our Europe). She campaigned for the Yes side in the referendum on the 2005 Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.

Guigou was a supporter of Martine Aubry's presidential bid.

Personal life[edit]

She is the spouse of Jean-Louis Guigou, a professor of economics, former technical adviser to Michel Rocard and civil servant. They have one child.

Political career[edit]

Governmental function

Minister of European Affairs : 1990–1993.

Keeper of the seals, Minister of Justice : 1997–2000.

Minister of Employment and Solidarity : 2000–2002.

Electoral mandates

European Parliament

Member of the European Parliament : 1994–1997 (Became minister in 1997, and elected in parliamentary elections).

French Parliament

Member of the National Assembly of France for Vaucluse : June 1997- July 1997 (Appointed Minister of Justice in July 1997).

Member of the National Assembly of France for Seine-Saint-Denis : Elected in 2002, reelected in 2007 and 2012.

Regional Council

Regional councillor of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur : Elected in 1992, reelected in 1998, resigned in 2001.

Municipal Council

Deputy-mayor of Noisy-le-Sec : 2008-2010.



Political offices
Preceded by
Édith Cresson
Minister for European Affairs
Succeeded by
Alain Lamassoure
Preceded by
Jacques Toubon
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Marylise Lebranchu
Preceded by
Martine Aubry
Minister of Social Affairs
Succeeded by
François Fillon