Bruno Le Maire

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Bruno Le Maire
Informal meeting of economic and financial affairs ministers (ECOFIN). Handshake, Eurogroup Toomas Tõniste and Bruno Le Maire (36840346850) (cropped).jpg
Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery
Assumed office
17 May 2017
Prime MinisterÉdouard Philippe
Jean Castex
Élisabeth Borne
Preceded byMichel Sapin
Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing
In office
23 June 2009 – 15 May 2012
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon
Preceded byMichel Barnier
Succeeded byStéphane Le Foll
Secretary of State for European Affairs
In office
18 December 2008 – 23 June 2009
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon
Preceded byJean-Pierre Jouyet
Succeeded byPierre Lellouche
Member of the National Assembly
for Eure's 1st constituency
In office
20 June 2012 – 21 July 2017
Preceded byGuy Lefrand
Succeeded bySéverine Gipson
In office
20 June 2007 – 13 January 2009
Preceded byFrançoise Charpentier
Succeeded byGuy Lefrand
Personal details
Born (1969-04-15) 15 April 1969 (age 53)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Political partyLa République En Marche! (2017–present)
Other political
The Republicans (2015–2017)
Union for a Popular Movement (before 2015)
Pauline Doussau de Bazignan
(m. 1998)
EducationLycée Louis-le-Grand
Alma materÉcole normale supérieure
Université Paris-Sorbonne
Sciences Po
École nationale d'administration

Bruno Le Maire (French: [bʁ lə mɛʁ]; born 15 April 1969) is a French politician and former diplomat who has served as Minister of the Economy and Finance since 2017 under President Emmanuel Macron. A former member of The Republicans (LR), which he left in 2017 to join La République En Marche! (LREM), he was Secretary of State for European Affairs from 2008 to 2009 and Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing from 2009 to 2012 under President Nicolas Sarkozy.[1] Le Maire is also a noted writer, with his book Des hommes d'Etat winning the 2008 Edgar Faure Prize.

Early life and education[edit]

Bruno Le Maire was born on 15 April 1969 in Neuilly-sur-Seine.[1][2] He is the son of Maurice Le Maire, an executive at the oil company Total, and Viviane Fradin de Belâbre, a headmistress of private Catholic schools, mainly Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague.[3] Le Maire was educated at Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague until he obtained his baccalauréat.

Le Maire began attending the École normale supérieure in 1989, and then Paris-Sorbonne University, where he studied French literature. He graduated from Sciences Po in 1995, and was accepted onto the École nationale d'administration (ÉNA) in 1996.[1][2][4][5]

Bruno Le Maire is married to painter Pauline Doussau de Bazignan, who is the mother of his four sons.[6][7][8] His wife was employed as his parliamentary assistant from 2007 to 2013.[9]

Le Maire is fluent in French, English, Italian and German.


Early beginnings[edit]

After leaving the ÉNA in 1998, Bruno Le Maire found a job in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. He eventually joined the team assisting the Secretary General of the Office of the President, Dominique de Villepin. He went on to a role of Foreign Affairs Advisor in the ministry in 2002,[10] then onto an advisor role in the Interior ministry in 2004.[11]

Bruno Le Maire in 2007
Le Maire talking with Jean-Louis Debré and his constituents in Évreux

Following several roles in Government including one working directly with Dominique de Villepin, Le Maire was chosen to be political advisor to the Prime Minister. In July 2006, Le Maire was appointed to the role of being Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister, replacing Pierre Mongin[12] remaining in the role until Villepin's departure from the office of Prime Minister.

From 2007 to 2008, he was a member of the National Assembly of France, representing Eure's 1st constituency.[4][5] After becoming a political advisor to the UMP, Le Maire was appointed to be Secretary of State in charge of European Affairs, replacing Jean-Pierre Jouyet, in December 2008, serving until 2009.[1][2][13]

From 2008, Le Maire served as a political advisor for the Union for a Popular Movement.[1][5] He also serves as a council member of Evreux.[1][5]

Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing, 2009–2012[edit]

In June 2009, Le Maire became the new Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing in the government of François Fillon.[1][2] During his tenure at the Ministry, he created a new framework to modernize French agriculture, food and fishing. He also hosted the G20 Agriculture summit in 2011, which resulted in the creation of AMIS (Agricultural Market Information System). The main objective of AMIS is to monitor the global agricultural market under a rotating presidency. An intervention Forum can be convoked if the presiding country judges it necessary.

Candidacies for leadership roles[edit]

Bruno Le Maire speaking at a public event in 2013
Le Maire in Brussels, 2014

In August 2012, Le Maire announced that he would be a candidate for the presidency of the Union for a Popular Movement, competing against former Prime Minister François Fillon, Secretary General Jean-François Copé and former Minister of Ecology Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. He decided to develop a reformist line and to focus his campaign around four main axes:

  • Enhancing European economic integration
  • Strengthening French entrepreneurship and economy
  • Going back to the values of respect and authority in society
  • Renewing generations in political parties.

He failed however to obtain the necessary number of sponsors. In November 2014, Le Maire obtained 29.8% of votes against Nicolas Sarkozy in the election for the presidency of The Republicans (formerly UMP).

Le Maire was considered a serious challenger of the 2016 centre-right primary as the polls suggested he could be third-placed but got a poor result with 2.4%. He became LR candidate François Fillon’s international affairs spokesman, but resigned when Fillon was embroiled in a financial scandal during his campaign.[14] Le Maire has since distanced himself from his party, calling for the right to work constructively with Macron to ensure the president's five years in office succeeds and prevents the far-right National Front making further electoral inroads.[3]

On 17 May 2017, The Republicans Secretary-General Bernard Accoyer issued a statement that anyone from the party that was a member of the government was no longer a member, including Le Maire.[15][16]

Minister of the Economy and Finance, 2017–present[edit]

Bruno Le Maire (left), Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem (centre) and Greek Minister of Finance Euclid Tsakalotos (right), 2017
Le Maire arriving at an Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting in September 2017

In May 2017, Le Maire was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron Minister of the Economy in the first Philippe government. In this capacity, he is supported by Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin.[17] Shortly after being appointed as the Minister of the Economy, Le Maire became a member of La République En Marche! following conflicting reports that he was excluded from The Republicans party.[18][19] Le Maire was able to win reelection in his constituency after beating National Front candidate, Fabienne Delacour. He was appointed Minister of the Economy and Finance in the second Philippe government on 19 June 2017.

By November 2017, Le Maire was reported to explore his options to succeed Jeroen Dijsselbloem as the next President of the Eurogroup;[20] the role of which was eventually given to Mário Centeno of Portugal.[21] In 2019, he led the European Union's selection process for a European candidate to succeed Christine Lagarde as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.[22]

On 5 June 2022, Le Maire said that France negotiated with the United Arab Emirates to replace some oil imports from Russia.[23]

Other activities[edit]

European Union organisations[edit]

International organisations[edit]

Non-profit organisations[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Domestic policy[edit]

During the conservative primaries in 2016, Le Maire shifted to the right, taking a tough stance on law and order and national identity issues. He called for the immediate expulsion of foreigners regarded as suspect by the security services, the deportation of foreign nationals who complete jail terms,[3] and a curb of refugee numbers.[33]

Economic policy[edit]

Le Maire and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the G20 Riyadh Summit in Saudi Arabia, 2020

Le Maire has set out a free-market economic agenda, calling for the privatisation of France's labour offices, the end of subsidised jobs and capping of welfare benefits.[3] Since taking office, he has steered Macron's drive to lighten the government touch on the economy and cut red-tape, and is overseeing a push to privatize airports and other state-controlled companies.[34]

In 2016, however, Le Maire was quoted as saying the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union was a "fabulous opportunity for France" as it would remove the bloc's main champion of deregulation.[35] He vowed on 9 July 2017 to put forward a plan to protect French companies from foreign takeovers.[36]

On foreign trade, Le Maire expressed his opposition against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)[35] and also argued for a more protectionist trade policy in order to better defend against "dumping" by China.[37]

In August 2017, Le Maire called upon EU nations to step up efforts to address how they tax the digital economy and stated that a "new momentum" was needed to get a fairer contribution from digital platforms, after a report that Airbnb paid less than €100,000 of taxes in France in 2016. He categorised low tax payments as "unacceptable".[38]

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Le Maire and his German counterpart Olaf Scholz were credited as instrumental in overcoming Dutch and Italian resistance and securing the EU's 500 billion euros emergency deal to provide financial aid to workers, companies and governments struggling as a result of the virus.[39]

In July 2020, Le Marie announced that the French government will cut taxes French companies have to pay in addition to normal corporate income tax by 20 million euros over the course of next two years.[40]


On Brexit itself, Le Maire caused controversy on 20 July 2017 when he told the French Parliament's economic affairs committee: "The United Kingdom has a remaining balance to pay to the EU budget of €100 billion"[41] The view held by Le Maire has been shared by European Leaders since April 2017 with some of them believing the "divorce-bill" will lead the UK to owing the European Union £50 billion[42] He also promised to set up a special court to handle English-law cases for financial contracts after Brexit during a conference in New York.[43]

Speaking to the BBC in January 2019, Le Maire said the Brexit withdrawal agreement could not be renegotiated and it was up to the UK to find way through the impasse. He also said a no-deal Brexit would be "catastrophic" for the UK.[44]

Foreign policy[edit]

On foreign policy, Le Maire is a traditional Gaullist, favouring French national independence.[3] He has argued for a reinforced European defense policy to secure the bloc's exterior borders and fight terrorism, with more spending on the military by Germany in particular.[37]

In February 2019, Le Maire criticized Germany’s ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.[45] Le Maire said: "It is useless to produce weapons through improved cooperation between France and Germany if we are unable to export them."[46] Germany imposed the ban after the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and over human rights concerns about the Saudi Arabian–led intervention in Yemen.[47]

On 1 March 2022, Le Maire warned that the EU "will bring about the collapse" of the Russian economy.[48] He said France rejected Russia's demand that foreign buyers must pay in rubles for Russian gas from 1 April, adding that "we are preparing" for a "situation tomorrow in which ... there is no longer any Russian gas."[49]


In 2019, Le Maire received several letters containing death threats, including one with bullets enclosed.[50]

In 2021, Reuters reported that Le Maire’s phone was investigated to determine whether it had been infected by a spyware known as Pegasus.[51]

Personal life[edit]

Bruno Le Maire and his family, 2007

Le Maire is married to Pauline Doussau de Bazignan.[52] They have four children. The family has a holiday home in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle.[53]

Depiction in film[edit]

In the movie La Conquête (The Conquest), about Nicolas Sarkozy's career, he was played by Emmanuel Noblet.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Webpage Archived 28 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c d Biography Archived 24 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d e John Irish (17 May 2017), Macron picks pro-EU conservative Le Maire as French finance chief Reuters.
  4. ^ a b OECD Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d e Long-Term Investors Club Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Bruno Le Maire: L'agriculture n'est pas une voie de garage" (in French). Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  7. ^ "L'étrange emploi de la femme de Bruno Le Maire". (in French). Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  8. ^ "L'étrange emploi de la femme de Bruno Le Maire à l'Assemblée nationale entre 2007 et 2013". Le Huffington Post. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  9. ^ Mathieu, Mathilde. "L'emploi flou de l'épouse de Bruno Le Maire". Mediapart (in French). Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  10. ^ Arrêté du 30 juillet 2002 portant nomination au cabinet du ministre, retrieved 22 July 2017
  11. ^ Arrêté du 22 avril 2004 portant nomination au cabinet du ministre, retrieved 22 July 2017
  12. ^ Arrêté du 12 juillet 2006 relatif à la composition du cabinet du Premier ministre, retrieved 22 July 2017
  13. ^ "Wikiwix's cache". Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2017. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  14. ^ Cynthia Kroet (1 March 2017), Bruno Le Maire quits François Fillon’s team Politico Europe.
  15. ^ "Bernard Accoyer on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Macron's new-look government stretches across French political spectrum". Reuters. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  17. ^ Factbox: Ministers in new French government Reuters, 17 May 2017.
  18. ^ Berdah, Arthur; Boichot, Loris (18 May 2017). "Pour Baroin, Le Maire et Darmanin sont des "prises d'otages", pas des "prises de guerre"". Le Figaro (in French). ISSN 0182-5852. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  19. ^ magazine, Le Point (22 May 2017). "Législatives : Bruno Le Maire, candidat sous l'étiquette La République en marche". Le Point (in French). Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  20. ^ Noah Barkin and Michel Rose (5 November 2017), France's Le Maire heads to Berlin to test Eurogroup waters Reuters.
  21. ^ Pan Pylas and Raf Casert (4 December 2017), Portugal's finance chief wins race for eurogroup president Chicago Tribune.
  22. ^ Francesco Guarascio (26 July 2019), World Bank's Georgieva added to EU list of candidates to lead IMF Reuters.
  23. ^ "Oil from sanctioned Venezuela to help Europe replace Russian crude as soon as next month: report". Business Insider. 5 June 2022.
  24. ^ Board of Governors European Investment Bank (EIB).
  25. ^ Board of Governors: Bruno Le Maire European Stability Mechanism.
  26. ^ Board of Governors Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  27. ^ Board of Governors European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  28. ^ Board of Governors International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  29. ^ Members Archived 22 June 2020 at the Wayback Machine Joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee.
  30. ^ Board of Governors Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), World Bank Group.
  31. ^ Board of Governors World Bank.
  32. ^ Members European Council on Foreign Relations.
  33. ^ Emmet Livingstone (14 January 2017), François Fillon will curb refugee numbers in France, says aide Politico Europe.
  34. ^ Michel Rose (16 October 2018), Factbox: France's Emmanuel Macron reshuffles government - only one big move Reuters.
  35. ^ a b Nicholas Vinocur (18 August 2016), Brexit is ‘fabulous’ for France, says Bruno Le Maire Politico Europe.
  36. ^ "Le Maire Vows to Protect Big French Companies From Predators". 9 July 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  37. ^ a b Nicholas Vinocur (11 May 2016), From ‘yes man’ to his own man: Bruno Le Maire’s EU gamble Politico Europe.
  38. ^ Agnew, Harriet; Brunsden, Jim (10 August 2017). "France urges 'new momentum' in taxation of US tech groups". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  39. ^ Guy Chazan, Sam Fleming, Victor Mallet and Jim Brunsden (April 13 2020), Coronavirus crisis revives Franco-German relations Financial Times.
  40. ^ "France to cut business taxes by 20 billion euros over two years". Reuters. 15 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  41. ^ "France to Britain: 'We want our money back'". POLITICO. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  42. ^ "Britain will get money back from the EU instead of paying to leave under plans being considered by ministers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  43. ^ "In New York, France promises English-law contracts after Brexit". Reuters. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  44. ^ Henry, Galaxy (25 January 2019). "Le Maire: Up to Britain to find a way through Brexit impasse". Politico. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  45. ^ "UK and France denounce German ban on Saudi arms sales". The Times. 24 February 2019.
  46. ^ "France calls on Germany to ease arms export rules". Reuters. 24 February 2022.
  47. ^ "Germany extends Saudi Arabia arms sales ban". Al-Jazeera. 6 March 2019.
  48. ^ "French finance minister: We will bring about collapse of the Russian economy". The Local France. 1 March 2022.
  49. ^ "What would Germany do if Russia cuts off the gas supply?". The Local. 31 March 2022.
  50. ^ Sophie Louet (11 September 2019), Bullets, death threats sent to French finance minister: aide Reuters.
  51. ^ Sudip Kar-Gupta (July 30, 2021), French finance minister's phone investigated in Pegasus spyware case Reuters.
  52. ^ L'étrange emploi de la femme de Bruno Le Maire à l'Assemblée nationale entre 2007 et 2013, The Huffington Post, 8 October 2013
  53. ^ Sophie Louet (11 September 2019), Bullets, death threats sent to French finance minister: aide Reuters.
Political offices
Preceded by Secretary of State for European Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of the Economy and Finance