|Member of the European Parliament|
4 April 1949 |
|Political party||Mouvement National Républicain|
Youth and studies
Born in Paris, Bruno Mégret studied at the École Polytechnique and at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, and is by profession a senior civil servant. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. A graduate of the armored cavalry school of Saumur, he is also a reserve army captain.
Bruno Mégret was ranked 317th at the competition for entrance at École Polytechnique in 1969, and since at that time only 300 candidates were admitted every year, he could enter only because some students preferred to study at the slightly more prestigious École Normale Supérieure and turned down the École Polytechnique. However, at École Polytechnique he proved a very dedicated student, and was ranked 18th at the end of the studies. This enabled him to choose between the École des Mines and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées to finish his engineering studies. After graduating from the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, he spent the academic year 1974-1975 in Berkeley, and obtained a Master of Science. He then returned to France to work for the Ministère de l'Équipement.
The Club de l'Horloge
In 1975, he met Yvan Blot at the Commissariat Général du Plan, who invited him to join the Club de l'Horloge. At the Club de l'Horloge, he became friends with Jean-Claude Bardet and Jean-Yves Le Gallou, who with Yvan Blot were also members of the GRECE. In 1977, Bruno Mégret started to work as an engineer on highway construction, at the Direction Départementale de l'Équipement (DDE) of Essonne. During this period, he contributed to the publications of the Club de l'Horloge. In 1979, he became technical advisor to the minister of cooperation Robert Galley. He also joined the Rassemblement pour la République (conservative political party) and was conservative candidate for legislative elections in 1981 against Michel Rocard in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.
In 1981, after the defeat of the conservatives in legislative elections, finding the RPR too moderate, and realizing that not being a graduate from the École Nationale d'Administration like Jacques Toubon or Jean-François Mancel or Alain Juppé was slowing down his political career in the Rassemblement pour la République, he went on to create the Comités d'Action Républicaine (CAR). However, the appearance of the Front National at the European Parliament elections of 1984, shattered the hopes of the CAR which did not even manage to have a list of candidates for these elections.
In the National Front and the MNR
In 1985 Bruno Mégret joined Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front (FN, a nationalist political party). In 1986 he was elected to the French National Assembly, representing Isère. A rival of Jean-Pierre Stirbois, then general secretary of the FN (who died in 1988), he organised Le Pen's election campaign in 1987 and became the number two (délégué général) in the movement.
He was a member of the European Parliament for the FN from 1989 to 1999. In 1989, Bruno Mégret created the Institut de formation nationale, the Centre d'études et d'argumentaires, the magazine Identité, the conseil scientifique and the publishing house Editions Nationales to elaborate the doctrine and diffuse the ideas of the Front National. His friends of the Club de l'Horloge Jean-Yves Le Gallou, Jean-Claude Bardet, Yvan Blot and Jean-Jacques Mourreau of the CAR also secured key positions in the hierarchy of the Front National.
However, the relationship between Le Pen and Mégret turned sour during the following decade. Mégret and others inside the Front started criticizing Le Pen's "extremist" positions, which, they argued, prevented the Front from obtaining political executive positions. Moreover, Bruno Mégret started to become very popular with the party members, winning large support against his rival Bruno Gollnisch, who had been made vice-president and general secretary of the Front National by Le Pen in 1995.
On 9 February 1997 Bruno Mégret's wife, Catherine Mégret, was elected mayor of Vitrolles. Following the social unrest of November–December 1995, Bruno Mégret developed a strategy of creating new unions (FN-RATP, FN-TCL, FN-Poste, Mouvement pour un Education Nationale, FN-Police) and professional organisations tied to the Front National to increase the audience of the party. This strategy contrasted sharply with the previous traditional anti-union stance of the Front National.
He received 2.33% of the vote in the first round of the 2002 French presidential election. Bruno Mégret endorsed Jean-Marie Le Pen in the runoff against Jacques Chirac. He also supported Le Pen in the 2007 presidential election.
After he was sentenced to 8 months of probation, 8000 Euro fine and one-year ban from standing in any election for defalcation of public funds, he resigned in 2008 from the political field. He used money from the town Vitrolles to support his 2002 presidential run.
Member of European Parliament : 1989-1999
Regional councillor of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur : 1992-2001
Municipal councillor of Marseille : 2002-2008
President of the National Republican Movement : 1998-2008
- Romain Rosso L'ascension d'un homme dangereux Archived 21 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine. L'Express, 26 February 1998
- Steffan Heuer TIME Magazine 10 Feb 1997
- Jacques Breitenstein Offensive sociale du Front national Le Monde Diplomatique March 1997
- Paul Webster, "Le Pen win cuts far right's lifeline", The Guardian, 12 May 1999.
- Le Figaro: Bruno Mégret se retire de la vie politique 20 May 2008
- Bruno Mégret's official website (in French)