Jean-Yves Le Drian

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Jean-Yves Le Drian
Reuven Rivlin at a meeting with Jean-Yves Le Drian, March 2018 (9730) (cropped).jpg
Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
17 May 2017
PresidentEmmanuel Macron
Prime MinisterÉdouard Philippe
Preceded byJean-Marc Ayrault
President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
Assumed office
17 May 2019
Preceded byTimo Soini
President of the
Regional Council of Brittany
In office
18 December 2015 – 2 June 2017
Preceded byPierrick Massiot
Succeeded byLoïg Chesnais-Girard
In office
2 April 2004 – 29 June 2012
Preceded byJosselin de Rohan
Succeeded byPierrick Massiot
Minister of Defence
In office
16 May 2012 – 10 May 2017
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Prime MinisterJean-Marc Ayrault
Manuel Valls
Bernard Cazeneuve
Preceded byGérard Longuet
Succeeded bySylvie Goulard
Secretary of State for the Sea
In office
16 May 1991 – 2 April 1992
PresidentFrançois Mitterrand
Prime MinisterÉdith Cresson
Preceded byJacques Mellick
Succeeded byCharles Josselin
Mayor of Lorient
In office
4 July 1981 – 2 April 1998
Preceded byJean Lagarde
Succeeded byNorbert Métairie
Personal details
Born (1947-06-30) 30 June 1947 (age 72)
Lorient, France
Political partySocialist Party (1974–2018)
Independent (2018–present)
Alma materUniversity of Rennes 2

Jean-Yves Le Drian (French pronunciation: ​[ʒã.iv lə.dʁi.jã]; born 30 June 1947) is a French politician serving as Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs since 2017. He previously was Minister of Defence from 2012 to 2017 under President François Hollande.[1][2] He was nominated by Emmanuel Macron to serve as Foreign Minister in the First Philippe government on 17 May 2017. A former member of the Socialist Party, he has been an Independent since 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Jean-Yves Le Drian was born in Lorient to working-class parents, Jean and Louisette, who were active members of the Young Christian Workers (Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne, JOC). He completed his studies at the University of Rennes 2, where he was an activist for the Union Nationale des Étudiants de France (UNEF).[1]

Political career[edit]

First of all interested by Breton Democratic Union (UDB) in the 1970s,[3] he joined the Socialist Party (PS) in May 1974. In 1977, he assumed the position of Deputy Mayor of Lorient; one year later, at the age of 30, he became a member of the National Assembly for Morbihan. He served until 1993 and then again from 1997 until 2007.[4]

He became Mayor of Lorient in 1981 and retained the office until 1988; he also served as Secretary of State for the Sea under President François Mitterrand from 1991 to 1992. In 2004, at the top of the list Bretagne à gauche, Bretagne pour tous (PS-PCF-PRG-Les Verts-UDB), he won 58.66% in the runoff and a total of 58 seats in the regional council. He thus became President of the Regional Council of Brittany. In October 2010 he became President of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR).[5]

He was nominated to serve as Minister of Defence under President François Hollande on 16 May 2012.[5] He managed the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan and the deployment of French troops in the Northern Mali conflict and Operation Barkhane. He is also credited with leading a resurgence in French weapons' exports that have resulted in billions of euros in deals, including the first exports of the Dassault Rafale fighter jet.[6]

On 23 March 2017, Le Drian endorsed Emmanuel Macron's candidacy for President of the French Republic.[7] After Macron won the presidential election, he appointed Le Drian as Foreign Minister. On 8 March 2018, he officially resigned from the Socialist Party.

Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Actualité – Personnalité – Jean-Yves Le Drian". Le Point. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  2. ^ "CV: Jean-Yves LE DRIAN" (PDF). European Commission. 25 January 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Raynaudon-Kerzerho, Maiwenn (1 March 2014). "L'Union démocratique bretonne : un demi-siècle de lutte pour l'autonomie" [The Breton Democratic Union: half a century of fight for the autonomy]. Bretons (in French) (96). Vannes/Gwened, Brittany: Les Éditions Blanc et Noir. p. 38. ISSN 0245-9507.
  4. ^ "Monsieur Jean-Yves LE DRIAN" Le Trombinoscope 29 May 2008, a commercial biographical database in French.
  5. ^ a b "Jean-Yves Le Drian is the new French Minister for Defence". Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe. 18 May 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ Factbox: Ministers in new French government Reuters, May 17, 2017.
  7. ^ "French election: Defence Minister Le Drian defects to Macron". BBC. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Real Decreto 1093/2015, de 4 de diciembre por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Católica Jean-Yves Le Drian, Ministro de Defensa de la República Francesa". BOE (Spanish Official Journal). 5 December 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  9. ^ "RDes C130J franco-allemands bientôt à Evreux". defense.gouv.f. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Le Drian décoré par le président égyptien" [Le Drian decorated by the Egyptian President] (in French). Le Figaro. 28 February 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Gérard Longuet
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Sylvie Goulard
Preceded by
Jean-Marc Ayrault
Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs