Xavier Darcos

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Xavier Darcos
Xavier Darcos 3.jpg
French Minister of National Education
In office
18 May 2007 – 23 June 2009
President Nicolas Sarkozy
Prime Minister François Fillon
Preceded by Gilles de Robien
Succeeded by Luc Chatel
Personal details
Born (1947-07-14) 14 July 1947 (age 69)
Limoges, France
Nationality French

Xavier Darcos (born 14 July 1947) is a French politician, scholar, civil servant and former Minister of Labour.

An agrégé professor in literature and general inspector of the National Education system, he has been Mayor of Périgueux, a Senator, and a junior minister in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's governments.


Darcos was born on 14 July 1947 in Limoges to Jean-Gabriel Darcos and Anne-Marie Banvillet.

After getting a PhD in Latin studies from the University of Bordeaux under the direction of Jean-Pierre Néraudau and becoming a professor emeritus in letters and social sciences, he started teaching in 1968, first in Périgueux, then in a Bordeaux khâgne from 1982 to 1987, and finally at the lycée Louis-le-Grand, Paris from 1987 to 1992.

In 1989 he became deputy to the Mayor of Périgueux. Three years later, he became a senior school inspector.

From 1993 to 1995 he was the chief of staff (directeur de cabinet) to Education Minister François Bayrou, from 1995 to 1997 advisor to Prime Minister Alain Juppé for education and culture matters, and from 1995 to 1998, along with François Bayroux and Claude Allègre, he was the president of school inspectors. From 1996 to 1999 he was also a Professor in comparative literature at the Paris IV University.

In 1997 he became Mayor of Périgueux, and was reelected both in 2001 and 2005. He was also elected Senator of Dordogne in 1998.

In May 2002, he became Minister for School Education in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's cabinet, then on 1 April 2004 Minister for Cooperation, Development and Francophony.

He has been a member of the Aquitaine Regional Council since 2004. On 15 June 2005 he became a French ambassador for the OCDE.

Since 18 May 2007, he has been the Minister of National Education in François Fillon’s governments. In March 2008, he failed to be reelected as Mayor of Périgueux.

In 2009, he condemned as "criminal" statements made by Pope Benedict XVI which claimed that condoms promote AIDS, when in fact they help protect against it.[1]

Darcos was elected as an immortel of the Académie française on 13 June 2013.[2]

Political career[edit]

Governmental functions

Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Family, and Solidarity : 2009–2010.

Minister of National Education : 2007–2009.

Minister of School Education : 2002–2004.

Minister of Development, Cooperation and Francophony : 2004–2005.

Electoral mandates

Senate of France

Senator of Dordogne : 1998–2002 (Became minister in 2002).

Regional Council

Regional councillor of Aquitaine : Since 2004. Reelected in 2010.

Municipal Council

Mayor of Périgueux : 1997–2002 (Resignation) / 2005–2008. Reelected in 2001, 2005.

Deputy-mayor of Périgueux : 1989–1997 / 2002–2005. Reelected in 1995.

Municipal councillor of Périgueux : 1989–2008. Reelected in 1995, 2001.

Agglomeration community Council

President of the Agglomeration community of Périgueux : 2000–2001.

Member of the Agglomeration community of Périgueux : 2000–2001.

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Xavier Darcos entered the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in 2006, and at the French Academy in 2013. He is also commandor of the Légion d'Honneur, Officer of the National Order of Merit, Commandor of the Academic palm and Commandor of the Art and letter decoration.


  • Histoire de la littérature française, 1992
  • Approches ovidiennes de la mort, 1995
  • Mérimée, 1998
  • Robert des grands écrivains de langue française, (with other writers)
  • L'Art d'apprendre à ignorer, 2000
  • Dictionnaire des mythes féminins, 2002 (with other writers)
  • Lettre à tous ceux qui aiment l'école, 2003 (en coll.)
  • Deux voix pour une école, 2004 (with other writers)
  • L'École de Jules Ferry, 2005 (prix Louis Pauwels in 2006)
  • L'État et les Églises, 1905–2005, 2005
  • L'État et les Églises, la question laïque, 2006
  • Tacite, ses vérités sont les nôtres, 2007


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Gilles de Robien
Minister of National Education
Succeeded by
Luc Chatel