France: New PM Gabriel Attal oversees major shake-up of the cabinet

Following his appointment to the role of Prime Minister of France on Tuesday 9th January, 34-year-old Gabriel Attal has announced a significant reshuffle and series of replacements in his cabinet of ministers.  

France’s newly minted Prime Minister, the youngest in modern history and also the first gay man to take the position, unveiled his cabinet of ministers via President Emmanual Macron’s Secretary-General Alexis Kohler on Thursday 11th January.  

See more: Gabriel Attal elevated to prime minister of France

Gérald Darmanin has been kept on as Interior Minister, as has Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Justice Minister Eric Dupont-Moretti and Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu. Marc Fesneau will also continue as Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Minister, and Christophe Béchu will continue as Environment Transition and Territorial Cohesion Minister. 

Former Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna has been ousted from the cabinet, with her spot going to Attal’s former partner, Stéphane Séjourné, who was previously the Secretary-General of Macron’s Renaissance Party.  


Of the 11 main ministerial roles, excluding Attal, seven have been given to men while women take four. However, if the junior ranks are included, it is a much more balanced 8:7 split.

Sylvie Retailleau is the only woman in the refreshed cabinet to retain her previous position: Higher Education and Research Minister.  

Catherine Vautrin, who had been tipped for the role of Prime Minister back in 2022 before Elisabeth Borne took on the job, is in as Health and Labour Minister, and former tennis star Amélie Oudéa-Castéra takes the reins as the head of the now-massive Sport and Education Ministry. She will face a major test in the months to come as Paris welcomes the Olympic Games. 

One of the more surprising appointments is that of Rachida Dati as Culture Minister. Dati was Justice Minister under Nicholas Sarkozy and caused some upset by defecting from the then-President’s Les Républicains Party. She later became the mayor of the seventh arrondissement in Paris.

According to Le Monde, “[Dati] has been implicated in two legal cases: the Carlos Ghosn affair, for which she has been under investigation for passive corruption and concealment of abuse of power since 2021; and the investigation into the alleged kidnapping of a lobbyist in Qatar linked to PSG football club president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, which led to a police raid on her city hall in June 2023”.  

Aurore Bergé, formerly of the Solidarity and Family Ministry, is taking over as Gender Equality Minister, while Prisca Thevenot, who had been Youth and Universal National Service Junior Minister, is now Democratic Renewal Junior Minister as well as an officially appointed government spokesperson. Marie Lebec has been appointed to the role of Parliamentary Relations Junior Minister.  


“What I want is action, action, action and results, results, results,” Attal told TF1 after his new cabinet was revealed. 

He has vowed to be a champion of the middle class in the context of the cost-of-living crisis and has made clear he is well on the side of law and order. He also represents Macron’s hopes of giving his second term new life. The President’s popularity has waned following his controversial pension reforms and immigration laws in the last 12 months. 

Attal’s cabinet also marks a fairly obvious shift to the right following years of centrist politicians in senior jobs.  


Join the Monaco Life community – sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Threads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik Tok.  


Photo source: Élysée, Présidence de la République Française