Three weeks after the re-election of Emmanuel Macron, the appointment of a new Prime Minister is expected in the next few days. Several names are circulating for the one, or especially the one, who will succeed Jean Castex. Because if nothing has yet been officially announced, the head of state had displayed, during the campaign, his preference for a woman at Matignon. His profile ? “Someone who is attached to the social question, to the environmental question and to the productive question. Several names are circulating to succeed Jean Castex. But one of them, that of Catherine Vautrin, the president of the urban community of Grand Reims, in the Marne, comes back with insistence.
Aged 61, this historic figure of the right had announced last February his rallying to Emmanuel Macron in an interview with the newspaper The cross. “He is the man for the job,” explained the former minister of Jacques Chirac. “She has a lot of experience and works thoroughly on her files, she has both moderate and very solid convictions, she loves people and has a deeply humanist background: three character traits that are not so often found in politics”, pleads to AFP a local elected official close to her.
Three ministerial moroccos and Vice-President of the National Assembly
“She is undeniably a woman of quality” but “is she ready to renounce all the ideas that she has defended for so long” by taking “this additional step to apply a policy which would be totally contrary to what that she defended for years? “asked MEP LR Nadine Morano on Europe 1. Catherine Vautrin got involved in politics very early on. At the age of 20, she joined the RPR before becoming, in 1983, municipal councilor at the town hall of Reims at the request of the deputy of Marne Jean Falala, who had just been elected mayor of the town.
In 1999, she left her position at Signa Europe, an insurance company, to devote herself to politics. First at the regional council of Champagne-Ardenne, where she was deputy director general of services from 2000 to 2002. Then at the National Assembly where she sat as deputy for the 2nd district of Marne. Two years later, Catherine Vautrin joined the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin as Secretary of State for Integration and Equal Opportunities, then Secretary of State for the Elderly. The following year, Dominique de Villepin was chosen by Jacques Chirac to become Prime Minister. Catherine Vautrin remains in government and becomes Minister Delegate for Social Cohesion and Parity.
Once Nicolas Sarkozy was elected to the Elysée Palace, Catherine Vautrin returned to sit at the Bourbon Palace until 2017. A period during which she tried, unsuccessfully, to be elected mayor of Reims. She met with more success in Paris since she was appointed, in 2008, Vice-President of the National Assembly. In 2012, this close friend of Jean-François Copé, then president of the UMP, became the party’s national treasurer. A function which earned him to be indicted, at the end of 2014, for breach of trust, in the Bygmalion affair, namely penalties imposed on Nicolas Sarkozy for his campaign in 2012, and paid by the UMP. She finally benefits from a dismissal for this case in September 2015.
“It still sends a curious message”
In 2013, Catherine Vautrin voted against the law opening marriage to people of the same sex and even demonstrated, in Paris, in the ranks of the Family for All. “It still sends a curious message, we are far from the progressive values touted by the president, it can come back to him like a boomerang”, confides to the Parisian support from the Head of State. And the latter to add: “What’s more, Macron wanted an eco-friendly symbol. And there, frankly, no matter how hard I look, I don’t see where his green references are. The Historic Walkers have the balls, Vautrin, it’s not their school at all. »
The one who became president of Reims Métropole in 2014, supported Nicolas Sarkozy two years later for the Republican primary and became his spokesperson alongside Eric Ciotti. “She’s a Sarko girl,” a government source told BFM TV. From there to see in his possible appointment to Matignon the influence of the former president, to whom Emmanuel Macron is close, there is only one step…