Macron emphasizes EU by naming Le Drian to French foreign ministry


Center-right Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom Macron tapped named Monday, is to lead the government at least until the elections.

Other key figures during his campaign were given senior roles in his slimmed-down 22-strong cabinet, with the mayor of Lyon, Gerard Collomb, named as interior minister and centrist ally Francois Bayrou given the justice portfolio.

François Fillon, former prime minister of France and a practicing Catholic, shocked pundits and political commentators throughout the country when he pulled ahead in the Republican party and beat out the moderate former Prime Minister Alain Juppé (himself a self-described "agnostic Catholic") by a wide margin.

Goulard is a European Parliament member and strongly pro-European centrist politician who will champion Macron's push for joint European military operations.

Shortly after Philippe's appointment, Macron was scheduled to travel to Berlin on his first foreign trip as French leader.

A former university history teacher, Le Drian has spent 35 years in politics and is president of the Brittany region. An advocate of closer European Union integration, Macron backs a "multi-speed" Europe, an idea that has seen growing support in Germany and other EU countries since Britain voted to leave the bloc.

French p resident Emmanuel Macron has gathered his Cabinet for its first meeting - an assembly which looks significantly different to its predecessors.

Mr Macron, who won the May 7 run-off on promises of cleaning up the corruption and stagnation marking traditional parties, said he will require ministers to sign a commitment to "integrity and morality".

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Bruno le Maire of The Republicans party was made minister of the economy.

Newly appointed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe delivers a speech after the handover ceremony with outgoing Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, in Paris, France, on May 15, 2017.

Republicans secretary general, Bernard Accoyer, said Le Maire and Darmanin had been excluded from the party for accepting Macron's outstretched hand and accused Macron of trying to "sew up the democratic debate" by poaching from his rivals. To meet that goal, he appointed well-known environmentalist Nicolas Hulot as ecology minister and a publisher as culture minister. He was one of the first to support Macron when he left the government and launched his own political movement En Marche!

Early Macron supporter and his top campaign organiser Richard Ferrand, a Socialist MP, is also expected to be offered a job. The government's first cabinet meeting will be held on Thursday.

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He added that the choices are "consistent with President Emmanuel Macron's strategy to maximize his chances of forming a parliamentary majority after the mid-June legislative elections".

The pair now at the center of the European project vowed to give it new impetus, saying they were ready to change treaties if necessary.