Emmanuel Macron holds first Cabinet meeting

French President Emmanuel Macron appointed his first cabinet on Wednesday mixing Socialists, centrists and rightwingers with newcomers to politics as he pressed ahead with plans to create a broad governing coalition.

Second in command after the centre-right Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, is long-time Partie Socialist member and Lyon mayor Gerard Collomb, who supported Mr. Macron's presidency.

He was one of the first to support Macron when he left the government and launched his own political movement En Marche!

Socialist Jean-Yves Le Drian was named foreign minister and prominent centrist Francois Bayrou as justice minister.

Bruno Le Maire, candidate in last years primaries organized by the conservative The Republicans party, has become economy minister.

Macron had promised to include people from civil society in his government.

The biggest surprise was the appointment of television star and environmentalist Nicolas Hulot as ecology minister.

Paris: France's newly inaugurated president Emmanuel Macron has unveiled his cabinet, with women filling half of the 22 positions, media reports said.

Sylvie Goulard will be defense minister, while Muriel Pénicaud becomes labor minister and Agnes Buzyn is health minister.

The delay in announcing the names on Tuesday was officially due to the need to carry out more extensive screening of candidates, but could also reflect the difficulties in carrying out the delicate balancing act.

"It's a first president who sees the enterprises as a cornerstone factor for producing wealth, which is hard in France, because we always had either one or another extremity ..." He was one of the Socialist government's most popular ministers. Goulard is a European Parliament member and strongly pro-European centrist politician who will champion Macron's push for joint European military operations.

In picking Macron, Tusk said the French people had chosen "liberty, equality and fraternity" and "said no to the tyranny of fake news".

Speaking about Macron's vision of the future of Europe, Viard highlighted that Europe had always been in the heart of the French project, and the president would "give Europe its appeal back in the eyes of the French people".

"This shows Europe is the priority", a French diplomatic source said of the rare inclusion of Europe in the foreign ministry portfolio, although also sounding a warning note on his suitability for the role.

Goulard's appointment signals that Macron wants to follow through on his calls for deeper European cooperation and intelligence-sharing following recent extremist attacks on European soil. Macron has pledged to fight corruption after tax evasion and other scandals hit the previous government.

Macron, in his third day in office, will host European Council President Donald Tusk at the Elysee Palace for a private dinner. Outgoing French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault escorts Jean-Yves Le Drian, right, who was named as Foreign Minister and Minister for Europe, before the handover ceremony in Paris, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

  • Zachary Reyes