Dominique de Villepin

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Dominique de Villepin (2010)

Dominique Marie François René Galouzeau de Villepin [ dɔmiˈnik maˈʀi fʀɑ̃ˈswa ʀəˈne galuˈzo dəvilˈpɛ̃ ] (also called DDV [ ˌdeˌdeˈve ] for short after his initials in French political circles ; * November 14, 1953 in Rabat , Morocco ) is a French politician ( UMP , République Solidaire ), diplomat and writer.

After his career in the diplomatic service, he worked as a close associate of Jacques Chirac from 1995 to 2002 as Secretary General of the French Presidential Office in the Élysée Palace . Subsequently, the political side entrant, who never stood for a public election, was Foreign Minister from May 2002 to March 2004 and then Minister of the Interior. He received international attention in 2003 as an opponent of the Iraq war . Finally he was appointed Prime Minister on May 31, 2005 by Jacques Chirac. In the course of the movement against the first employment contract ( contrat première embauche , CPE ) and the Clearstream II affair , Villepin gave up his attempts to run for the presidential election of 2007 and resigned on May 15, 2007 from all offices.

As a member of the UMP he was the head of the political movement of "Villepinism". From 2010 to 2011 de Villepin was chairman of the small party République solidaire . Since the end of his political career he has worked as a lawyer, business advisor and lobbyist.



Dominique de Villepin's father was Xavier Galouzeau de Villepin , who was stationed as manager of the building materials group Saint-Gobain in various foreign posts and later became a senator (first of the centrist UDF , then the UMP). His mother Yvonne Hétier was presiding judge (première conseillère) at the administrative court (tribunal administratif) .

Dominique de Villepin comes from the French nobility . He is the fourth generation direct descendant of Marie-Eugénie de Blair de Baltayock, Baroness von Seewald (1815-1896) and former resident of the castle of Châteauneuf-sur-Loire . The title of baron was bequeathed to her by her Lorraine grandfather Alexis de Crolbois, who in turn was ennobled in 1794 by Francis II , Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Marie-Eugénie de Blair de Baltayock married the lawyer François-Xavier Galouzeau in the 18th century. The latter bequeathed his family name to his descendants with the addition of "de Villepin" in memory of his great-grandmother Marie Tourmont de Villepin, who in turn was the daughter of Louis de Tourmont de Villepin, Count of Tourmont de Villepin, and Marie Victorine de Varenne.

Dominique de Villepin comes from a family with a long tradition of civil service, including officers, diplomats, business leaders and students from the most prestigious schools in the French Republic (in particular the Saint-Cyr military school , the École polytechnique , the HEC and the ENA ). The direct descendants of Marie-Eugénie de Blair de Baltayock and her husband François-Xavier Galouzeau include 18 members of the Legion of Honor, including 16 for military services.

Youth and education

Due to his father's career, Dominique de Villepin spent a large part of his childhood abroad: in Africa (including Morocco), in the United States and in Latin America, particularly in Venezuela. As a high school student in Caracas, at the age of 15 he was the only striker at his school on the occasion of the youth movements in May 1968 . He later returned to France and attended the private Jesuit college “Le Caousou” in Toulouse, where he passed his baccalaureate with the grade “very good” at the age of 16 .

De Villepin then studied law at the University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas) and political science at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). As a student, de Villepin joined the Gaullist party Rassemblement pour la République (RPR) under Jacques Chirac in 1977 . He then graduated from the École nationale d'administration (ENA), which he left in 1980 ("Voltaire class") at the side of Henri de Castries , Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres , François Hollande and Ségolène Royal . He graduated as the 25th of his class.

Villepin did his military service in the Navy as an officer on the aircraft carrier Clemenceau .

Marriage and children

Dominique de Villepin has been married to the nine years younger sculptor Marie-Laure Le Guay (artist name Marie-Laure Viébel ) since August 3, 1985 . Her father is the Parisian stockbroker Roger Le Guay, whose family is originally from Martinique , and her brother is the director and screenwriter Philippe Le Guay .

The marriage resulted in three children, including the daughter Marie de Villepin, born in 1986, who is internationally known as a mannequin under the pseudynom Marie Steiss and also works as a film actress. She played u. a. in the feature film Baikonur by Veit Helmer (2011) the main role as a space tourist, as well as the role of Betty Catroux in the film Yves Saint Laurent from 2014.

Professional career

De Villepin began his diplomatic career in 1980 as a secretary in the Africa department of the French Foreign Ministry (Ministère des affaires étrangères et européennes) , where he was responsible for the Horn of Africa region and at the Center for Analysis, Forecasting and Strategy (CAPS). This was followed by positions as first secretary and head of the press and information service of the French Embassy in Washington, DC (1984–89) and Counselor in New Delhi (1989–92). He then returned to the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Quai d'Orsay , where he became Deputy Director of the Department for Africa and Madagascar. In 1993, de Villepin became chief of staff of the then Foreign Minister Alain Juppé .

In the presidential election campaign in 1995 he was one of the few in the conservative camp to support Jacques Chirac from the start , who rewarded him with the post of Secretary General (highest ranking official) in the Élysée Palace . De Villepin headed the presidential office during Chirac's seven-year first term until May 2002.

Foreign and Interior Ministers

De Villepin with his US counterpart Colin Powell (2004)

During Chirac's second term as President, Dominique de Villepin held the post of Foreign Minister under Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin (Cabinets I and II ) from May 7, 2002 . From 2002 he belonged to the Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP), which emerged from the RPR as a center-right rallying party. As foreign minister, de Villepin spoke out vehemently against the US attack on Iraq . In February 2003, his speech in the UN Security Council (“ Et c'est un vieux pays …”) received - unusual in this place - applause and worldwide attention. In the dispute over Iran's nuclear program , de Villepin and his British and German counterparts, Jack Straw and Joschka Fischer , concluded an agreement with Iran in Tehran in October 2003 , in which Iran subjected itself to stricter controls by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) .

After a cabinet reshuffle, he was appointed Minister of the Interior in the Raffarin III cabinet on March 31, 2004 .

Term of office as prime minister

On May 31, 2005 he was appointed Prime Minister by President Jacques Chirac after his predecessor Jean-Pierre Raffarin submitted his resignation after the defeat in the referendum on the EU constitution . When Chirac suffered a stroke in September 2005, de Villepin represented the President in chairing cabinet meetings and also in the UN General Assembly . Since then, de Villepin has been seen as a promising candidate for the 2007 presidential election and as Chirac's "Crown Prince" (dauphin) . However, he was challenged by the then interior minister and UMP party chairman Nicolas Sarkozy , who was considered the prime minister's most important rival within the government and the party. During de Villepin's tenure as head of government, the violent unrest in the Parisian suburbs fell in October and November 2005.

From February to April 2006, the head of government was under pressure to reform labor law. Mass demonstrations by schoolchildren and students across France were supported by unions and left-wing parties. Finally, UMP boss Nicolas Sarkozy openly opposed the reform. De Villepin's draft law to relax dismissal protection for young professionals was eventually abandoned.

At the end of Chirac's term of office, de Villepin was involved in a defamation affair: At the request of Chirac's secret service, he is said to have put Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy on account of possible secret accounts. The name Sarkozy was on a fake list of politicians and managers with alleged black money accounts at the Luxembourg financial services provider Clearstream . In May 2006, de Villepin had to face a motion of no confidence by the left opposition. Thanks to the comfortable majority of the UMP's mandate in parliament, his position was not seriously endangered, but many of his party friends stayed away from the vote. After de Villepin had publicly considered running for the upcoming presidential election in autumn 2006, he gave up this project in January 2007. As a result, his inner-party rival Sarkozy was chosen as the UMP presidential candidate.

Transfer of office from de Villepin to François Fillon (always accompanied by her wife)

After Sarkozy's victory in the presidential election, de Villepin presented the outgoing President Jacques Chirac with his letter of resignation on May 15, 2007. In France, the term of office of a president automatically ends with that of the government.

After the reign

Dominique de Villepin at the presentation of his new party, République Solidaire (June 2010)

In July 2007, the French public prosecutor's office resumed the investigation into the Clearstream affair and opened an investigation against de Villepin at the end of the month, among other things for “complicity in defamatory denunciation”. Since September 21, 2009, de Villepin had to answer in court. On January 28, 2010, he was acquitted. The public prosecutor announced that they would like to appeal.

De Villepin was admitted to the bar in early 2008 and opened his own law firm for international business.

In June 2010, together with seven members of the UMP (including Brigitte Girardin ) , de Villepin founded a new party called République solidaire (“Solidary Republic”), whose orientation he described as “social Gaullism”. In February he resigned from the UMP. The most discussed point in the République solidaire program was the introduction of a “ citizen's allowance(revenu citoyen) , a kind of unconditional basic income . In September 2011 he resigned as chairman of République solidaire. On December 11, 2011, de Villepin announced in an interview with the TV station TF1 that he would run as a non-party candidate for the 2012 presidential election. In opinion polls it was 1 to 3 percent and did not achieve the necessary 500 supporter signatures from public officials (parrainages) , so could not stand for election. According to his own information, he was missing 30 signatures.

On September 11, 2012, the police took him into custody and questioned him about a case of fraud in a gendarmerie barracks in Paris. He is said to have protected Régis Bulot , the former head of Relais & Châteaux , who was arrested for fraud , from being brought into justice. In October 2013 he was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Hong Kong-based rating agency Universal Credit Rating Group . In July 2015, he gave up his bar admission. At the same time, he expanded his company Villepin International , which is active in the field of international lobbying and had a turnover of 1.8 million euros in the 2014 financial year with just three employees. De Villepin represents clients from China, Russia and Qatar, among others.

Even in the years after his political career, de Villepin occasionally spoke out on political issues: In September 2014, he spoke out against the military alliance against the Islamic State (IS) and, in general, against the concept of a “ war on terrorism ” because of this could never be won. He also stated that "we ourselves largely produced the Islamic State". In the 2017 presidential election , de Villepin supported Emmanuel Macron .

Literary processing

De Villepin served as a model for the main character of the graphic novel "Quai d'Orsay - Behind the Scenes of Power" by the French comic artist Christophe Blain and the former ministerial employee Abel Lanzac (pseudonym of de Villepin's speechwriter Antonin Baudry). In this, the fictional French Foreign Minister Alexandre Taillard de Vorms takes a stand against American war efforts in the face of an impending war in the fictional Arab country of Lousdem . The comic clearly relates to the Iraq war, only the names of the politicians have been changed. Taillard de Vorms is portrayed as an energetic but also eccentric politician. The story was in 2013, directed by Bertrand Tavernier filmed , Thierry Lhermitte plays in the role of foreign minister.

Fonts (selection)

  • 2001: Les Cent-Jours ou l'esprit de sacrifice. éd. Perrin (on the end of Napoleon , awarded the Fondation Napoléon Prize )
  • 2002: Le cri de la gargouille. éd. Albin Michel
  • 2003: Éloge des voleurs de feu. éd. NRF Gallimard
  • 2003: Foreword to Vers un nouveau monde? éd. Stanley Hoffmann
  • 2003: Foreword from Aventuriers du monde 1866–1914: Les grands explorateurs français au temps des premiers photographes (anthology)
  • 2004: Le requin et la mouette
  • 2005: L'Homme européen. éd. Plon (with Jorge Semprún ; German 2006: What it means to be European )
  • 2007: Le Soleil Noir de la puissance, 1796-1807. éd. Perrin (on the rise of Napoleon)
  • 2008: La Chute ou l'Empire de la Solitude, 1807-1814. éd. Perrin (about the time of Napoleon's power zenith)
  • 2009: La Cité des Hommes. éd. Plon
  • 2012: Seul le devoir nous rendra libres. éd. Le Cherche-Midi

The American publisher Melville House published a selection of Villepin’s speeches as Foreign Minister from May 2002 to March 2004 in book form under the title Towards a New World in the USA.


Web links

Commons : Dominique de Villepin  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. Caroline Wyatt: Profile: Dominique de Villepin ( English ) In: . BBC. January 28, 2010. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  2. Ewen Macaskill, Dan De Luce, Julian Borger: EU ministers strike deal Iran. In: The Guardian , October 22, 2003.
  3. Dominique de Villepin endosse le "costume" de président à l'ONU. In: Le Monde , September 16, 2005.
  4. Villepin resigns on Wednesday , Neue Zürcher Zeitung of May 11, 2007
  5. ^ Justice investigates ex-Prime Minister Villepin ( memento from September 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) , from July 27, 2007
  6. Spiegel-Online January 29, 2010: Sarkozy rival Villepin is to be tried again
  7. Dominique de Villepin entame une nouvelle carrière. In: Le Figaro , January 9, 2008.
  8. ^ Pauline de Saint Remy: "Il manque à Dominique de Villepin l'expérience du parti". In: Le Point , April 14, 2011.
  9. Sarkozy's archenemy Villepin wants to become president . Süddeutsche Zeitung . December 12, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  10. Sarkozy rival Villepin before the end. Sü, March 16, 2012, accessed on March 19, 2012 .
  11. ^ Investigation against ex-Prime Minister Villepin
  12. La nouvelle vie de Villepin comme conseiller économique. In: Le Journal de Dimanche , October 12, 2013.
  13. Villepin lâche le barreau pour le "business". In: Paris Match , August 19, 2015.
  14. Video. Quand Dominique de Villepin s'opposait à la "guerre" against l'Etat islamique. Franceinfo, November 17, 2015.
  15. Presidential. Dominique de Villepin apporte son soutien à Macron. In: Ouest France , April 20, 2017.
  16. Christophe Blain, Abel Lanzac: Quai d'Orsay - Behind the Scenes of Power. German translation by Ulrich Pröfrock, ISBN 978-3-943143-34-8 .