Jean-Marc Ayrault

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Jean-Marc Ayrault in March 2012

Jean-Marc Ayrault [ ʒɑ̃.maʁk e'ʁo ] (born January 25, 1950 in Maulévrier , Maine-et-Loire ) is a French politician ( PS ). Under President François Hollande Ayrault was Prime Minister of the French Republic on 15 May 2012 to 31 March 2014, he officiated 1989-2012 as mayor of Nantes and was from 1986 to 2012 and deputy 1997-2012 Group Chairman (fr. Président ) of Groupe socialiste in the French National Assembly . From February 2016 to May 2017, Jean-Marc Ayrault held the post of French Foreign Minister, initially in the Valls II cabinet , then after his resignation in the Cazeneuve cabinet .

Early life

Ayrault grew up as the eldest of five children of the field worker and later factory worker Joseph Ayrault and the tailor Georgette Ayrault née. Uzenot in western France.

He studied German studies ( études supérieures d'allemand ) at the University of Nantes and graduated in 1971 with a licentiate . In 1972 the high school teacher examination (CAPES) followed . In 1969/70 Ayrault spent a semester abroad at the University of Würzburg .

Coming from a Catholic home, Jean-Marc Ayrault was involved as a teenager in the Christian rural youth movement. Close to liberation theology , he joined the Christian working-class youth. After the Congress of Épinay (1971) he became a member of the French Socialist Party in 1972. From 1973 until he was elected Member of Parliament in 1986, he was a German teacher in Saint-Herblain , Loire-Atlantique .

Political career

Mayor's office

At the age of 27, Ayrault was elected Mayor of Saint-Herblain in 1977. He held this office for twelve years. Until 1991 he was a poperéniste on the left wing of the PS. In 1989, the mayoral office of the city of Nantes was an achievable goal for the socialists. The previous incumbent of the RPR did not stand for re-election. Ayrault formally became a candidate in Nantes in December 1988. His election campaign was marked by prominent support for the PS: Both President François Mitterrand and the incumbent Prime Minister Michel Rocard came to Nantes. On March 12, 1989 Ayrault was elected in the first ballot with 50.19% of the vote (his opponent Daniel Augereau received 40%). He was re-elected in 1995, 2001 and 2008. He resigned from his post as mayor of Nantes in 2012. He was succeeded by Patrick Rimbert .

prime minister

After François Hollande's victory in the French presidential election in 2012 , Ayrault and Martine Aubry were discussed as candidates for the office of Prime Minister .

Mathieu von Rohr ( SPIEGEL in Paris) wrote:

“Much depends on this choice. If he chooses the party leader Martine Aubry, his opponent in the party primaries, he decides on a left course. If he elects the parliamentary group leader Jean-Marc Ayrault, it is a sign of a more technocratic government - and it would be a gesture towards Germany. Because Ayrault speaks German and has good connections to the SPD. "

Hollande named Ayrault Prime Minister on the day of his inauguration (May 15, 2012) . One month after taking office, his membership in the National Assembly ended, and after the parliamentary elections in 2012 he was again a member of parliament at short notice. Remaining in the office of mayor would have been constitutionally possible, but was not wanted by the new president. On May 17, 2012, the Prime Minister submitted the application to resign as mayor in the Nantes Municipal Council. The election of the new mayor of Nantes took place on June 29, 2012.

In agreement with President Hollande, Ayrault's first act as prime minister was to cut all future ministerial salaries by 30 percent, including that of the president himself. Hollande's predecessor, Sarkozy, had increased his own salaries by 172 percent in 2007, six months after taking office.

Transitional government until parliamentary elections

On the day of his appointment as Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault presented a new interim government on May 15, 2012 . In accordance with Hollande's election promise, based on strict gender parity, it consisted of nine ministers and eight commissioned ministers each (ministres délégué (e) s) . This transitional government only held office until the parliamentary elections in June 2012. After the second ballot on June 17, 2012, Ayrault resigned with his government a day later.

Second Ayrault government

Immediately after his government resigned, Ayrault was reappointed Prime Minister by François Hollande. On June 21, 2012, he presented his new government ( Ayrault II cabinet ), which remained largely unchanged. After the disastrous outcome of the local elections on March 30, 2014, Ayrault announced his resignation as prime minister. As a result, he took up his parliamentary mandate again.

Return to government

On February 11, 2016, Jean-Marc Ayrault returned to the government when he was appointed Foreign Minister by François Hollande, succeeding Laurent Fabius, who stepped down as Foreign Minister . Following the election of  Emmanuel Macron  in the  2017 presidential election  , Prime Minister Cazeneuve's cabinet resigned on May 10, 2017, in line with conventions. This also ended Ayrault's term of office as foreign minister. His successor was his former cabinet and party colleague Jean-Yves Le Drian .


Jean-Marc Ayrault has been married to Brigitte Terrien since September 1971, also from Maulévrier. She studied Lettres modern (modern literature) and has been a French teacher in a collège since 1974 (corresponds to the grammar school intermediate level). From 1982 to 2001 she was General Councilor of the Canton of Saint-Herblain-Ouest-Indre . The couple has two daughters.

Mandates and functions

  • March 14, 1977-12. March 1989: Mayor of Saint-Herblain, Loire-Atlantique
  • 1976–1982: General Conseiller of the Loire-Atlantique department
  • April 2, 1986-15. June 2012, June 20 to July 20, 2012 and May 1, 2014–12. March 2016: Member of the National Assembly for the Loire-Atlantique department
  • 1997–2012: Chairman of the Groupe socialiste in the National Assembly
  • March 18, 1989-21. June 2012: Mayor of Nantes
  • 2001–2012: Chairman of the Nantes Métropole Local Authority
  • May 15, 2012–31. March 2014: French Prime Minister
  • since February 11, 2016: Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development


  • 2014: Carlo Schmid Prize for his services to European understanding, laudation by Frank-Walter Steinmeier


  • Who's Who in France.
  • Philippe Goulliaud: Jean-Marc Ayrault, la rançon de l'expérience. In: Le Figaro . June 26, 2007.
  • Alain Besson: Jean-Marc Ayrault. Une ambition nantaise ... Editions Coiffard, Nantes 2004, ISBN 2-910366-49-9 .

Web links

Commons : Jean-Marc Ayrault  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Jean-Marc Ayrault, "le réformiste décomplexé" , in Le Monde of May 15, 2012
  2. Archive link ( Memento of the original dated February 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Joseph Hanimann: Who Hollande explains the Germans. on from May 8, 2012
  4. Biography on the website of the city council of Nantes , accessed on May 12, 2012
  5. ^ Page of the city administration (French) , accessed on September 3, 2012
  6. / Michaela Wiegel from May 10, 2012: Hybrid instead of hubris.
  7. Unsure at the Bastille on Spiegel Online from May 7, 2012
  8. Article 23 of the French Constitution in conjunction with Article 1 of Regulation 58-1099
  9. Le premier ministre Ayrault remet sa ville de Nantes à son premier adjoint in Le Parisien on May 18, 2012
  10. 172%, la véritable augmentation de Sarkozy on Liberation of November 6, 2007
  11. Reuters: Cabinet reshuffle: Valls should be France's new premier on Spiegel Online
  12. Charlotte Chaffanjon: Jean-Marc Ayrault au Quai d'Orsay: la revanche d'un homme blessé ( French ) Le Point. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  13. Besson, JMA , p. 85. op. Cit.
  14. Former Prime Minister Ayrault awarded the Carlo Schmid Prize