Biography of Sylvie Goulard, the French candidate to the European Commissioner role

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Sylvie Goulard, a centrist figurehead (initially affiliated to UDF then Modem, member of the ALDE group at the European Parliament), is a staunch pro-European militant who is strongly in favor of a Federalist Europe.

 

Multilingual (fluent in English, German, Italian and French), she graduated from Sciences Po Paris, one of the top schools worldwide for politics and international relations (1986) and Ecole Nationale de l’Administration, the national elite school training high civil servants (1989).

Trained as a diplomat, she worked for a decade at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs before joining the Cabinet of EC President Romano Prodi as Political Advisor in 2001.

In 2004, she went to become a lecturer at the College of Europe and Sciences Po Paris, before running and being elected as President of the European Movement – France, the main pro-European non-governmental organization in France, in 2006.

She was elected MEP for the centrist Modem party (ALDE) in 2009 and re-elected in 2014. In the European Parliament, she was a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs where she coordinated the ALDE group, and was a lead figure in the legislative debates on the reform of the financial sector following the 2008 crisis.

Sylvie Goulard also distinguished herself as a defender of the cause of women. In October 2012, she publicly called on the European Central Bank (ECB) Board to appoint a woman among its members. She initiated a boycott in the ECON Committee of the only candidate's hearing, delaying the appointment by several weeks.

In 2016, she was one of the first Modem heavyweights to publicly support Emmanuel Macron who was then running for President. After his electoral win, he appointed her as his Minister of the Armed Forces (i.e., Minister of Defense). After only 38 days in office, she decided to step down following an investigation into supposedly fictious hires by her party of parliamentary assistants at the European Parliament.

She remained close to Emmanuel Macron and kept strong ties with European leaders, and in particular leaders from the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. She greatly contributed to the success of President Macron’s first European tour and especially his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

She is nominated in January 2018 as a member of the Executive Board of the Banque de France, the French central bank, by President Macron, who put her name forward in August 2019 as the French candidate to the European Commissioner role.