Macron Nominates Gabriel Attal as France’s Youngest and First Openly Gay Prime Minister to Revitalize Momentum


In a strategic move aimed at reinvigorating momentum, French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed Gabriel Attal, a 34-year-old and the country’s first openly gay head of government, as the new prime minister. Attal, recognized for his media-savvy and charismatic persona, is considered a rising political star, having garnered popularity and ranking as France’s most-favored politician in a recent poll.

The appointment comes amidst concerns about the growing influence of Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Rally party and the need to unite moderate left and right factions, similar to Macron’s approach during his initial election in 2017. Macron emphasized Attal’s energy and commitment, expressing confidence in his ability to execute plans for the country’s renewal and rearmament.

Attal’s ascension follows a period of divisive battles over pensions and immigration, which tested Macron’s capacity to enact reforms without a parliamentary majority, ultimately strengthening Le Pen’s party. The upcoming European elections in June pose a critical test, with polls indicating a challenging outlook for Macron against Le Pen’s party.

While some view Attal’s appointment as a necessary change following Elisabeth Borne’s tenure marked by pension and immigration reforms, skepticism persists. Critics argue that Attal, despite his popularity, faces challenges due to a lack of parliamentary majority and perceived similarities to Macron, potentially hindering political compromise.

The new government’s focus is expected to lean towards social affairs, with potential initiatives such as constitutional protection for abortion rights and the introduction of a euthanasia law. Attal, in his inaugural speech, highlighted priorities such as economic transformation, with a focus on work, reducing bureaucratic hurdles for companies, and addressing youth-related issues.

Attal faces early challenges, including a political face-off with Jordan Bardella, the 28-year-old leader of Le Pen’s party, currently leading in European election polls. The aftermath of the contentious immigration bill, which led to the resignation of the health minister and displeasure among left-leaning supporters, adds to the situation’s complexity. Other hurdles include sluggish economic growth and rising public debt.

Gabriel Attal’s political journey mirrors that of Macron, displaying ambition and ideological flexibility. His notable achievements include his election as a lawmaker near Paris in 2017 and becoming the Fifth Republic’s youngest cabinet member at 29, holding the position of junior minister for education.

Attal’s popularity surged during the COVID-19 pandemic when he served as the government’s spokesman in 2020, communicating lockdown constraints and measures to the public. His strategic communication efforts, including interviews with influencers and unconventional channels like YouTube and Twitch, played a role in his subsequent appointment as junior minister for the budget.

The new prime minister, educated at Paris’s prestigious Sciences PO University, shares similarities with Macron’s background. The son of cinema producer Yves Attal and producer Marie de Couriss, Attal’s journey has been marked by a commitment to political ideals, fighting against bullying as education minister, and advocating for middle-class preservation.

Attal’s personal life also attracted attention when it was revealed that his partner is Stephane Sejourne, Macron’s political adviser. The couple entered into a civil union in 2017, with Sejourne currently heading the Renew group at the European Parliament.

As Macron seeks to revitalize his political agenda, Attal’s appointment signals a new chapter in French politics, with the young and dynamic leader expected to navigate challenges and maintain control of the country’s destiny.

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