Michel Rocard

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Michel Rocard, French politician

Michel Rocard (born August 23, 1930) is a French Socialist politician, former French Prime minister, and currently a member of the European Parliament.


He was born at Courbevoie (Hauts-de-Seine) in a Protestant family, son of the nuclear physicist Yves Rocard. He entered politics as a student leader whilst studying at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration. A finance inspector (senior official) and anti-colonialist, he went to Algeria and wrote a report regarding the widely unknown refugee camps. This report was leaked to the newspapers Le Monde and France Observateur in April 1959, almost costing Rocard his job.

He led the Unified Socialist Party (PSU, left side socialists) from 1967 to 1974. Elected in National Assembly in 1969, he stood in the 1969 Presidential elections. After his run for re-election as a representative in 1973, he joined, one year later, François Mitterrand and the Parti Socialiste. Most of the PSU members and a part of trade-union "second left" followed him.

Elected Mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in 1977 and representative of the Yvelines département in the French National Assembly in 1978, he led the opposition to François Mitterrand inside the French Socialist Party, but was unsuccessful in seeking the socialist nomination for 1981 presidency.

Under Mitterand's first presidency, he was Minister of Regional and Economical Planning from 1981 to 1983 and Agriculture Minister from 1983 to 1985. After Mitterrand's re-election, he was Prime Minister (1988-1991) and led the Matignon Accords regarding the status of New Caledonia, which ended the troubles in this overseas territory.

After the 1993 electoral disaster, he became head of Socialist Party, but had to resign one year later, after his own defeat: the Socialist Party had its worst electoral result in the 1994 European Parliament election.

Michel Rocard then lost his last chance to run for president in 1995. Elected Senator of Yvelines in 1995, he resigned two years later.

Since 1999, he has been a member of the European Parliament, and was chairman of Foreign affairs, human rights and defense commission from 1999 to 2004. Michel Rocard is known for his hostility for the proposed measures to allow software patents in Europe, and has been an outspoken opponent of what he considers to be sneaky manoeuvres to force the decision on this issue.

Rocard's Ministry, 12 May 198815 May 1991


  • 22-23 June 1988 - Michel Delebarre succeeds Mermaz as Minister of Transport and Le Pensec as Minister of Sea. The office of Minister of Social Affairs is abolished, but Claude Evin enters the ministry as Minister of Solidarity, Health, and Social Protection. Jean-Pierre Soisson succeeds Delebarre as Minister of Employment, becoming also Minister of Labour and Vocational Training. Louis Le Pensec becomes Minister of Overseas Departments and Territories. Jean-Marie-Rausch succeeds Fauroux as Minister of External Commerce. Hubert Curien succeeds Jospin as Minister of Research and Technology. Jospin remains Minister of National Education and Sport. Michel Durafour becomes Minister of Administrative Reforms as well as Minister of Civil Service.
  • 28 June 1988 - Jack Lang becomes Minister of Great Works and Bicentenary in addition to being Minister of Culture and Communication.
  • 22 February 1989 - Michel Delebarre succeeds Faure as Minister of Housing and Equipment, remaining also Minister of Transport.
  • 2 October 1990 - The office of Minister of European Affairs is abolished. Henri Nallet succeeds Arpaillange as Minister of Justice. Louis Mermaz succeeds Nallet as Minister of Agriculture and Forests. The office of Minister of Bicentenary is abolished. Jack Lang remains minister of Culture, Communication and Great Works.
  • 21 December 1990 - Michel Delebarre becomes Minister of City. Louis Besson succeeds Delebarre as Minister of Transport, Housing, Sea, and Equipment.
  • 29 January 1991 - Pierre Joxe succeeds Chevènement as Minister of Defense. Philippe Marchand succeeds Joxe as Minister of the Interior.

External links

Template:Succession box two to one
Preceded by:
Edith Cresson
Minister of Agriculture
Succeeded by:
Henri Nallet
Preceded by:
Jacques Chirac
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by:
Edith Cresson
Preceded by:
Laurent Fabius
First Secretary of the Socialist Party
Succeeded by:
Henri Emmanuelli

Template:End boxde:Michel Rocard fr:Michel Rocard pl:Michel Rocard


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