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Macron's new government a 50/50 gender split

Macron's new government a 50/50 gender split

Newly-appointed French President, Emmanuel Macron, on Wednesday unveiled his first government and fulfilled his promise of electing the same number of men and women.

However, only one of the top five roles in government went to a woman. Sylvie Goulard was appointed Minister of Defence.

Goulard is considered an expert on Europe and finance, and served in the European parliament, as well as Macron's top European advisor during the presidential campaign.

She is one of several fluent German speakers in government, as well as being fluent in English. Goulard was reportedly also the mastermind behind Macron's meetings with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Macron's appointment of Goulard to the defence ministry sends a clear message about his intentions regarding closer European defence.

Aside from Goulard, Macron also appointed Agnès Buzyn as health and solidarity minister, Françoise Nyssen as culture minister and Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel, who hails from the French island of Guadaloupe, as sport minister. Neither of the three have been involved in party politics before.

Macron's government not only stands out for the number of ministers with experience and connections in Europe and European affairs, but also for the manner in which he has been able to mix figures from parties across the political spectrum.

Edouard Philippe, from right-wing party Les Républicains, was appointed Prime Minister.

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