France proposes Sylvie Goulard as European Commission candidate

Joel Saget, AFP | In this file photo taken on June 15, 2017, Sylvie Goulard, then French Defence Minister, poses in her office in Paris. French President proposed on August 28, 2019, Goulard to represent France in the next European Commission.

France has proposed Sylvie Goulard, the deputy governor of the Bank of France and a former European lawmaker, as its candidate for European Union commissioner, a French diplomatic source told Reuters on Wednesday.


The move comes with President Emmanuel Macron’s government looking to clinch a top portfolio such as trade or climate.

Goulard, a fluent English, German and Italian speaker, has strong European credentials. She was a member of a French foreign ministry legal team that worked on German reunification in 1989 and later served as former European Commission President Romano Prodi’s political adviser.

Macron's first defence minister

Macron picked Goulard, 54, to be his defence minister after his 2017 election victory. However, she resigned barely a month into the job after an investigation was opened into the way her political party, MoDem, hired parliamentary assistants in the European parliament.

The inquiry continues but Goulard is not its main focus and she is not herself under formal investigation. She has denied any wrongdoing.

European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen is expected to name a new college of commissioners by Nov. 1. Each European country is vying for influential jobs.

A French official said on July 17 France was eyeing a “strong economic portfolio” in the new Commission, such as trade or one overseeing climate and energy policy:

The trade portfolio would prove a particularly tough job, coming at a time of heightened tension between the bloc and U.S. President Donald Trump, whose “America First” policy is challenging the EU’s free-trade push.


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