Macron’s Cabinet Gives Glimpse of How He Plans to Govern France

The New Tork Times The New Tork Times

Still, he will be able to use this cabinet to entice others to join his team by pointing out that he is making good on his promise to represent both the right and left sides of the political spectrum.

Mr. Macron is especially looking for more potential support from the moderate wing of the right — a fact that the mainstream right party, the Republicans, sorely resents since its members believe he is trying to split the party and steal voters by pulling away its moderates.

The Republicans are asking all of their legislative candidates to stick with them for now in the hopes they will be able to win a majority in the National Assembly in the legislative elections, choose a prime minister and cabinet, and force Mr. Macron to work with them on their agenda.

Traditionally in France, the party of the president dominates in the legislative elections that are held just a few weeks later. Mr. Macron, however, might not benefit from that momentum, because many voted less for him than they did against his far-right opponent, Marine Le Pen.

If an opposing party wins a majority of votes in the legislative election, it can require the president to nominate a prime minister from their ranks. And that prime minister will have the upper hand in forming the government and making domestic policy.

The Republicans were quick to exact retribution against the two from their ranks who joined Mr. Macron’s government on Wednesday. They said in a statement that those who had joined the government were “no longer part” of the party, although it was unclear whether they would be formally kicked out or if they would leave on their own, as Édouard Philippe, the new prime minister, did after his nomination on Monday.

Mr. Macron and Mr. Philippe also need to win public support for their program, which includes controversial changes to labor law and in how pension benefits are calculated. Those measures could draw hundreds of thousands of people into the streets in protest.

Nonetheless for now, Mr. Macron can point to his newly named cabinet as emblematic of his style of governance.

Setting aside the prime minister, there will be 11 men and 11 women in the cabinet, making it more equal in that respect than any American cabinet to date, according to the Rutgers Center on American Women and Politics.

Mr. Macron’s cabinet will also have more technocrats and individuals with private-sector experience than past governments, in keeping with his promise of a new style of leadership. Ministers include the head of an elite business school, Essec, and a head of a university.

Only a few were nationally well-known figures, including François Bayrou, the leader of the centrist Democratic Movement, who will become the justice minister, and Nicolas Hulot, a prominent environmentalist, who will lead the Environment Ministry.

While Mr. Macron seems to have achieved his goal of gender equity in his appointments, he was criticized for not delivering on his campaign promise to give the person responsible for women’s equality a full-fledged ministry, nominating a lower-ranked state secretary instead.

Of the 11 women Mr. Macron designated for cabinet posts, several came from the left or the center, as well as from civil society. The new health minister, Agnès Buzyn, is a doctor and runs a public health regulatory body. The new culture minister, Françoise Nyssen, runs a publishing house. The new sports minister, Laura Flessel-Colovic, is an Olympic fencer and gold medalist and a world champion.

The new labor minister, Muriel Pénicaud, has a background in business; among her past jobs, she was a former human resources director for Danone, the global food company. She will work on one of Mr. Macron’s most controversial plans, loosening the regulations in the job market.

The post of defense minister also went to a woman, Sylvie Goulard, a member of the Democratic Movement and the European Parliament.

Mr. Macron slimmed down the number of cabinet posts and state secretary positions to 22 from 37. He had only two holdovers from the administration of former President François Hollande.