Light Wave


France appoints first openly gay prime minister

By Jake Beardslee · January 9, 2024

In brief…

  • France has appointed 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as its new Prime Minister after the previous PM resigned.
  • Attal is the youngest ever and first openly gay French PM. President Macron hopes the reshuffle will reenergize his presidency.
  • Faces challenges like parliament lacking a majority for Macron's party.
France has appointed its youngest ever and first openly gay Prime Minister Gabriel Attal at 34 years old, as President Macron hopes the reshuffled government can revive his presidency despite lacking a parliamentary majority.  Antoine Lamielle/Wikimedia

President Emmanuel Macron has named 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as France’s new Prime Minister, making him the country’s youngest ever and first openly gay head of government, in an effort to revitalize his presidency for the remainder of his term.

Attal, who previously served as government spokesperson and education minister, said his appointment is “a symbol of confidence in young people.” He vowed to prioritize security and “better controlling immigration” while also strengthening public services, NPR reported.

The leadership change comes after Attal’s predecessor, Elisabeth Borne, resigned amid political disputes over a new law expanding deportations of foreigners. Macron will work with Attal to appoint a reshuffled cabinet in the coming days.

Macron likely hopes the reshuffle can reinvigorate his centrist platform and help his party ahead of European Parliament elections in June, where far-right populists are expected to gain ground.

Attal joined Macron’s newly created political movement in 2016. As government spokesperson starting in 2020, he became a familiar face to the French public. In his short stint as education minister, he enacted a ban on long robes in schools and announced a plan to experiment with school uniforms.