Christophe Castaner

Christophe Castaner (French pronunciation: ​[kʁistɔf kastanɛʁ]; born 3 January 1966) is a French politician who served as Minister of the Interior from 16 October 2018 to 6 July 2020.[1] He served as the Executive Officer of La République En Marche! and Secretary of State for Relations with Parliament from 2017 to 2018. He served as Spokesperson of the Government under Prime Minister Édouard Philippe in 2017. He was also spokesperson for Emmanuel Macron during his campaign for the presidential election of 2017.[2]

Christophe Castaner
Christophe Castaner en 2019 (cropped).jpg
President of the La République En Marche group in the National Assembly
Assumed office
10 September 2020
Preceded byGilles Le Gendre
Minister of the Interior
In office
16 October 2018 – 6 July 2020
Prime MinisterÉdouard Philippe
Preceded byÉdouard Philippe
Succeeded byGérald Darmanin
Executive Officer of
La République En Marche!
In office
18 November 2017 – 16 October 2018
Preceded byCatherine Barbaroux (Acting)
Succeeded byStanislas Guerini
Secretary of State for Relations with Parliament
In office
17 May 2017 – 16 October 2018
Prime MinisterÉdouard Philippe
Preceded byAndré Vallini
Succeeded byMarc Fesneau
Spokesperson of the Government
In office
17 May 2017 – 24 November 2017
Prime MinisterÉdouard Philippe
Preceded byStéphane Le Foll
Succeeded byBenjamin Griveaux
Member of the National Assembly
for Alpes-de-Haute-Provence's 2nd constituency
Assumed office
4 August 2020
Preceded byEmmanuelle Fontaine-Domeizel
In office
21 June 2017 – 21 July 2017
Preceded byEsther Baron
Succeeded byEmmanuelle Fontaine-Domeizel
In office
20 June 2012 – 17 June 2017
Preceded byDaniel Spagnou
Succeeded byEsther Baron
Mayor of Forcalquier
In office
23 March 2001 – 22 July 2017
Preceded byGérard Avril
Succeeded byPierre Delmar
Personal details
Born (1966-01-03) 3 January 1966 (age 55)
Ollioules, France
Political partySocialist Party (Before 2016)
La République En Marche (2016–present)
EducationAix-Marseille University

Born in Ollioules in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region,[3] he was a member of the National Assembly for the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department from 2012 to 2017 and headed the Socialist Party list for the 2015 regional elections in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur before joining Macron's En Marche! movement in 2016. He also served as Mayor of Forcalquier from 2001 to 2017 and Vice President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur from 2004 to 2012. On 18 November 2017, Castaner became the Executive Officer of La République En Marche! before resigning as Government Spokesman.

Early life and educationEdit

The youngest of three children, Christophe Castaner's father was in the military and his mother was a housewife.[3]

A poor student, he gained his baccalauréat independently (en candidat libre) at the age of 20 in 1986.[3][4] A graduate of the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Aix-Marseille, he holds a post-graduate diploma in International Business Law and a diploma in Criminal and Criminological Sciences.

Political careerEdit

After work experience at the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) legal department, he was recruited to local government management posts in Avignon and Paris. In 1995 he became office manager for Tony Dreyfus, mayor of the 10th arrondissement of Paris.

He was technical adviser to the Minister of Culture, Catherine Trautmann, in 1997 and became her principal private secretary in 1998. He was principal private secretary to Michel Sapin, then Minister of the Civil Service and the State Reform, from 2000 to 2002.[3]

Local governmentEdit

In 2001 Christophe Castaner stood for mayor of Forcalquier. He won against the incumbent mayor, Pierre Delmar (RPR), who had been mayor from 1983 to 1989 and again from 1995 to 2001 and was also both a national deputy and a departmental councillor.

Re-elected as mayor of Forcalquier and president of the district council of Forcalquier-Mount Lure (Communauté de communes Pays de Forcalquier - Montagne de Lure) in 2008, he was an active participant in the creation of the intercommunality of the Pays de Haute-Provence.[5]

He was once again re-elected mayor of Forcalquier on 23 March 2014, standing against Sébastien Ginet (UMP).[6] On 11 April 2014, his vice-president, Pierre Garcin, succeeded him as the president of the district council of Forcalquier-Mount Lure.

Regional governmentEdit

In 2004, after having been elected to the regional council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA), Castaner was entrusted by the president Michel Vauzelle with responsibility for land use planning. It was the first time this important responsibility fell to an "Alpine" representative, who was also the youngest vice-president of the PACA region. He was re-elected in 2010 and given a new responsibility: employment, economy, higher education and innovation.

Castaner was named on 5 February 2015 as chief candidate for the 2015 PACA regional elections by members of the Socialist Party with 55% of the vote, ahead of Patrick Allemand (31%) and Elsa di Méo (14%). In the first round he obtained 17% of the vote, trailing the National Front (40.55%) and The Republicans (26.47%). Following the decision of the Socialist Party, Christophe Castaner decided not to stand in the second round in an act of unity against the National Front.[7] This choice enabled the election of Christian Estrosi with 54.8% of the vote.

National politicsEdit

Deputy for Alpes-de-Haute-ProvenceEdit

On 17 June 2012, Castaner was elected as a member of the National Assembly for the 2nd constituency of the Alpes de Haute-Provence in the 2012 legislative election, ahead of the UMP candidate, Jean-Claude Castel, mayor of Corbières.

A member of the National Assembly's Finance Committee, in July 2012 Castaner was appointed Special Rapporteur of Work and Employment Budgets. On 20 June 2014, Prime Minister Manuel Valls entrusted him with the vice-presidency of the Council for the Co-ordination of Profit-sharing, Employee Savings and Employee Shareholding (Conseil d'orientation de la participation, de l'intéressement, de l'épargne salariale et de l'actionnariat salarié — COPIESAS). This authority was in charge of bringing negotiations between unions and management on these measures to a successful conclusion.

Castaner is considered to be one of Macron’s earliest backers.[8] He sponsored the Bill for Growth, Activity and Equality of Economic Opportunity (Loi pour la croissance, l'activité et l'égalité des chances économiques), known as the loi Macron (“Macron's law”).[9] He was spokesperson for and a supporter of Emmanuel Macron during the campaign for the presidential election of 2017.[2] During this campaign, he was repeatedly criticized for dishonesty and tactlessness.[10][11][12][13][14]

He justified his joining with Emmanuel Macron by explaining that in politics one must be "at the right place at the right time, without necessarily knowing where you will end up". Described as ambitious, he reckons that "all politicians have an ego. Or they are liars. Recently, I downloaded La Provence at 5 a.m. to see if my picture was in that day's edition".[3] He stood in the 2017 legislative elections on the La République En Marche! ticket for the 2nd constituency of the Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence and was reelected.

Government Spokesperson and Secretary of State for Relations with ParliamentEdit

On 17 May 2017 Castaner was named Secretary of State for Relations with Parliament. He was also appointed as Government Spokesperson for the Édouard Philippe government.

In October 2017, as a result of some arrests, he was named among potential targets of attacks in preparation by far-right activists. Jean-Luc Mélenchon was also included among the targets.[15] A risk whose seriousness was denied by the Minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb, shortly after.[16][17]

Chairman of En Marche!Edit

On 25 October 2017, a few days after Emmanuel Macron gave his support, Castaner he declared his candidacy for chairman of the party on RTL radio.[citation needed] He was elected at the first party convention on 18 November 2017.[citation needed][needs update] In his capacity as chairman, he spearheaded Macron’s efforts to forge alliances with like-minded parties across Europe ahead of the 2019 European Parliament election.[18]

Interior MinisterEdit

Following Gerard Collomb's resignation as interior minister for the Édouard Philippe government in early October 2018, Castaner was appointed interior minister on 16 October 2018. A brief handover ceremony at the Interior Ministry was held the same day, and Castaner spoke to journalists citing the issue of security as the Ministry's greatest preoccupation, mentioning the "fight against terrorism".[19]

In the evening, president Macron addressed the French nation in a televised broadcast, in which he announced the appointment of the new Interior Minister and Agriculture Minister over a 12 minute-long speech.

During the Spring of 2019, Castaner was criticized for his handling of the Gilet Jaune movement. On 9 March 2019, after a day of Gilets Jaune demonstration, Castaner was photographed in a nightclub with a young woman of indeterminate identity. The resulting scandal became a subject of intense embarrassment for the Phillipe government.[20]

On 1 May 2019, during the Labour Day manifestations, Castaner announced an attack of the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital by demonstrators, as well as aggression of the nursing staff and a policeman. Videos and testimonies published the next day revealed that what he presented as an attack was in fact peaceful demonstrators trying to escape from police charges. Criticized by journalists and part of the political class, and accused of lying, he recognized that he should not have used the term "attack".[21]

In the aftermath of the Paris police headquarters stabbing, Castaner was criticized for the public statements he had made regarding the motive of the attacker. Castaner had claimed that there were no warning signs prior to the attack in the suspect's behavior, while records dating back to 2015 documented several alerts and reports concerning a possible radicalization. Republican spokesman Christian Jacob called for an official inquiry, while other MPs demanded Castaner's resignation.[22]

Political positionsEdit

In October 2020, Castaner was one of 48 LREM members who voted in support of a bill introduced by the Ecology Democracy Solidarity parliamentary group that would extend the legal deadline for abortion from 12 to 14 weeks.[23]

Summary of elected positionsEdit


18 March 2001 – 22 July 2017: Mayor of Forcalquier.

18 March 2001 – Present: municipal councillor, Forcalquier.

1 January 2003 – 12 April 2014: President of the District Council of Forcalquier-Mount Lure.

28 March 2004 – 13 July 2012: Vice President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.[24]


20 June 2012 – 17 June 2017, 21 June 2017 – 21 July 2017: Socialist member of the National Assembly for the 2nd constituency of the Alpes de Haute-Provence. Member of the Finance Committee — Special protractor of Work and Employment Budgets.

17 May 2017 – 24 November 2017: Government Spokesperson.

17 May 2017 – 16 October 2018: Secretary of State for Relations with Parliament.

18 November 2017 – 16 October 2018: Executive Officer of La République En Marche!

16 October 2018 – 6 July 2020: Minister of the Interior.


  1. ^ "Gouvernement Castex en direct : Darmanin nommé ministre de l'intérieur, Dupond-Moretti garde des sceaux et Bachelot à la culture". Le (in French). 2020-07-06.
  2. ^ a b Pietralunga, Cédric (2016-11-16). "Macron : une annonce de candidature pour engranger de nouveaux soutiens". Le (in French). ISSN 1950-6244. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Christophe Castaner : l'enjoliveur". Libé (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  4. ^ C8. "Emission C8: Salut les terriens". (in French). Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  5. ^ Christophe Castaner biography at the Socialist Party website
  6. ^ "Forcalquier : Christophe Castaner réélu à l'arraché - Haute Provence Info". (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  7. ^ "En Paca, la "décision lourde et difficile" de Castaner". Libé (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  8. ^ Michel Rose (October 16, 2018) Factbox: France's Emmanuel Macron reshuffles government - only one big move Reuters.
  9. ^ "Macron, "faux moderne" ou "briseur de lignes"". Libé (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  10. ^ "Sur Twitter, Castaner envoie Sarkozy en prison, avant de se rétracter - Haute Provence Info". (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  11. ^ "Passe d'armes entre Fakir et un soutien de Macron". @rrêt sur images (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  12. ^ "Primaire à droite: un député PS imagine Sarkozy en prison, avant de s'excuser". (in French). 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  13. ^ "Le macroniste Castaner déforme totalement la phrase de Peillon sur Macron, "l'UMPS" et les chambres à gaz - Le Lab Europe 1" (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  14. ^ "Vu par Castaner : si Edouard Philippe détestait tant la transparence... c'était par simple discipline de groupe !". Marianne (in French). 2017-05-17. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  15. ^ "Projet d'attentat de l'ultradroite: Mélenchon et Castaner ignoraient la menace". (in French). 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  16. ^ "Ultra-droite : Collomb minimise les menaces contre Mélenchon et Castaner". 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  17. ^ "Collomb minimise le "sérieux" de la "bande" d'extrême droite arrêtée mardi". FIGARO. 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  18. ^ Michel Rose (October 16, 2018) Factbox: France's Emmanuel Macron reshuffles government - only one big move Reuters.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Des photos de Christophe Castaner en boîte de nuit suscitent la polémique". Le Figaro. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Critiqué, Castaner reconnaît qu'il n'aurait pas dû employer le terme d'" attaque " de la Pitié-Salpêtrière". Le Monde. 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  22. ^ "Attaque à Paris : Christophe Castaner dans le collimateur de l'opposition". L'Express. 2019-05-10. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  23. ^ Elisa Braun (October 9, 2020), Former Macron allies ramp up pressure on green, social agenda Politico Europe.
  24. ^ "Christophe Castaner démissionne du Conseil régional - Haute Provence Info". (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-30.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Édouard Philippe
Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Gérald Darmanin