Marisol Touraine

Marisol Touraine (French pronunciation: ​[ma.ʁi.sɔl tu.ʁɛn]; born 7 March 1959) is a French politician who served as Minister of Social Affairs and Health under Prime Ministers Jean-Marc Ayrault,[2][3] Manuel Valls, and Bernard Cazeneuve.

Marisol Touraine
Marisol Touraine 2015 (cropped).jpg
Minister of Social Affairs
In office
16 May 2012 – 10 May 2017
Prime MinisterJean-Marc Ayrault
Manuel Valls
Bernard Cazeneuve
Preceded byRoselyne Bachelot
Succeeded byAgnès Buzyn
(Solidarity and Health)
Minister of Health
In office
16 May 2012 – 10 May 2017
Prime MinisterJean-Marc Ayrault
Manuel Valls
Bernard Cazeneuve
Preceded byXavier Bertrand
Succeeded byAgnès Buzyn
(Solidarity and Health)
Personal details
Born (1959-03-07) 7 March 1959 (age 63)[1]
Paris, France
Political partySocialist Party
Alma materÉcole Normale Supérieure
Harvard University

Early life and educationEdit

Touraine was born on 7 March 1959 in Paris.[4][5] She graduated from the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris.[3] She studied at the École Normale Supérieure, where she specialised in economic and social issues. She also attended Harvard University but did not receive a degree.[6][7] She is fluent in Spanish.[8]

Political careerEdit

From 1988 to 1991, Touraine was an advisor to Prime Minister Michel Rocard on geostrategic issues.[citation needed]

Touraine served as a member of the National Assembly of France for Indre-et-Loire (3rd constituency) from 1997 to 2002 for the Socialiste, radical, citoyen et divers gauche political party.[3] She was defeated in the second round of the 2002 elections by Jean-Jacques Descamps (UMP). She regained the district in the 2007 elections with a small majority (50.22%), and served until 2012.[9]

On the regional level, Touraine has been general councillor for Indre-et-Loire since the 2001 elections.[3] She served as Vice-President of the General Council of Indre-et-Loire from 2008 to 2011, and as its President from 2011 to 2012, when she resigned.[3] She has served as General councillor of Indre-et-Loire since 1998, having been re-elected in 2004 and in 2011.[3]

In the French presidential election, Touraine endorsed Dominique Strauss-Kahn before later supporting Hollande.[citation needed]

Minister of Health and Social AffairsEdit

On 16 May 2012, Touraine was named by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as Minister of Health and Social Affairs. The designation was accepted by President of France François Hollande, in line with tradition.[10] In her ministerial post, she worked to improve HIV/AIDS prevention and early diagnosis, promoted universal hepatitis C treatment with innovative drugs, implemented plain tobacco packaging and launched a nutrition labelling system.[11]

In October 2012, Touraine announced that trial centres could open in 2012 in France for drug addicts to safely inject their own drugs. This measure met with criticism coming from both the opposition and members of the majority. She entered into negotiations with doctors and health insurance professional organisations to limit the prices of medical assistance.[12]

During her time in office, Touraine oversaw a 2013 pension reform which gradually extended the mandatory pay-in period from 41.5 years to 43 by 2035 and required workers, retirees and employers to fill in an annual deficit set otherwise to reach 20 billion euros ($26 billion) in 2020.[13][14] She also worked on implementing a 2015 reform aimed at making it easier for low-earners to get access to a doctor.[15]

Also during her term, Touraine steered France’s response to both a MERS outbreak in 2013[16] and the Western African Ebola virus epidemic from 2013, during which several French nationals contracted the virus.[17] After a review of the measure from 2012 until 2015, she opted to lift blood donation restrictions on men who have sex with men that had been in place since 1983.[18]

By the end of her term, Touraine was widely expected to join her party’s presidential primaries in 2017; she eventually decided not to run for president.[19] When Prime Minister Valls declared that he would seek the Socialist Party’s nomination and quit the government to focus on campaigning, Touraine was seen by news media as possible choice to replace him and lead what would effectively become a caretaker government; instead, the post went to Bernard Cazeneuve.[20] In the ensuing cabinet reshuffle to form the Cazeneuve government, she lost the responsibility for women’s rights to newly appointed minister Laurence Rossignol.

Life after politicsEdit

In 2019, Touraine was elected chair of the Executive Board of Unitaid.[21]

Other activitiesEdit

In 2009, Touraine belonged to the "Future of Health Club" (Club Avenir de la santé),[22] a lobby group funded by GlaxoSmithKline, the world's No. 7 of pharmecetics products, producing amongst other things, nicotine patches.

Political positionsEdit

In 2016, Touraine was one of two ministers who came out in open disagreement with the government’s stance on a ban of burkinis. She argued that "to pretend that swimming veiled or bathing on a beach dressed is in itself threatening to public order and the values of the Republic is to forget that those (secular) values are meant to allow each person to safeguard their identity."[23]

Personal lifeEdit

Touraine is the daughter of French sociologist Alain Touraine and Chilean academic Adriana Arenas Pizarro (d. 1990).[3] She has a brother, Philippe, who is professor of endocrinology.[24] She is also first cousin of Alberto Arenas, Chile's Budget Director during Michelle Bachelet's presidency.[8][25]

Touraine is married to diplomat Michel Reveyrand de Menthon, who is currently French ambassador to Chad.[3] She is a mother of three.[3][8] When President Hollande published a list of bank deposits and property held by all 38 ministers for first time 2012,[26] Touraine declared personal assets worth 1.4 million euros, mainly property.[27]

In September 2013, Touraine's elder son was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for extortion and sequestration.[28]


  1. ^ "Marisol Touraine". (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  2. ^ Angelique Chrisafis, Women in the French cabinet, The Guardian, 18 May 2012
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Olivier Auguste, Marisol Touraine à la tête d'un pôle social féminin, Le Figaro
  4. ^ "Marisol Touraine |". Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Marisol Touraine" (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  6. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique (18 May 2012). "Women in the French cabinet". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Marisol Touraine". (in French). Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Florencia Blume (20 May 2012). "Mis vínculos con Chile son más bien afectivos que políticos" (in Spanish). El Mercurio. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Liste Définitive des Députés Élus à L'issue des Deux Tours" (in French). National Assembly of France. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  10. ^ "The Associated Press: France's new prime minister names Cabinet". Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  11. ^ Former French Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights Marisol Touraine elected chair of the Unitaid Executive Board Unitaid, press release of 6 June 2019.
  12. ^ Drug 'shooting galleries' to be tested by France, France24
  13. ^ Hugh Carnegy (6 June 2012), Hollande restores right to retire at 60 Financial Times.
  14. ^ Catherine Bremer and Emmanuel Jarry (2 September 2013), France says pension reform enough for several years Reuters.
  15. ^ Marine Pennetier (9 March 2015), France pushes health reform despite medics' anger Reuters.
  16. ^ Steven Erlanger (13 May 2013) France Confirms Second Case of Virus Linked to SARS Reuters.
  17. ^ Gus Trompiz (4 October 2014), First French Ebola patient leaves hospital Reuters.
  18. ^ France ends law banning blood donation from gay men Reuters, 5 November 2015.
  19. ^ Delphine Legouté (9 December 2016). "Marisol Touraine fait sa déclaration de non-candidature à la primaire de gauche". Marianne. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  20. ^ Christian Hartmann (5 December 2016), French PM Valls launches presidential bid, quits government Reuters.
  21. ^ Former French Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights Marisol Touraine elected chair of the Unitaid Executive Board Unitaid, press release of 6 June 2019.
  22. ^ "GSK archives". Archived from the original on 8 March 2014.
  23. ^ Richard Lough (25 August 2016), French PM defends burkini ban but some in cabinet wary Reuters.
  24. ^ "El perfil de Marisol Touraine, diputada y casada con un diplomático | Mundo" (in Spanish). La Tercera. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  25. ^ Key ministers in new French government Reuters, 16 May 2012.
  26. ^ Catherine Bremer (12 April 2013), Ministers' wealth list to expose France's "caviar left" Reuters.
  27. ^ Catherine Bremer and John Irish (15 April 2013), Wealth inventory exposes millionaires in French government Reuters.
  28. ^ "He was found guilty of entering the home of an elderly woman and forcing her to give up her bank card and code, in a building next door to one in which his family owned an apartment" (in French). 10 September 2013.

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