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Sylvie Goulard (born 6 December 1964) is a French politician and civil servant who served as Minister of the Armed Forces from 17 May to 21 June 2017 in the First Philippe government. She decided to quit along with other Democratic Movement (MoDem) ministers, before the MoDem was investigated on potentially fictitious employment of parliamentary assistants. On 17 January 2018, Goulard was appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of France, succeeding Denis Beau.[1]

Sylvie Goulard
Sylvie Goulard.png
Deputy Governor of the Bank of France
Assumed office
17 January 2018
GovernorFrançois Villeroy de Galhau
Preceded byDenis Beau
Minister of the Armed Forces
In office
17 May 2017 – 21 June 2017
Prime MinisterÉdouard Philippe
Preceded byJean-Yves Le Drian
Succeeded byFlorence Parly
Member of the European Parliament
In office
7 June 2009 – 17 May 2017
ConstituencyWest France (2009–2014)
South-East France (2014–2017)
Personal details
Born (1964-12-06) 6 December 1964 (age 54)
Marseille, France
Political partyDemocratic Movement (2007–2017)
La République En Marche! (2017–present)
Spouse(s)Guillaume Goulard
EducationAix-Marseille University
Sciences Po
École nationale d'administration

A native of Marseille, Goulard served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for West France from 2009 until 2014. She was reelected in the 2014 election for South-East France. As an MEP she was a member of the Committee for Economic and Monetary Affairs and an ALDE group coordinator, as well as a substitute member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development between 2009 and 2014 and Committee on Constitutional Affairs between 2014 and 2017. In 2010 she participated in the creation of the Euro-federalist interparliamentarian Spinelli Group. She served as a foreign affairs advisor; Goulard also is a former president of the Mouvement européen-France, the oldest pluralist association defending the European ideal. In 2017, Goulard joined the newly formed En Marche! party.[2]

Early life and educationEdit

Goulard graduated with a law degree from the Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III and studied at both Sciences Po (Paris) and the Ecole nationale d'administration (ENA). Between 2005 and 2009 she taught at the College of Europe in Bruges. She speaks fluent English, German and Italian.


As a political advisor to Romano Prodi when he was President of the European Commission, from 2001 to 2004, Goulard followed the work of the Convention presided by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing which was primarily made up of members of national parliaments, who had been charged by the European Council to draft a European constitution.

Goulard's work focuses on the necessity of pursuing European integration whilst also inviting increased public debate about European questions. Europe's citizens must become more engaged with its development in the future. They need to be informed and active: and to achieve this cultural and professional exchanges and learning foreign languages are essential.

At the end of 2006 Goulard was elected president of the Mouvement Européen-France (ME-F), succeeding Pierre Moscovici, who had also been a candidate. She was re-elected as president in December 2008. Le Mouvement Européen-France regularly organises meetings, conferences and debates which aim are to enable a dialogue between political figures, experts and the general public.

Member of the European Parliament, 2009—2017Edit

Goulard was first elected Member of the European Parliament in the 2009 elections. Throughout her time in parliament, she served on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. In 2009 became a substitute member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and in 2014, she became a substitute member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. In that capacity, she served as rapporteur on budgetary surveillance in the Eurozone.

In addition to her committee assignments, Goulard served as chairwoman of the European Parliament Intergroup on “Extreme Poverty and Human Rights”.

On 15 September 2010, Goulard supported the new initiative Spinelli Group, which was founded to reinvigorate the strive for federalisation of the European Union (EU). Other prominent supporters are: Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Guy Verhofstadt, Isabelle Durand as well as Jacques Delors, Joschka Fischer, Andrew Duff and Elmar Brok.

In November 2016, Goulard officially announced her candidacy for the office of President of the European Parliament;[3] the post eventually went to Antonio Tajani.

During her time in parliament, Goulard continued to write regularly in a wide range of both French (Le Monde, La Croix, Libération) and international (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Financial Times particularly) newspapers.

Minister of the Armed Services, 2017Edit

Goulard was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron Minister of the Armed Services on 17 May, in the First Government of Edouard Philippe. In this capacity, she ranked above her immediate predecessor and foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in the government hierarchy. She was only the second woman to head the ministry, which reverted to its pre-1974 name of Ministry of the Armed Forces.[4] Goulard was replaced by Florence Parly, a former executive and budget official, in the 21 June government reshuffle.[5] She had stepped down after an inquiry over alleged misuse of payments for assistants in the European Parliament[6] was opened on 20 June 2017.[7]

Nomination to be France's European CommissionerEdit

On 28th August 2019 President Macron nominated Goulard to be the French Commissioner in the von der Leyen Commission and lead the newly-established Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space.

Other activitiesEdit

Political positionsEdit

Goulard, a centrist, strongly supports NATO and the European Union, and holds hawkish views on the regimes of Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In 2004, before accession discussions were opened with Turkey, Goulard had taken a position in the debate citing concerns about the eventual enlargement of the European Union to include Turkey by underlining the necessity of preserving the European Union's political ambitions and its capacity to act. She also called for doubts of citizens, facing a European project whose direction they do not properly understand, to be taken seriously.

Following the 2014 elections, Goulard joined fellow MEPs Othmar Karas, Sven Giegold, Sophie in 't Veld and Alessia Mosca in an open letter aimed at exerting pressure on the President of the European Commission and national government leaders during the nominations process to improve the gender balance in the composition of the European Commission.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

She is married to Guillaume Goulard, councilor of state, and is mother of three children.


  • Le Grand Turc et la République de Venise, Fayard, 2004 Prix du livre pour l’Europe 2005.
  • Le Partenariat privilégié, alternative à l’adhésion en collaboration avec Rudolf Scharping, Karl Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg, Pierre Defraigne, Carlo Altomonte, Lucas Delattre, Note bleue de la Fondation Schuman no 38, 6 décembre 2006
  • Le Coq et la Perle, Seuil, février 2007
  • L'Europe pour les nuls, First, 2007 ; 3e édition, 2014 Prix du Livre européen de l'essai 2009.
  • Il faut cultiver notre jardin européen, Seuil, juin 2008
  • La Mondialisation pour les Nuls, de Francis Fontaine avec Brune de Bodman et Sylvie Goulard, First, 2010
  • De la démocratie en Europe, avec Mario Monti, Flammarion, 2012
  • Europe : amour ou chambre à part, Flammarion, 2013, coll. « Café Voltaire »
  • Goodbye Europe, Flammarion, 2016


  1. ^ "Sylvie Goulard appointed deputy governor at Banque de France". Politico Europe. 17 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  2. ^ "8th parliamentary term - Sylvie GOULARD - MEPs - European Parliament". Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  3. ^ Sébastien Le Fol (28 November 2016), Sylvie Goulard veut réveiller le Parlement européen Le Point.
  4. ^ John Irish (17 May 2017), Macron emphasises EU in French foreign, defence ministry postings Reuters.
  5. ^ "Macron reshuffles Cabinet, boosts women to top posts". France 24. AP. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  6. ^ Anne-Sylvaine Chassany and Claire Jones (January 17, 2017), [1] Financial Times.
  7. ^ "French defence minister quits over new EU fake jobs inquiry". France 24. AP. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  8. ^ Strategic Advisory Board French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).
  9. ^ Advisory Group New Pact for Europe.
  10. ^ Cynthia Kroet (26 June 2014), A shortage of women round the Commission table European Voice.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Jean-Yves Le Drian
Minister of the Armed Forces
Succeeded by
Florence Parly
Preceded by
Pierre Moscovici
French European Commissioner

Taking office 2019