Vincent Peillon

Vincent Benoît Camille Peillon (French pronunciation: ​[vɛ̃sɑ̃ pɛjɔ̃]; born 7 July 1960) is a French politician who served as Minister for Education in the French Government. He is a longstanding French politician and, from 2014 until 2019, served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for North West France (allied with the Socialist Party and the Party of European Socialists).

Vincent Peillon
Vincent Peillon le 1er juin 2012 au rectorat d'Orléans.JPG
Vincent Peillon in 2012
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 2014 – 2019
ConstituencySouth-East France
French Minister of National Education
In office
10 May 2012 – 2 April 2014
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Prime MinisterJean-Marc Ayrault
Preceded byLuc Chatel
Succeeded byBenoît Hamon
Personal details
Born (1960-07-07) 7 July 1960 (age 62)
Suresnes, France
Political partySocialist Party
Alma materPanthéon-Sorbonne University

Early life and educationEdit

After a degree in Philosophy at Panthéon-Sorbonne University (class of 1980), Peillon became a high school teacher (junior teaching qualification in 1984 and senior teaching qualification in 1986). He remained a teacher until 1992. He worked one year at Henri Emmanuelli staff at the Assemblée nationale and resumed his teaching between 1993 and 1997. Peillon completed graduate studies at Pantheon-Sorbonne University, graduating with a PhD in Philosophy in 1992. He was Senior Research Fellow at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique between 2002 and 2004, working on ante-marxist socialism.

Political careerEdit

Early careerEdit

  • Secretary of the Socialist Party's group of experts (1993–94)
  • Seconded to the First Secretary of the Socialist Party (1995–97)
  • National research secretary of the Socialist Party (1997–2000)
  • Member of the Socialist Party national bureau (since 1994)

Member of the National Assembly, 1997–2002Edit

Peillon served as a Member of the National Assembly from 1997 until 2002. During his time in office, he was the chairman of the National Assembly's inquiry into money laundering (1999–2002). He also served as the Socialist Party's national spokesman (2000–02).

In a 2000 report co-authored with Arnaud Montebourg, Peillon alleged that Monaco had lax policies with respect to money laundering, including within its famed casino, and that the government of Monaco had been placing political pressure on the judiciary, so that alleged crimes were not properly investigated. In a move to counter efforts by former Socialist Finance Ministers Laurent Fabius and Dominique Strauss-Kahn to recast the Socialist Party as centrist and market-friendly, Peillon joined Montebourg and Julien Dray in 2002 in writing an article for the newspaper Libération, saying the Socialists faced a "crisis of confidence" under its chairman François Hollande. In a clear challenge to the party's free-market wing, the three called on Socialists to "fight more effectively and resolutely against the ferocity of the new capitalism and the excesses of deregulation."[1]

In 2007, Peillon joined Ségolène Royal's campaign team as a spokesperson, alongside Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and Montebourg.

Minister of Education, 2012–2014Edit

After the election of François Hollande, Vincent Peillon was appointed Minister of Education on May 16, 2012. The day after his nomination, he announced the end of the four-day week in primary education (introduced in 2008) for September 2013, and then the return to a five-day week. He also promised to recruit 40 000 new teachers in 2013.[2]

Amid his government's plans for a legalization of same-sex marriage in 2013, Peillon caused a national debate when he called on Catholic schools, which teach about one-fifth of all pupils in France, to stay neutral in the debate.[3]

Member of the European Parliament, 2014–2019Edit

Peillon was again elected as Member of the European Parliament in the 2014 elections; he and his Socialist colleagues gathered 14% of the votes.[4] He joined the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In addition to his committee assignments, he was a member of the parliament’s delegations for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union as well as to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean.

In the Socialist Party's primaries, Peillon ran to become the party's candidate in the 2017 French presidential election;[5] he eventually lost against Benoît Hamon.[6][7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Carol Matlack (October 21, 2002), A Party at War with Itself Bloomberg News.
  2. ^ "Peillon annonce le retour à la semaine de 5 jours en primaire à la rentrée 2013 - francetv info". 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  3. ^ Tom Heneghan (January 6, 2013), France's Hollande escalates row with Catholics over gay marriage Reuters.
  4. ^ Pierre de Boisséson (May 26, 2014), Front National delivers body-blow to mainstream parties European Voice.
  5. ^ John Irish (December 17, 2016), Seven candidates to compete in French left-wing presidential primaries Reuters.
  6. ^ Anne-Sylvaine Chassany (January 13, 2017), France’s Socialist contenders expose deep divisions in TV debate Financial Times.
  7. ^ Lucy Williamson (January 21, 2017), France's Socialists open battle for party's future BBC News.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of National Education
Succeeded by