Macron announces composition of new French government

Emmanuel Macron, France’s new president, has appointed Edouard Philippe (Les Republicains) as prime minister. Following Philippe's nomination, Macron unveiled the composition of his new government. For the first time, the French government counts nine women and nine men, though as ‘The Guardian’ points out, “only one [woman] gets a top role”. Further, the ‘Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development’, responsible for French ODA policy, has been renamed 'Ministry of Europe and of Foreign Affairs' in the new government. This new Ministry is now led by Jean-Yves Le Drian (Socialist Party), former Ministry of Defense under Holland.

Composition of the Government – Government website

News report – The Guardian


President of AFD reiterates France’s priorities for Africa

Following a symposium entitled ‘Whole of Africa: The Issues of a continentwide approach’, President of the French Development Agency (AFD), Rémy Rioux, published an interview detailing the work of the agency in Africa. In it, he reiterates that Africa is a strategic priority of the AFD, including for official development assistance. AFD allocates 50% of its funding to the continent. 

Mr. Rioux also details the AFD's strategic and operational commitments to Africa. They include:

  • A strong commitment to the fight against climate change, with €6 billion for energy access by 2020, including €3 billion for renewable energies specifically;
  • A focus on tackling crises, with the setup of a facility dedicated to addressing vulnerabilities, with a yearly €100 million financed from the financial transaction tax (FTT); and
  • Strengthened investments in infrastructure, including the launch of an equity infrastructure fund with an initial allocation of €600 million, co-financed with the Deposits and Consignments Funds (CDC).

Interview - AFD


European leaders call for more funding to fight drug-resistant TB

Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development hosted a high-level meeting in Brussels to discuss the threat of tuberculosis (TB) in Europe and encourage more financing for research and development (R&D). At the meeting, which was entitled “TB and European Health Security: The critical role of TB R&D in the context of AMR”, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), Vytenis Andriukaitis, along with government officials from France and the Netherlands underlined the urgent need to develop new tools to tackle multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and improve health security across Europe.

The meeting was jointly organized by the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), the Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI), and the German health NGO, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW).

Press release - TB Alliance

Emmanuel Macron elected as France’s new president

On May 7, 2017, the French people elected Emmanuel Macron as their new president, with 66.1% of the ballots. In this second round of the presidential elections, Macron, heading the ‘En Marche’ movement, faced Marine le Pen, who won 33.9% of the votes.

In previous declarations and interviews, Macron had committed to reaching the international development assistance target of 0.7% of GNI by 2030. The development-related positions of all candidates were detailed in a recent Devex article.

Macron will take over as President on Sunday, May 14, the end date of current president Francois Hollande’s five-year term, on May 14. The legislative elections that follow presidential elections in France are set to take place on June 11 and 18 of this year.

News report – Le Monde


French NGOs write letter urging voters to reject isolationism of National Front

In the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, 61 NGOs have published a letter calling on voters to reject the international withdrawal espoused by far-right party, the National Front, and its candidate Marine Le Pen, without directly naming her. Le Pen faces independent centrist Emmanuel Macron in a run-off that is widely portrayed as a contest between a more globally-centered France and a more inwardly-looking, nationalistic country. The NGOs encourage voters to participate in the second round of the election on May 7, 2017, amid reports that many – particularly left-leaning voters – may stay at home. They sympathize with disaffected voters, calling for a more just economic model and pledging to better engage with voters on the purpose of international engagement; however, the NGOs ultimately urge collective mobilization against “those who advocate withdrawal”. Attac, Emmaüs, the World Wildlife Fund, and Droits de l'Homme are among the NGOs who have penned the letter.

Website - Le Journal du Dimanche (in French)


Coordination SUD publishes list of asks for France's future president

France is currently between the two rounds of its presidential election, and the largest NGO umbrella organization, Coordination SUD, has published a declaration listing 'asks' for the future French president. They include a commitment to the 0.7% ODA/GNI target, respect for human rights and international law, a strong engagement in the fight against poverty and inequality, and a refusal of any type of ODA conditionality.

The next French president will be elected on May 7, 2017. French voters will choose between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

Declaration – Coordination SUD [in French]


Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen head to second round of French presidential elections

On April 23, France voted in the first round of the 2017 presidential elections, with centrist 'En Marche' candidate Emmanuel Macron and the far-right National Front's Marine Le Pen advancing to the second round 'run-off' to be held on May 7, 2017. Macron received 24% of the ballots and Le Pen 21.3%.

The French president engages in development issues through high-level commitments, and is influential in shaping the overall orientation of ODA policy. For information on the candidates' ODA positions, please see here.

Elections results – Ministry of the Interior
News article - Devex


Ahead of French elections, Coordination SUD says ODA should not be migration management tool

On April 19, 2017, one week ahead of the French presidential elections, Coordination SUD, the largest French NGO umbrella organization, published an opinion piece urging candidates not to use ODA and international solidarity as a migration management tool. While development cooperation has not been high on the campaign agenda, one of the main points of disagreement among the candidates has been ODA conditionality, and, more specifically, ties to migration-related agreements. The piece was published by Euractiv - a news outlet specialized in development.

Opinion piece – Euractiv


Devex publishes article on French presidential candidates and ODA

The development news-related outlet Devex has released a detailed analysis of the French presidential candidates' positions on ODA. The article focuses on the five main contenders – Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Emmanuel Macron, Benoît Hamon, Francois Fillon, and Marine LePen. It discusses where they stand on the 0.7% target and the conditionality of ODA, as well as their differing views on priorities and modalities of development cooperation. The article is accessible on the Devex website (see below).

News article - Devex


France’s net ODA increased 4.6% in 2016

Preliminary data from the OECD finds that France’s net Official Development Assistance (ODA) increased 4.6% in 2016, driven by increased bilateral lending. Net ODA, which deducts loan repayments, reached US$9.5 billion in 2016, based on 2015 prices and exchange rates, up from about US$9 billion in 2015. That was also enough to lift France’s ratio of ODA to GNI to 0.38% from 0.37% in 2015 in current prices.

Click here to find out more on the OECD's preliminary data across other Donor Tracker countries.

Summary - OECD