Michel Barnier

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Michel Barnier
Barnier, Michel-9568.jpg
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
In office
9 February 2010 – 1 November 2014
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Charlie McCreevy
Succeeded by Elżbieta Bieńkowska (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs)
Jonathan Hill (Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union)
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
31 March 2004 – 31 March 2005
Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin
Preceded by Dominique de Villepin
Succeeded by Philippe Douste-Blazy
European Commissioner for Regional Policy
In office
13 September 1999 – 31 March 2004
President Romano Prodi
Preceded by Monika Wulf-Mathies
Succeeded by Jacques Barrot
Personal details
Born (1951-01-09) 9 January 1951 (age 68)
La Tronche, France
Political party Rally for the Republic
(Before 2002)
Union for a Popular Movement (2002–present)
Spouse(s) Isabelle Altmayer
Alma mater Paris School of Business
ESCP Europe

Michel Barnier (born 9 January 1951) is a French Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) politician and Vice President of the European People's Party (EPP).

Barnier was appointed Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries in the French government on 18 June 2007, stepping down on 7 June 2009 upon his election as an MEP in the European Parliament. He served as European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services under Barroso.


Born at La Tronche in Isère, Rhône-Alpes, Barnier graduated from ESCP Europe in 1972. He served on the staff of various Gaullist ministers in the 1970s, before being elected in 1978, aged 27, to the French National Assembly as Deputy for the Department of Savoie representing the neo-Gaullists, Rally for the Republic (RPR), serving until 1993.

Together with Jean-Claude Killy he organised the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville as co-president of the COJO (Comité d'Organisation des Jeux Olympiques).

Michel Barnier and Boyko Borisov at the 2011 EPP summit at Bouchout Castle, Meise.

Barnier first joined the French Cabinet as Minister of the Environment following the Right's landslide victory in the 1993 legislative election. In 1995, Jacques Chirac appointed him Secretary of State for European Affairs, serving as such until the defeat of the presidential majority in the 1997 legislative election. Barnier then served as a European Commissioner for Regional Policy in the Prodi Commission from 1999 until 31 March 2004. Then he served as Foreign Minister of France in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's government until 5 June 2005 when Dominique de Villepin replaced him with Philippe Douste-Blazy. He considered he was unjustly sanctioned for the victory of the "No" in the French referendum over the European Constitution.

In March 2006, he was elected Vice President of the European People's Party (EPP) for a three-year term. Under Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency, upon the reshuffle of the French cabinet, caused by the resignation of Alain Juppé after the 2007 French legislative election, he re-joined the French Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture. Considered as one of the main right-wing proponents of European issues, he led the UMP list in Ile-de-France for the 2009 European Parliament election. In February 2010 he was confirmed as European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services.[1][2][3] In charge of European banking system reform, he argues for a "coherent single market with intelligent rules that apply everywhere".[4]

He was twice appointed Acting Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship in Antonio Tajani's stead, from 19 April 2014 – 25 May 2014 while he was on electoral campaign leave for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament and from 1 July 2014 – 16 July 2014 after he took up his seat.[5][6]

As European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, he handled many important issues, such as the reform of the financial sector (40 pieces of legislation between 2010 and 2014), the banking union (starting with the Single Supervisory Mechanism) and the digital single market.[7]


Michel Barnier 2014 in the European parliament

European Commission

European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services : 2010-2014

European Commissioner for Regional Policy : 1999–2004.

French Government

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries : 2007–2009.

Minister of Foreign Affairs : 2004–2005.

Minister of European Affairs : 1995–1997.

Minister of the Environment : 1993–1995.

Electoral mandates

European Parliament

Member of European Parliament : 2009–2010 (Resignation).

National Assembly of France

Member of the National Assembly of France for Savoie : 1978–1993 (Became minister in 1993). Elected in 1978, reelected in 1981, 1986, 1988, 1993.

Senate of France

Senator of Savoie : Elected in 1995, but he remains minister / 1997–1999 (Resignation, became European commissioner in 1999).

General Council

President of the General Council of Savoie : 1982–1999 (Resignation, became European commissioner in 1999). Reelected in 1985, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998.

General councillor of Savoie : 1973–1999 (Resignation, became European commissioner in 1999). Reelected in 1979, 1985, 1992, 1998.



  1. "Michel Barnier to take over internal market portfolio". Euobserver. 2009-11-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Philip Aldrick (30 Nov 2009). "Michel Barnier looks to calm City nerves about reform". The Telegraph. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Summary of Hearing of Michel Barnier". European Parliament. 2010-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Castle, Stephen (12 July 2013). "European Union Offers Berlin Compromise on Bank Proposal". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. EU Observer – Six Commissioners Head for EU Election Campaign Trail
  6. KUNA – Barroso announces caretaker replacements following resignation of 4 EU Commissioners
  7. Five years of laying the foundations of new growth in Europe (PDF). European Commission. 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Yves-Thibault de Silguy
French European Commissioner
Served alongside: Pascal Lamy
Succeeded by
Jacques Barrot
Preceded by
Édith Cresson
Preceded by
Monika Wulf-Mathies
European Commissioner for Regional Policy
Preceded by
Dominique de Villepin
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Philippe Douste-Blazy
Preceded by
Jacques Barrot
French European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Pierre Moscovici
Preceded by
Charlie McCreevy
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
Succeeded by
Elżbieta Bieńkowska
as European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Succeeded by
Jonathan Hill
as European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union