A doctor of pharmacy who graduated top of her class at university, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin comes from a family of health care professionals, as both of her parents were doctors of dental surgery. On leaving university, she built on her studies by continuing her research in the field of infrared and Raman spectrophotometry, looking at the influence of metal atoms on carbon-hydrogen bonds in complex molecules.
She managed a pharmacy in Angers from 1984 to 1991 and represented the Regional Council on the Administrative Board of Angers University Hospital from 1986 to 2004.
She was elected General Councillor for Maine-et-Loire in 1982, and then Regional Councillor and Vice-President of the Pays de la Loire region in 1986. In 1988 she was elected Member of Parliament for Maine-et-Loire and served on the Social Affairs Committee until 2002 without interruption. As a member of that committee, she devoted her parliamentary work to issues of health, social protection, exclusion, occupational health, bioethics and disability. During this period, she regularly acted as the designated rapporteur or spokesperson on key legislation in the areas of health and social affairs.
Within the RPR, she led working groups on addiction, medicines, hospitals, public health, research and disability.
Her strong commitment to people with disabilities led to her chairing the parliamentary group on people with disabilities, and from 1995 to 1998 she chaired the National Council for People with Disabilities. She sits on the Honorary Committee of the French Association for the Paralysed.
In 1997, her colleagues chose her to chair the group of RPR members on the Social Affairs Committee and act as spokesperson for the group on key legislation during that term of office: legislation on the reduction of working time, youth employment and universal health care cover.
Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin has always shown a strong interest in key issues relating to public health and the rights of individuals. She went against the orders of the RPR and voted in favour of the “Evin law”. She is active in a number of associations involved in the fight against AIDS, and her feminist beliefs inform her resolute advocacy of contraception and abortion. As a result of her determined efforts in the area of women’s rights, she was chosen to head the Observatory for Gender Parity when it was established in 1995, a position she held until 1998.
As Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development from 2002 to 2004, she oversaw the drafting of the Environmental Charter, insisting in particular that “the right to live in a balanced environment which is conducive to health” appear right at the beginning in Article 1. Her time as Minister was notable in particular for the adoption of the Law on the prevention of technological and natural risks of 31 July 2003 and the national flood prevention plan. She was also behind the first National Environmental Health Plan.
A Member of the European Parliament since June 2004, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin sits on the Committee on Social Affairs and is Vice-Chair of the Committee on People with Disabilities.