France, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister for Solidarity and Social Cohesion

 

A PhD in pharmacy, who graduated top of her class, Roselyne Bachelot-Narqiun, was born into a family of healthcare professionals – both her parents were dental surgeons. Upon leaving university, she built upon her university career by pursuing her research in infrared and Raman spectrophotometry on the influence of metallic atoms on carbon-hydrogen bonds in complex molecules.

 

She owned a pharmacy in Angers from 1984 to 1991 and was a member of the Governing Board of Angers University Hospital from 1986 to 2004, as part of the regional council.

 

Elected departmental councillor of the Maine-et-Loire department in 1982, then regional councillor and vice chairperson of the Pays-de-la-Loire region in 1986, she was elected deputy of Maine-et-Loire in 1988 and served a continuous term until 2002 on the Social Affairs Committee, where she devoted her parliamentary work to the issues of health, social welfare, exclusion, occupational health, bioethics, and disabilities. During this period, she was regularly appointed as General Rapporteur or Speaker on major health and social issues.

 

Within the RPR, she led working groups on addiction, medication, hospitals, public health, research, and disabilities.

 

With her very strong commitment to disabled people, she became chairperson of the parliamentary group on disabled people. In addition, she chaired the French National Council of Disabled People from 1995 to 1998 and served on the French Paralysis Association Host Committee.

 

In 1997, her colleagues appointed her to chair the RPR member group of the Social Affairs Committee, serving as their speaker on important term-of-office issues: work time reduction, youth employment, and universal healthcare coverage.

 

Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin has always shown strong commitments to major public health and human rights issues. She opposed the RPR's instructions and decided to vote for the "Evin" Act. She is an activist in associations to fight AIDS, and her feminist commitments set the foundation for her battles for contraception and abortion. Her activism for women's rights led her to the head of the Gender Equality Watch from its creation in 1995 until 1998.

 

Appointed Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development from 2002 to 2004, she oversaw the drafting of the Environment Charter and, in particular, insisted that "the right to live in a balanced and healthy environment" appear in the very first article. Her term as minister was particularly notable for the adoption of the Technological and Natural Risk Prevention Act of 31 July 2003 and the national flood prevention plan. She also began the first National Environment & Health Plan.

 

Elected a Member of the European Parliament in June 2004, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin served on the Social Affairs Committee and is the vice chair of the Commission on Disabled Persons.

 

She was appointed Minister for Health and Sports from May 2007 to November 2010 and since then she is appointed Minister for Solidarities and Social Cohesion.