Bernard Cazeneuve

Bernard Cazeneuve
Minister of the Interior
Assumed office
2 April 2014
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Preceded by Manuel Valls
Minister of State for the Budget
In office
19 March 2013  2 April 2014
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Preceded by Jérôme Cahuzac
Succeeded by Christian Eckert
Minister of State for European Affairs
In office
16 May 2012  19 March 2013
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Preceded by Jean Leonetti
Succeeded by Thierry Repentin
Mayor of Cherbourg-Octeville
In office
Preceded by Jean-Pierre Godefroy
Succeeded by Jean-Michel Houllegate
Member of the National Assembly
for 's 5th constituency
In office
20 June 2007  16 June 2012
Preceded by Jean Lemière
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
In office
12 June 1997  18 June 2002
Preceded by Yves Bonnet
Succeeded by Jean Lemière
Personal details
Born (1963-06-02) 2 June 1963
Senlis, France
Political party Socialist Party
Alma mater Institut d'études politiques de Bordeaux

Bernard Cazeneuve (born 2 June 1963)[1] is a French Socialist politician and current Minister of the Interior.[2] Born in Senlis, Oise, Cazeneuve rose to prominence with his election as a deputy of the National Assembly representing the 5th constituency of Manche in 1997, and as mayor of Cherbourg-Octeville in 2001.[3]

In 2012, he was appointed Minister of State for European Affairs in the first Ayrault Government, and in 2013 was named Minister of State for the Budget in the second Ayrault Government after the resignation of Jérôme Cahuzac. On 2 April 2014 he was appointed the 42nd Minister of the Interior in the First Valls Government, a role he retained on 27 August 2014 with the formation of the Second Valls Government.

Early life and career

Born on 2 June 1963 in Senlis, Oise department, Cazeneuve was exposed to politics from a young age. His father was the head of the Socialist Party in Oise, which gave him the opportunity to attend a meeting with François Mitterrand. During his studies at the Institut d'études politiques de Bordeaux, he led the Young Radicals of the Left movement in the Gironde department. After graduating from IEP de Bordeaux, he joined the Socialist Party.

Cazeneuve began his career as a legal adviser in the Groupe Banque Populaire, before starting in politics. In 1991, he became a Councillor in the cabinet of Thierry de Beaucé, Secretary of State for International Cultural Relations, then in 1992, Principal Private Secretary for Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Alain Vivien. In 1993, he was appointed Principal Private Secretary in the cabinet of Charles Josselin, Secretary of State for the Sea. That same year, he was named Secretary General of the Council on Boating and Nautical Sports.

Manche and Cherbourg

Rising in the Socialist Party, Cazeneuve moved in 1994 to Octeville in Manche department to put an end to local divisions in party politics, which had led to a loss of the mayor's office in 1989. That same year, he was elected Departmental Councillor, and the next year was elected mayor of Octeville. In 1997, he was elected to the National Assembly representing the 5th Constituency of Manche, campaigning on the issue of a "Greater Cherbourg", which would combine the six communes of the Cherbourg urban agglomeration. This issue went to referendum, and led to the combination of two communes, Cherbourg and Octeville. Cazeneuve was elected mayor of this new commune of Cherbourg-Octeville in 2001, succeeding Jean-Pierre Godefroy and defeating the Rally for the Republic candidate Jean Lemière. His political ascent was interrupted by a defeat for reelection to his seat in the National Assembly in the 2002 elections.

At the same time, he pursued a judicial career, being named a judge to the Haute Cour de Justice and the Cour de Justice de la République during his term as a deputy to the National Assembly. He was called to the bar of Cherbourg-Octeville in 2003.

In 2004, François Hollande convinced Cazeneuve to join the Socialist Party electoral list for the 2004 regional elections, representing the Manche department in the Regional Council of Lower Normandy, after Jean-Pierre Godefroy withdrew from consideration. His strong favor for nuclear energy, particularly the construction of a new nuclear reactor on the Cotentin, caused a rift between the Socialist Party and The Greens, who allied with the Radical Party of the Left in the first round of the regional election. After the victory of the Socialist Party, led by Philippe Duron, Cazeneuve was appointed first Vice-President of the Regional Council and President of the Regional Norman Tourism Committee, comprising the regions of Upper and Lower Normandy.

In 2005 he supported the "no" vote on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. Between 2006 and 2008 Cazeneuve worked for a Paris law firm closely associated with the Socialist Party, August & Debouzy, in their "Public, Regulation, and Competition" practice.

Second term as deputy

In 2007, Cazeneuve represented the Socialist Party in the legislative election for the 5th Constituency of Manche, beating UMP candidate Jean Lemière with 58.96% of the vote. After this victory he resigned from his position with the Regional Council of Lower Normandy. Then, facing divided opposition from the right in the 2008 municipal elections, he retained his position as mayor of Cherbourg-Octeville. In his second term as mayor he campaigned to promote the maritime character of the city, organizing a nautical festival that featured an international sailing competition. He also focused on urban renewal of the Bassins and Provinces quarters of Cherbourg-Octeville, bringing together commercial and cultural projects.

On the national level, he represented the victims of the 2002 Karachi bus bombing, who were mostly from Cotentin, against their employer DCNS. As Secretary of the Commission on National Defense in the National Assembly, he was recorder between November 2009 and May 2010 of the Parliamentary inquiry into the Karachi attack. Due to the lack of government transparency regarding the Karachi case, Cazeneuve wrote a book titled Karachi, the impossible investigation.

After supporting no candidate in the 2011 Socialist Party presidential primary, he was named as one of candidate François Hollande's four spokespersons. He spoke to the media on issues related to industry and nuclear power, particularly the latter due to his role in not postponing the construction of a new reactor at the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant and the reprocessing of nuclear waste at the La Hague site.

Minister of State for European Affairs

Mentioned as a potential minister, notably for the Defense portfolio, he was named on 16 May 2012 as Minister of State for European Affairs, serving under Laurent Fabius in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the 2012 legislative elections he was reelected to the National Assembly in the newly redrawn 4th Constituency of Manche, with Geneviève Gosselin, the deputy mayor of Cherbourg-Octeville, as his alternate. He won the election in June with 55.39% of the vote, but had to resign to assume his post in the new government, leading to Gosselin becoming the new deputy to the National Assembly. He also resigned as mayor of Cherbourg-Octeville, with the position being taken by Jean-Michel Houllegatte. As minister, he was tasked with defending the 2012 European Fiscal Compact to Socialist deputies in the National Assembly.

Minister of State for the Budget

On 19 March 2013 he was named Minister of State for the Budget after the resignation of Jérôme Cahuzac, who was accused of fraud. He was replaced as Minister of State for European Affairs by Thierry Repentin, formerly Minister of State for Professional Training and Apprenticeship. He affirmed a policy of reducing the deficit to save 5 billion euros from the national budget for 2014. He intervened personally in the National Assembly to bury an amendment enlarging the tax base for a proposed tax on transactions for high frequency trading, one of François Hollande's campaign promises. He also proposed an amendment to increase the value added tax on equestrian activities from 7% to 20%, called the "equitax," which encountered strong opposition from professionals and amateurs in the equestrian world.

Minister of the Interior

On 2 April 2014 Cazeneuve was named Minister of the Interior in the First Valls Government. In January 2015 he directed the response to the Île-de-France attacks.

During a vote on a counter-terrorism law, he proposed an amendment that would give authority to demand that search engines de-list certain website without the approval of a judge. In July 2015 he proposed a reform to the rights of foreigners in France, which would fundamentally change policies concerning entry and length of stay.

As a spokesman for France after the 18 November 2015 killing of the suspected mastermind of the terrorists responsible for the November 2015 Paris attacks, Cazeneuve told the press that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Moroccan who was a Belgian national who had visited Syria, "played a decisive role" in the Paris attacks and played a part in four of six terror attacks foiled since spring, with one alleged jihadist claiming Abaaoud had trained him personally.[4]

Cazeneuve said that he would be meeting with EU ministers on 20 November in Brussels to discuss how to deal with terrorism across the territory because “cooperation in the fight against terrorism is crucial” in the European Union. “We have to move quickly and strongly. Europe must do it while thinking about the victims of terrorism and their loved ones.”[5]

Reports after that meeting indicated that all EU citizens entering or leaving the free-travel area, known as Schengen, should undergo “systematic” screening against pan-European databases. “Terrorists are crossing the borders of the European Union,” said Cazeneuve. Indeed, all of the known Paris attackers were EU nationals, who crossed borders without difficulty although they were registered as terrorism suspects, according to The Guardian. Cazeneuve, said the clampdown on borders would take effect immediately. This would be on a temporary basis until the European commission modified the Schengen rules to make the new borders regime mandatory and obligatory; that could take months to enact.[6]

Private life

Cazeneuve is married, with two children.


  1. "Ministre de l'Intérieur: Bernard Cazeneuve". Le Gouvernement France.
  2. 16 ministers in Valls' government April 02, 2014
  3. Assemblée Nationale M. Bernard Cazeneuve
  4. Botelho, Greg; Shoichet, Catherine E. (20 November 2015). "Paris attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud dead". CNN US Edition. Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  5. Bloomberg and Associated Press (19 November 2015). "Paris attacks suspected mastermind killed in Saint-Denis raids". World. Toronto Star. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  6. Traynor, Ian (20 November 2015). "EU ministers order tighter border checks in response to Paris attacks". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Jean Leonetti
Minister of State for European Affairs
Succeeded by
Thierry Repentin
Preceded by
Jérôme Cahuzac
Minister of State for the Budget
Succeeded by
Christian Eckert
Preceded by
Manuel Valls
Minister of the Interior
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