President Emmanuel Macron and Secretary-General of the Elysée Alexis Kohler arrive at the Defense Council of Ukraine on 26 February 2022 at the Elysée Palace in Paris (POOL / CHRISTIAN HARTMANN)
They work in the shadow of the Elysée, in full light on the political scene or in civil society: Emmanuel Macron is dependent on men and women – fewer in number – with different backgrounds to preside over France for five years and lead the presidential campaign.
The Elysée team
Secretary-General of the Elysée Palace Alexis Kohler on the steps of the Elysée Palace on 6 July 2020 in Paris (POOL / BENOIT TESSIER)
– Alexis Kohler. He is the right arm of the president, to whom he has been loyal for eight years. This 49-year-old senior official is extremely discreet and stays away from the media and has held the strategic position of Secretary-General of the Elysée since the start of the five-year term. Installed in an office next to the president, he manages emergencies, major economic and social issues on a daily basis, but also political ones, and “keeps house” when Emmanuel Macron is on the move. He has been the target of a judicial inquiry since June 2020 regarding his links with the Italian-Swiss shipowner MSC, and of a PNF inquiry opened in June 2021 on suspicion of “influence trading” around the Veolia-Suez merger.
Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte on April 20, 2022 in Paris before the debate between the two presidential candidates (POOL / Ludovic MARIN)
-Brigitte Macron. She has no official position in the Elysée and presents her role as “presidential wife”. But his influence is great by his side, according to those around him, and she has publicly admitted to having sometimes “muscular” exchanges with him.
– Office. It consists of about 60 people and has been deeply renewed several times since 2017. Some of them make sure the Elysée works smoothly, such as Cabinet Director Patrick Strzoda, while others, recruited for their expertise, advise the President on major issues such as security, employment or culture.
Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Adviser to President Emmanuel Macron, on 28 February 2022 at the Elysée Palace in Paris following a Defense Council on Ukraine (AFP / Ludovic MARIN)
Very influential, the diplomatic pole includes a dozen diplomats, led by Emmanuel Bonne, “sherpa” for the president to major international meetings.
Among the advisers closest to Emmanuel Macron are Jonathan Guémas, who is in charge of speaking, Clément Léonarduzzi, who has taken over the communications, and Bruno Roger-Petit, a former journalist who oversees memory issues.
Finally, Emmanuel Macron can count on a relative in Matignon, his wedding witness: economist Marc Ferracci, adviser in charge of overseeing the recovery plan with Jean Castex.
Richard Ferrand (G) and François Bayrou following the debate between the two rounds of presidential elections, 20 April 2022 in Saint-Denis (AFP / Ludovic MARIN)
They do not have an office at the Elysée, but have their entrances there or exchange by phone, SMS or on the social networking loops with the president. They come from the right, center or left and have joined Emmanuel Macron before or since the 2017 victory.
Some of them appear as “grognards” with experience in political struggles, such as François Bayrou, former presidential candidate and head of the modem, who has the authority to say what he thinks about the head of state and sometimes openly express their disagreements.
Among the other elected representatives from the “old world” before 2017 are Richard Ferrand, ex-socialist who chairs the National Assembly, the head of the deputies En Marche Christophe Castaner or the ministers stamped on the right as those from the Economy Bruno The Mayor, interior Gérald Darmanin and overseas Sébastien Lecornu.
Foreign Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune on 30 March 2022 at the Elysée Palace in Paris (AFP / Ludovic MARIN)
Young members of the government, such as Clément Beaune, Julien Denormandie and Gabriel Attal, also have a growing influence.
The political expertise of Thierry Solère, deputy from the right, and Stéphane Séjourné, chair of the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament, are also sought after by Emmanuel Macron.
Grégoire Potton, Coordinator of Emmanuel Macron’s Campaign, March 17, 2022 in Aubervilliers (AFP / Ludovic MARIN)
Without appearing in public, certain pillars of the 2017 campaign continue to weigh, such as former adviser David Amiel or Grégoire Potton coordinating the campaign, in which Deputy Roland Lescure and former Deputy Secretary-General of the Elysée also play an important role. Anne de Bayser.
On guard against the political “bubble”, Emmanuel Macron also seeks to consult personalities from civilian life, whether in the business world, digital, culture or even sports.
Producer Jean-Marc Dumontet leaves the Elysée Palace on 29 June 2020 in Paris following a meeting between the President and the 150 members of the Citizen’s Climate Convention (AFP / Ludovic MARIN)
Like Jean-Marc Dumontet, head of several Parisian theaters, host Stéphane Bern on the legacy or head of the social and solidarity economics group Jean-Marc Borello. The family tradition obliges, he also appreciates the exchanges with doctors.