|Prime Minister of France|
Assumed office |
1 April 2014
|Preceded by||Jean-Marc Ayrault|
|Minister of the Interior|
16 May 2012 – 1 April 2014
|Prime Minister||Jean-Marc Ayrault|
|Preceded by||Claude Guéant|
|Succeeded by||Bernard Cazeneuve|
|Mayor of Évry|
18 March 2001 – 24 May 2012
|Preceded by||Christian Olivier|
|Succeeded by||Francis Chouat|
|Member of the National Assembly|
from Essonne's 1st district
Assumed office |
19 June 2002
|Preceded by||Jacques Guyard|
Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti|
13 August 1962
|Political party||Socialist Party|
Nathalie Soulié (divorced)|
Anne Gravoin (2010–present)
|Alma mater||Pantheon-Sorbonne University|
Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti (French: [ma.nɥɛl vals], Catalan: [mənuˈɛl ˈβaʎs], Spanish: [maˈnwel ˈβals]; born 13 August 1962) is a French politician who has been the Prime Minister of France since 31 March 2014. He was the Minister of the Interior from 2012 to 2014. He is a member of the Socialist Party.
Born in Barcelona to a Spanish father and a Swiss mother, Valls was Mayor of Évry from 2001 to 2012 and was first elected to the National Assembly of France in 2002. He is regarded as belonging to the Socialist Party's social liberal wing, sharing common orientations with Scandinavian-style social democracy and Blairism.
Early life and family
Valls' paternal grandfather was the editor-in-chief of a Republican newspaper in Spain. During the Spanish Civil War, he sheltered priests who were fleeing from the Red Terror. After Francisco Franco's victory, he was forced out of his job as editor. Valls' father was the Barcelona-born painter Xavier Valls (1923–2006).
In the late 1940s, Xavier Valls moved to Paris and met his future wife, Luisangela Galfetti, a Ticino-born Swiss citizen, the sister of architect Aurelio Galfetti. In 1955, he won the prize for best still life in the third Spanish-American Art Biennial inaugurated by Franco. Manuel Valls was born in Barcelona while his parents were there on holiday but grew up in France.
In 1980, aged 17, Valls joined the French Socialist Party (PS) to support Michel Rocard. Within the PS, he defended the 'Second left' (La Deuxième gauche), rather than the more pragmatic left of François Mitterrand. (The Second left could be compared to the 1960s 'New Left' – opposed to party lines and bureaucracy, anti-statist, supportive of anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist movements worldwide, favoring direct action politics.) While studying history at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Tolbiac campus, he was a member of the UNEF-ID, a progressive students' union.
In 1980, he met two other student supporters of Rocard with whom he became close friends: Alain Bauer (Bauer is the godfather of Valls' second son), and Stéphane Fouks.
From 1983-86, Valls was a parliamentary attaché for the member for Ardèche, Robert Chapuis. In 1986 he was elected to the regional Council for the Île-de-France and served until 1992. In 1988, he became head of the Socialist Party in Argenteuil-Bezons and deputy mayor. From 1988-91 he was responsible for function of the Prime Minister's Cabinet. From 1991-93 he was an inter-ministerial delegate to the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. In 1995, he became the Secretary of Communications for the national Socialist Party and in 1997 responsible for communications and media relations for the Prime Minister's Cabinet. In 1998 he was elected vice president of the regional Council for the Île-de-France which he held until 2002.
While vice president of the regional Council, he was also elected as mayor of Évry in 2001, until 2012. In 2002, he became the Deputy for the First Electoral District in Essonne and in 2008, the President of the tri-city jurisdiction Évry-Centre-Essonne.
On 13 June 2009, Valls announced his intention to run for the Socialist Presidential Primary in 2011 for the 2012 election. On 30 June 2009 he founded a political organization with the slogan "The Left Needs Optimism," to provide legal and financial support the Socialist Primary candidates. On 7 June 2011, he confirmed his candidacy for the Socialist primary. On the evening of the first primary round, 9 October 2011, Valls achieved only 6% of the vote, just behind Ségolène Royal. He was therefore eliminated. On the night of his defeat, he endorsed François Hollande for the second round. Valls was appointed Minister of the Interior in the Ayrault Cabinet in May 2012.
Prime Minister and critics
In March 2014, following major losses to centre-right and extreme-right political parties in French municipal elections, President François Hollande appointed Valls to the post of Prime Minister. He replaced Jean-Marc Ayrault who had resigned earlier that day. The Valls Cabinet was formed on 2 April 2014, consisting of 16 ministers from the Socialist Party and one minister from the Radical Party of the Left.
After the 2016 Nice attack, he was criticised for saying that "France will have to live with terrorism." French citizens booed him when he joined the memorial for the victims, yelling "murderer" and "resign" at him before the minute of silence for the dead began.
Valls is on the "right wing" of the Socialist Party, with a similar approach to the German and Dutch Social Democratic Parties. During the 2011 presidential primary, he defined himself as "Blairiste" or "Clintonien", and described his position as "in the tradition of Pierre Mendès France, Lionel Jospin and Michel Rocard". As prime minister he openly said that he liked the comparison with the new Italian premier, Matteo Renzi, another thirdway-er.
Valls advocates an "economically realistic" political speech without "demagoguery". He voices his dissent in the party by his vision of individual responsibilities ("The new hope that the Left must carry is individual self-realization: to allow everyone to become that which they are") and his positions against a system where some people live only from national solidarity. Describing himself as "reformist rather than revolutionary," he wants to "reconcile the left to the liberal approach".
In his book To Put the Old Socialism to Rest ... And Finally be Left-Wing, he declared support for immigration "quotas".
In October 2013, his stance in the Dibrani case met with high public approval, with a global approval rate of 74% (57% approval rate from the left, and 89% from the right).
Valls supported the extension of the years of required pension-contribution to 41, as advocated and achieved by the Sarkozy administration. The extension means that due to the maximum mandatory retirement age of 62, only immigrants receiving the right to legally work around the age of 21 would be allowed to receive the pension to which they would have contributed throughout their careers. "The role of the Left is not to deny democratic changes, nor to hide the size of deficits ... The Left can advocate an à la carte pension system and increasing the pay-in period."
Views on religion
In 2002, as mayor of Évry, he opposed a branch of the national grocery store chain Franprix, located in a predominately Muslim neighborhood, deciding to sell only halal-certified meat/products and products that do not contain alcohol.
As parliamentarian and interior minister, he took strong stances on secularism, supported crackdowns on the wearing of niqābs in public and defended a nursery which sacked an employee for demanding to wear one at work. He had harsh words for anti-gay marriage protesters. When Catholics protested against "Golgota Picnic", he supported the theatre director in the name of freedom of speech.
When Dieudonné's quenelle gesture became viral in 2013, Valls said he would consider "all legal means" to ban Dieudonné's "public meetings", given that he "addresses in an obvious and insufferable manner the memory of victims of the Shoah."
On 12 October 2009, Valls expressed "total disagreement" with a proposal by Daniel Vaillant for decriminalization or legalization of cannabis. The plan involved depriving traffickers of a source of income. Valls argued, "The question of drugs that produce considerable damage in some neighbourhoods and nourish the underground economy, cannot be handled this way. There is a certain number of rules that cannot be removed."
Valls said after the 2015 Paris attacks that French society needed a "general mobilisation" against the appeal of "deadly" doctrines. After the 2016 Nice attack Valls said "Times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism, and we must face this together and show our collective sang-froid. France is a great country and a great democracy and we will not allow ourselves to be destabilized." The comments on the Nice attack provoked criticism in France.
- Knight Grand Cross in the National Order of Merit.
- Knight Grand Cross in the Senegalese National Order of Merit
- Prime Minister : Since 31 March 2014
- Minister of Interior : May 2012 to March 2014
- Member of the National Assembly of France for Essonne (1st constituency): 2002–2012. Elected in 2002, reelected in 2007 and 2012. He is replaced by his deputy Carlos Da Silva since 2012.
- Vice-president of the Regional Council of Île-de-France : 1998–2002 (Resignation).
- Regional councillor of Île-de-France: 1986–2002 (Resignation).
- Mayor of Évry: 2001–2012 (Resignation). Reelected in 2008.
- Municipal councillor of Évry : Since 2001. Reelected in 2008 and 2014
- Deputy-mayor of Argenteuil: 1989–1998 (Resignation).
In 1987, Valls married Nathalie Soulié, with whom he had 4 children before divorcing. On 1 July 2010, he married Anne Gravoin, a violinist and winner of the Conservatoire de Paris' prestigious Premier Prix for Violin and Chamber Orchestra.
- Les habits neufs de la gauche, éditions Robert Laffont, 2006
- La laïcité en face, a dialog with Virginie Malabard, Éditions Desclée de Brouwer, 2005
- Pour en finir avec le vieux socialisme... et être enfin de gauche, a dialog with Claude Askolovitch, Robert Laffont, 2008
- L'Exigence. Paris, France: Éditions Grasset. 2016.
- L'homme qui veut être le Sarko de la gauche, Le Point, #1820, 2 August 2007, pp. 24–27.(French)
- Biographie de Xavier Valls on claude-bernard.com website
- Ana María Preckler, Historia del arte universal de los siglos XIX y XX, Editorial Complutense, 2003, vol. II, p. 509; ISBN 9788474917079.(Spanish)
- Ratier, Emmanuel (2014). "Emmanuel Ratier répond aux menteurs de Canal+" (in French). E&R. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- Fraysse, Bertrand, "Passeur", challenges.fr, 29 November 2007.(French)
- Tchakaloff, Gaël. "Alain Bauer", Le Nouvel économiste no. 1292. vol. 4. 10 March 2005.(French)
- Alain Bauer and Emmanuel Ratier. "L'écrivain nationaliste: Faits & documents". no. 98. vol 15. 30 October 2000. (French) describes the relationship between the two men, and the work of Nathalie Soulié, Valls ex-wife, as the secretary for AB Associates, a personal security company founded by Bauer in the 1990s.
- "Archives Manuel Valls — mai 2012 - avril 2014/Archives — Ministère de l'Intérieur" (in French). Interieur.gouv.fr. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "French President Hollande names Valls as new PM". Bbc.com. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Manuel Valls nommé Premier ministre "de combat"" (in French). Liberation.fr. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "How the terror attacks have changed life for the French". Financial Times. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- "Attack on Nice: French PM Valls booed at commemoration". BBC.
- Frédéric Martel. "Sarkozy/Berlusconi, Valls/Renzi: l'Italie, nouveau modèle de la vie politique française" (in French). Franceinfo.fr. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Manuel Valls aime bien qu'on le compare à Matteo Renzi, beaucoup moins à Napoléon" (in French). Lelab.europe1.fr. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Retraites: Valls appelle à un "pacte national"; accessed 25 April 2015.(French)
- Megahigh (29 August 2013). "Manuel Valls Raciste Anti Noir". Youtube. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Opinion poll on "Les Français et l'affaire Leonarda"" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Ira, Kumaran and Lantier, Alex. After French regional election victory: Socialist Party leaders call for austerity policies, World Socialist website, 2 April 2010; retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "A Evry, le maire contre le Franprix halal" (in French). Bladi.net. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Stéphanie Le Bars, "Manuel Valls, partisan d'une « laïcité exigeante", Le Monde, 1 April 2014. (French)
- Eric Martin (10 January 2014). "Quand Valls défendait la liberté d'expression... à propos de Golgota Picnic, une pièce de théâtre antichrétienne" (in French). Ndf.fr. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "France to ban 'anti-Semitic' comedian" (in French). Radio France Internationale. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- "Cannabis: Valls en "désaccord total" avec la proposition de Vaillant" (in French). Tempsreel.nouvelobs.com. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Kim Willsher. "France to set up a dozen deradicalisation centres | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
- "French PM Valls booed as he attends tribute to Nice victims". Financial Times.
- Manuel Valls va se marier en juillet, Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 January 2010.(French)
- "La table de chevet de... Manuel Valls", Les Échos, nb60, 15 February 2008, p. 50. (French)
- Manuel Valls ouvre les fenêtres de la musique, Radio classique, 16 May 2008. (French)
- qu'il faut savoir de Manuel Valls, lejdd.fr, 16 May 2012. (French)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Manuel Valls.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Manuel Valls|
- Manuel Valls' biography, on the French government website
- Data on the site of the French National Assembly
- CityMayors profile
|Mayor of Évry
| Succeeded by|
|Minister of the Interior
| Succeeded by|
|Prime Minister of France
|Order of precedence|
|Order of precedence of France
as Prime Minister
| Succeeded by|
as President of the Senate