The contours of the team of the new French Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, have already been defined, two days after being appointed, replacing Élisabeth Borne. Emmanuel Macron’s dolphin will surround himself with the heavyweights of the previous Executive, with a team more to the right and some surprises, such as the incorporation of the controversial Rachida Dati, Minister of Justice under Nicolas Sarkozy and now a councilor in Paris. She will be the head of Culture.

The first names were announced this Thursday, after two days of doing pools and speculating about the casting. The veterans who have accompanied Macron since his victory in 2017 and who are in charge of the most sensitive areas remain on the team. This is the case of the Interior, where Gérald Darmanin continues. Paris celebrates the Olympic Games in a few months and security is one of the most worrying issues.

Bruno Le Maire will continue as head of Economy and Finance, a key area at a time when France is looking for ways to reduce its skyrocketing debt and wants to achieve full employment. Le Maire is one of the oldest and is being considered as a possible successor to Macron for the presidential elections of 2027. He and Darmanin have accompanied him since he won the elections for the first time in 2017.

What has surprised the most, as unexpected, is the incorporation of Rachida Dati, former Minister of Justice under former President Nicolas Sarkozy and member of The Republicans, a conservative party that, upon learning of her nomination, has excluded her from the formation. She is the great rival of the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who has wished luck to “all representatives of culture.”

Many see this decision as a move to the right of the Government. Although the new prime minister is a pure Macronist (he has accompanied Macron since the founding of his party in 2017), Borne has left, further to the left, and Dati has entered. Of the 14 ministers named, eight are right-wing.

Dati was charged with corruption in 2021, for the diversion of funds when she was an advisor to Renault, but the trial has not yet taken place. She will occupy the Culture portfolio, replacing Rima Abdul Malak, who has recently criticized the actor Gerard Depardieu, accused of sexual harassment by dozens of women, and whom Macron has said is “a source of pride for France.” Dati “is a person who leaves no one indifferent, he is a person of commitment and energy (…) In France there is a presumption of innocence,” Attal recalled in an interview with the TF1 network, as soon as the new ministerial team.

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, until now head of Sports, also takes over the Education portfolio, which Attal held. The two areas merge, so he gains power. She will be the one in charge of the Olympic Games. Another novelty, the incorporation, as Foreign Minister, of Stéphane Séjourné, a European parliamentarian and leader of Renew Europe, a party linked to Macronism. Séjourné and Attal began dating when they both joined Macron’s ranks.

“At the suggestion of the Prime Minister, I have been appointed Foreign Minister by the President of the Republic. I am aware of the honor granted to me. It is immense,” Séjourne wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

This is the team in charge of relaunching this new stage of Macron’s second term, now with Attal at the helm, and which is becoming more complicated every day due to the lack of a majority in the Assembly and the loss of allies among the seats. Attal was one of the most popular members of the Government, and his popularity increased since his arrival at the Ministry of Education.

Next week, in a second phase, the list of secretaries of State will be announced. This Friday the first Council of Ministers of the new stage is held. Macron will address the French next week to explain the changes.

This reorganization of the Government occurs at a key moment: when Paris prepares for the Olympic Games in which the country’s security will be tested; at a moment of weakness for Macron, who does not have a parliamentary majority, and when Marine Le Pen’s extreme right does not stop growing in the polls. In the European elections next June, she emerges as the winner.

At 34 years old, Attal is the youngest prime minister the country has had during the Fifth Republic. Attal was one of the promises of French politics. One of the most faithful Macronists, he has had a meteoric career, like Macron himself. At 29 years old, he already joined the Government and has been spokesperson and Minister of Public Accounts.

The spokesperson, Olivier Veran, changes and a female face arrives: Prisca Thévenot. She was Attal’s number two in the Ministry of Education and is one of his close collaborators. The head of Defense, Sébastien Lecornu, who was rumored to succeed Borne, also remains. In the midst of the war in Ukraine, Paris had announced an increase in the military budget. Also that of Justice, Eric-Duppond Moretti, in a context in which Macron decided to increase the budget and personnel.