Edouard Philippe’s small side steps in view of the presidential election

Published on September 13, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.Updated September 13, 2023 at 6:56 p.m.

Edouard Philippe takes a new step towards the 2027 presidential election. The former Prime Minister published this Wednesday a new book, “Des places qui dit” (JCLattès), a sort of intimate geography which allows him, through places which have marked his personal history, to show the state of his reflection on school, health, secularism, justice, the possibility of reforms…

“Nothing about a program,” he warns, but directions, avenues, questions, too, still far from being decided. But this is the opportunity to the founding president of the Horizons party – whose parliamentary days are held at the end of the week in Angers -, to embark on a series of dedications in France and to speak again (“Paris Match”, TF1, France Inter, “Le Monde”…). He also responds, with a little less convolution than before, on his presidential ambitions for 2027. “I don’t know what the 2027 presidential election will be like. […] but I have a fairly clear idea, yes, of how, when it comes to me, things could happen,” he said this Wednesday on France Inter.

Barrès and Blum

Edouard Philippe is banking on vision and strategy of which this new book is one of the building blocks. With steps aside compared to Emmanuel Macron, but also similar reflections on the merits. “I have close ties with the President of the Republic […]I’m not going to apologize for it […] but I am not totally identical to him neither in terms of style nor even in all convictions,” he stressed on France Inter.

The one who entered Matignon claiming to be a “man of the right” and remains the favorite of the right and the center in the polls, without being a repellent to the left , also takes a few side steps on this ground. Certainly, he quotes Maurice Barrès, but does not hide his immense admiration for Léon Blum.

School? “No subject is more important,” writes the one who refers to Charles Péguy for his diagnosis. “Teaching crises are not teaching crises, they are life crises […] the social life crises are worsening, accumulating, culminating in educational crises”, quotes Edouard Philippe who advocates a “policy of complete overhaul, backed by significant resources and supported by a strong political team”…

He suggests “four directions”: “priority to small cles”, greater autonomy of establishments, reflection on school rhythms but also paths of excellence and a priority placed on training, recruitment and remuneration teachers. On this last point, he does not make it a “counterpart” unlike the Emmanuel Macron’s pact . “We need to increase the number of teachers and the school must operate differently. […] this is not in return but because they are both essential. »

“Obscurantist readings” and “Zemmourist delusions”

On health, he praises the solutions that come from the field. As if echoing the method of the local CNR (National Council for Refoundation). On Islam, he questions openly, in the face of the “obscurantist readings” that some make of it, on the question of “a specific right and organization […] if our country intends to continue its national adventure while maintaining secularism.” But he nonetheless denounces “the Zemmourist delusions about the purity of the nation and the injunctions addressed to Muslims to choose between Islam and France”.

Finally, and this is more than a step aside from Emmanuel Macron, Edouard Philippe insists on the “distinction of presidential and government functions. […]. It is appropriate for the president to preside and the prime minister to govern.” He also underlines the extent to which a parliamentary majority is “an essential condition for action”.


He who pleaded last year for a coalition and has never shown much enthusiasm on the theory of “overcoming” divisions defended in 2017 by Emmanuel Macron, however shares the idea that “the dividing line between left and right is not the most relevant to explain the major divisions on important subjects.

But he does not believe in their dissolution into a large central bloc and prefers to once again put forward coalitions. Aware, no doubt, in the face of the strength of the extremes, that defining oneself as a man of the right risks not being enough to “unite”.

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