Sylvie Goulard, a crazy technocrat from Europe … at the expense of France?


European Parliament building in Brussels, one afternoon in June 2009. The MoDem MEPs, elected a few days earlier, will start the first meeting of their mandate. Around the table, Marielle de Sarnez, the head of the delegation, begins to annoy the one that everyone expects: the beginner in politics Sylvie Goulard, hanging on the phone at the entrance to the room. At the end of a few minutes, here she is, who decides to enter, under the jeers. "sorryshe says in a tone of one who does not apologize at all. I was with BarrosoOn hearing the name of the President of the European Commission at the time, the audience was silent.

The anecdote, reported by several people present that day, illustrates well the different facets of the personality of Sylvie Goulard. Cheeky, not overly modest and above all extraordinarily well introduced into European networks of power. An interpersonal person who is obviously useful to Emmanuel Macron, who chose him to become the next French European commissioner, "to an economic post, internal market"Since the beginning of the quinquennium, the French president regularly consulted the former diplomat of the Quai d'Orsay, close to the former transalpine Prime Ministers Mario Monti and Romano Prodi, she was the collaborator in Brussels between 2001 and 2004, on European issues and for his great speeches, like the one at the Sorbonne, in September 2017. "Sylvie Goulard knows perfectly all the European technical files. This is his great strength. And she plays a lot", smiles a MEP who has worked closely with him.

Europe before the homeland

It remains to be seen whether this multilingual enarch, able to express himself on television sets in Germany as well as in Italy, will defend French interests. For the first time, France would send Brussels, as long as MEPs validate its appointment, a high representative in the EU … openly and clearly federalist, that is to say, favorable to the passing of the states in a great European nation.

Not insignificant: if some European commissioners quietly push the interests of their state, nothing like waiting, a priori, Sylvie Goulard. "If Macron thinks he can hold it, he is mistaken. She will only do it at her head!"laughs a cacique of the centrist galaxy.The website of the group Spinelli, a club of federalist leaders she founded in 2010 with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and MEP Isabelle Durant, Moreover, there is a clue on the home page, a quote attributed to Montesquieu is put forward: "If I knew something useful to my homeland and which was detrimental to Europe (…), I would consider it a crimeOne of his friends confirms his federalist tropism: "It is a sincere commitment and pegged to the body on his part. She believes in it, she is at it and she will fight for it, no doubt about it".

10,000 euros of rab '

Some of her political friends were all the more astonished when they discovered in 2014 that she was gaining, in addition to her activity as MEP, for an American think tank, the Berggruen Institute, for more than 10,000 euros gross per year. month. His entourage assures that this collaboration of 27 months, stopped in 2016, was not inconsistent with its ideals: "She was an advisor to one of the structures of the Berggruen Institute, the Council for the Future of Europe, which only carries pro-European ideas, produced notes, coordinated collective reportsWith regard to these juicy emoluments, camp Goulard prefers to put them in balance with his longstanding companionship with the NGO ATD Quart-Monde: "Nobody says that she is very committed to the fight against poverty, that she has a very strong social fiber".

In the European Parliament, the file of which she says she is most proud is also that of "better supervision of finance after the crisisAn indication of his priorities as European Commissioner A promise of controversy, in any case: the legal arsenal of the EU against financial fraud is regularly criticized for its lightness.Goulard is a hard liberal, pro-deregulation, a bit German, with this specificity that it is for more solidarity between European states", decodes one of his former colleagues in the European Parliament.For two years, she tried to convince Germany to accept a pooling of some European debts.

Before thinking of her struggles in Brussels, Sylvie Goulard will already have to dispel with MEPs some doubts about her judicial situation. In June 2017, she resigned from her position as Minister of the Armed Forces because she was targeted in the case of the fictitious jobs of MoDem … in the European Parliament. "In the event that the preliminary MoDem inquiry leads to the verification of the conditions of employment of my assistants in the European Parliament, I wish to be able to freely demonstrate my good faith and all the work I have done thereshe said in a statement, "What would have changed in two years?" The investigation is still pending and the high-ranking official has not been heard.The European Parliament checked the job of his assistant, for them he worked well"We swear in the camp Goulard.Contact, the European Parliament had not yet answered on this point on August 30.

"All for his mouth"

At the MoDem, this surprise resignation was mostly seen as a kick of Sylvie Goulard's ass at the place of François Bayrou and Marielle de Sarnez, then invited to leave too. "Sylvie did a disservice in dezying Bayrou and we thank her by appointing her to the Bank of France (she has been Deputy Governor since late 2017, ed.) and in Brussels today"Squeaked a close friend of MoDem." Between these three, the confidence had been broken for a long time because the submission to the authority of the chief was never the strong of the diplomat.Sylvie, that's all for her mouth. She betrays a lot", reproves a former centrist MEP.

Formerly very much in court with François Bayrou, – "long fascinated by her", says a former executive of the MoDem – Sylvie Goulard went into macrony long before the centrist leader, which sealed the break between them.On December 12, 2016, she goes to the meeting of Emmanuel Macron at the Porte de Versailles , where he was given a place … next to Gerard Collomb and Brigitte Macron At the same time, his party boss considered a candidacy and still castigates the candidate "money forces".For months, the media continued to say that Sylvie was MoDem when it was not the case at all. It drove Francois and Marielle crazy! "smiles our connoisseur of centrist arcana. "Sylvie took them for dummies. It only respects the technos ", believes a former MEP. The entourage of the diplomat euphemistic, but does not dispute the disagreement: "Let's say that with François Bayrou, they will not go on a weekend together".

Bisbille with Verhofstadt

The enarque has also had some clashes with Guy Verhofstadt, big manitou of the centrist nebula in the European Parliament. Long brooded by the Belgian patriarch, with whom she multiplied federalist initiatives, Sylvie Goulard brutally betrayed him at the end of 2016, announcing that she wanted to present herself … in her place, as candidate of the centrist group at the head of the Parliament for the elections of 2019. In the internal vote, she is largely beaten. "It was a temporary disagreement. Today, everything is fine between them", certifies the entourage of Sylvie Goulard A friend of Guy Verhofstadt nuance:"He knows how to be political, but he resents it. Especially since she did nothing to have access to Macron for two years".

A pivotal man in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt will play an important role in the confirmation process of Sylvie Goulard by the MEPs, whose vote is necessary to ratify his appointment. If none of the observers contacted bet on a rejection of his candidacy, all indicate that the content of his hearing will not be anecdotal. "It will have to fight, because many elected representatives are waiting at the turn and would like to annoy France", says a former European parliamentarian.To prepare in good conditions, Sylvie Goulard took a leave at the Bank of France, from 1st September. We do not know how many languages ​​it will revise.

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