Speech by M. Nicolas Sarkozy
President of the Republic
at the investiture ceremony
Paris, 16 May 2007
Ladies and gentlemen,
On this day when I officially take up my duties as President of the French Republic, I’m thinking of France, this venerable country which has gone through so many ordeals and always picked itself up, which has always spoken for all mankind and which I now have the weighty task of representing in the eyes of the world.
I’m thinking of all the presidents of the Fifth Republic who have preceded me. I’m thinking of General de Gaulle who twice saved the Republic, who gave France back her sovereignty and the State its dignity and authority. I’m thinking of Georges Pompidou and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing who, each in his own way, did so much to take France into the modern era.
I’m thinking of François Mitterrand, who found the way to safeguard the institutions and embody the changeover of political power at a time when it was becoming necessary for the Republic to belong to all the French.
I’m thinking of Jacques Chirac who, for 12 years, worked for peace and projected France’s universal values throughout the world. I’m thinking of his role in making mankind aware of the imminence of the ecological disaster and of everyone’s responsibility to the coming generations.
But at such a solemn moment, my thoughts go first to the French people, a great people with a great history and who stood up and declared their faith in democracy, said they no longer wanted to have no say. I’m thinking of the French people who have always been able to overcome ordeals courageously and find in themselves the strength to transform the world.
I’m thinking, with emotion, about this expectation, this hope, this need to believe in a better future which were voiced so strongly during the campaign which has just ended. I’m thinking solemnly about the mandate the French people have entrusted to me and the extremely high imperative expressed by them – I have no right to disappoint them.
Imperative of bringing the French together because France is strong only when she is united, and today she needs to be strong to take up the challenges confronting her.
Imperative of keeping promises and honouring commitments because trust has never been as shaken, as fragile. A moral imperative because never has the crisis of values been as deep, because never has the need for people to regain their bearings been as strong.
Imperative of restoring the value of work, of effort, of merit, of respect, because these values underpin human dignity and requirement for social progress.
Imperative of tolerance and opening-up because never have intolerance and sectarianism been so destructive, because never has it been so necessary for all women and all men of goodwill to pool their talents, their intellectual skill, their ideas for conceiving the future.
Imperative of change because never has inertia been so dangerous for France as in this world in flux where everyone strives to change faster than the others, where any delay can be fatal and quickly becomes irretrievable.
Imperative of security and protection because it has never been so necessary to fight the fear of the future and feeling of vulnerability which discourage initiative and risk-taking.
Imperative for order and authority because we have too often given in to disorder and violence from which those who suffer the greatest are the most vulnerable and humble.
Imperative to deliver results because the French have had enough of nothing in their daily lives ever improving, because the French have had enough of their lives becoming ever tougher, ever harder, because the French have had enough of sacrifices being imposed on them with no result.
Imperative of justice because for a very long time so many French have not felt such a strong sense of injustice, and had the feeling that the sacrifices weren’t fairly shared, that everyone did not have equal rights.
Imperative of breaking with past behaviours, ways of thinking and intellectual conformism because never have the problems to be resolved been so completely new.
The people have entrusted me with a mandate. I shall fulfil it. I shall fulfil it scrupulously, with the determination to be worthy of the trust the French have placed in me.
I shall defend France’s independence and identity.
I shall ensure respect for the State’s authority and its
I shall strive to build a Republic founded on genuine rights and an irreproachable democracy.
I shall fight for a Europe which protects, for the unity of the Mediterranean and for the development of Africa.
I shall make the defence of human rights and battle against climate warming the priorities of France’s diplomatic action in the world.
The task will be difficult and will have to be long-term.
Every one of you in your official position in the State and all citizens in their positions in society are destined to contribute to it.
I want to express my conviction that in the service of France there are no sides. There is only the goodwill of those who love their country. There are only the skills, ideas and convictions of those fired by their passion for serving the general interest.
To all those who want to serve their country, I say that I am ready to work with you and that I shall not ask them to renounce their beliefs, betray their friendships or forget their history. It is for them to decide, in all conscience as free men and women, how they want to serve France.
On 6 May there was only one victory, that of the France who doesn’t want to die, who wants order but also movement, who wants progress, but wants fraternity, who wants efficiency, but wants justice, who wants identity, but wants an opening-up.
On 6 May there was only one victor, the French people who don’t want to give up, who don’t want to be confined to inertia and conservatism, who no longer want others to decide for them, think for them.
Well, to this France who wants to go on living, to this people who don’t want to give up, who deserve our love and our respect, I want to express my determination not to disappoint them.
Long live the Republic!
Long live France!./.
(pictures from Frederic de la Mure, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Composition of the new French government
May 18, 2007
PRIME MINISTER – M. François Fillon
"Ministre d’Etat" , Minister for Ecology, and
Sustainable Development and Town and
Country Planning (Regional Development) : M. Alain Juppé
Minister for the Economy, Finance and Employment : M. Jean-Louis Borloo
Minister of the Interior, Overseas France and Local Authorities : Mme Michèle Alliot-Marie
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs : M. Bernard Kouchner
Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice : Mme Rachida Dati
Minister for Labour, Labour Relations and Solidarity : M. Xavier Bertrand
Minister for National Education : M. Xavier Darcos
Minister for Higher Education and Research : Mme Valérie Pécresse
Minister of Defense : M. Hervé Morin
Minister for Health, Youth and Sport : Mme Roselyn Bachelot-Narquin
Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs : Mme Christine Boutin
Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries : Mme Christine Lagarde
Minister for Culture and Communication, Government Spokesperson : Mme Christine Albanel
Minister for the Budget, Public Accounts and the Civil Service : M. Eric Woerth
MINISTERS OF STATE
Minister of State, attached to the Prime Minister, Responsible for Relations with Parliament : M. Roger Karoutchi
Minister of State, attached to the Prime Minister, Responsible for Forward Planning and Assessment of Public Policies : M. Eric Besson
Minister of State, attached to the Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning (Regional Development), responsible for Transport : M. Dominique Bussereau
Minister of State, attached to the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, responsible for European Affairs : M. Jean-Pierre Jouyet
High Commissioner for Active Solidarity against Poverty : M. Martin Hirsch