Jacques Barrot

Jacques Barrot (3 February 1937 – 3 December 2014) was a French politician, who served as European Commissioner for Justice between 2008 and 2010, after having spent four years serving as Commissioner for Transport (2004–2008) and Commissioner for Regional Policy for eight months (2004). He was also one of five vice-presidents of the 27-member Barroso Commission. He previously held various ministerial positions in France, and was a member of the right-wing political party UMP. He was officially approved in his post by the European Parliament on 18 June 2008 with a vote of 489 to 52 with 19 abstentions.[1]

Jacques Barrot
European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security
In office
9 May 2008  9 February 2010
PresidentJosé Manuel Barroso
Preceded byFranco Frattini
Succeeded byViviane Reding (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship)
Cecilia Malmström (Home Affairs)
European Commissioner for Transport
In office
22 November 2004  9 May 2008
PresidentJosé Manuel Barroso
Preceded byLoyola de Palacio (Energy and Transport)
Succeeded byAntonio Tajani
European Commissioner for Regional Policy
In office
1 April 2004  22 November 2004
PresidentRomano Prodi
Preceded byMichel Barnier
Succeeded byDanuta Hübner
Member of the Constitutional Council
In office
12 March 2010  3 December 2014
Appointed byBernard Accoyer
PresidentJean-Louis Debré
Preceded byPierre Joxe
Succeeded byLionel Jospin
Minister of Labour
In office
18 May 1995  2 June 1997
PresidentJacques Chirac
Prime MinisterAlain Juppé
Preceded byMichel Giraud
Succeeded byMartine Aubry
Minister of Health
In office
4 July 1979  13 May 1981
PresidentValéry Giscard d'Estaing
Prime MinisterRaymond Barre
Preceded bySimone Veil
Succeeded byEdmond Hervé
Personal details
Born(1937-02-03)3 February 1937
Yssingeaux, France
Died3 December 2014(2014-12-03) (aged 77)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Political partyUDF (before 2002)
UMP (2002–2014)
ChildrenJean-Noël Barrot
Alma materSciences Po

Barrot was a European Commissioner between April 2004 and, serving as Commissioner for Regional Policy in the Prodi Commission before being selected as a Vice-President and Commissioner for Transport in the Barroso Commission.

He was convicted in a French court of embezzlement in 2000. The case involved the diverting of £2 million of government money to his party. He received an eight-month suspended prison sentence. His conviction was automatically erased by a 1995 presidential amnesty.[2]

Barrot was approved by the European Parliament in 2004 for Commissioner of Transport and made a Vice-President in the new Barroso Commission. However shortly after he began work, his previous conviction was revealed by Nigel Farage, MEP for Independence and Democracy. French President Jacques Chirac had granted him presidential amnesty, a fact the Commissioner did not disclose during his hearing to the Parliament. Despite calls from some MEPs for him to be suspended he remained in office after a large majority accepted legal opinion that Barrot was not legally required to disclose the amnesty.[3]

A major project during his term was the Galileo positioning system. Work on the system began a year before Barrot came to office and has developed since with the launch of the first satellite. However infighting within private sector partners may have been a potential setback to the project with Barrot favouring greater funds from the EU budget.[4] Other work includes recent guarantees of air passenger rights and the Single European Sky.

Barrot died on 3 December 2014.[5]

Political career

Governmental functions

  • Secretary of State for Housing : 1974–1978.
  • Minister of Trade and Handicrafts : 1978–1979.
  • Minister of Health and Social Security : 1979–1981.
  • Minister of Labor, Social Dialogue and Participation : May–November 1995.
  • Minister of Labor and Social Affairs : 1995–1997.

Electoral mandates

National Assembly of France

General Council

  • President of the Haute-Loire General Council : 1976–2001. Re-elected in 1979, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998.
  • General councillor of Haute-Loire : 1966–2008. Re-elected in 1970, 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2001.

Municipal Council

  • Mayor of Yssingeaux : 1989–2001. Re-elected in 1995.
  • Deputy-mayor of Yssingeaux : 1971–1989. Re-elected in 1977, 1983.
  • Municipal councillor of Yssingeaux : 1965–2001. Re-elected in 1971, 1977, 1983, 1989, 1995.


  1. Round-up of Tajani and Barrot hearings European Parliament, 18 June 2008
  2. Profile: Jacques Barrot BBC News, 22 November 2004
  3. "Barrot survives call to quit". The Guardian, 26 November 2004
  4. EU in u-turn on Galileo satellite funding EUobserver, 16 May 2007
  5. "La classe politique rend hommage à " l'humaniste " Jacques Barrot". Le Monde (in French). 3 December 2014.