Renaud DONNEDIEU de VABRES

Family tree of Renaud DONNEDIEU de VABRES

French Minister and Secretary of state (Chirac Government)

FrenchBorn Renaud DONNEDIEU de VABRES

French politician

Born on March 13, 1954 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France , France (68 years)

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Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres has a degree in economics, and a diploma from the Paris Institute of Political Studies, a traditional starting point for attending the École nationale d'administration (ENA), a school for high-level civil servants, which he entered in 1978.

After graduating in 1980 from ENA, he started his career in the prefectoral administration as a sub-prefect, chief of staff of the Indre-et-Loire prefect, then was secretary-general for the police in the Centre region (1980-1981), secretary-general of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence prefecture (1981-1982), sub-prefect of the Château-Thierry arrondissement (1982-1985).

From 1986 to 2001 he was regional councillor in the Centre region, president of the UDF group and reporter for the budget (1986-1993).

He began his national political career as an aide to François Léotard when the latter was Minister of Culture (1987-1988) in the government of then prime minister Jacques Chirac, then as chief of staff in the Republican Party, then one of the components of the UDF. Starting from 1990, he became member of the political bureau of the party, then delegate-general from 1995 à 1997.

From 1993 to 1995, he was an aide to François Léotard, Minister of Defence in the government of then prime minister Édouard Balladur. Within this role, he participted in the negotiation of an important sale of two anti-air frigates to Saudi Arabia by a company affiliated with the Ministry; the contract, for approximately 19 billion French Francs, was signed on November 19, 1994. There were suspicions that this contract generated massive kickbacks for the funding of the Republican Party and, as a consequence, a complex judicial enquiry was started. Finally, on February 16, 2004, the correctional court of Paris convicted Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres of money laundering, with a 15,000€ fine. He was not, however, deprived of the right to run for office.

During the 1995 presidential election, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres was in the campaign team of Édouard Balladur. In March 2001, he was the right-wing candidate in the municipal election in Tours en mars 2001, but he was beaten from the outgoing PS mayor, Jean Germain.

From 1997 to 2002 he was deputy to the National Assembly for the first constituency of Indre-et-Loire, from the UDF center-right party.
During the 2002 presidential election, he distanced himself from the UDF leader François Bayrou and supported Jacques Chirac's reelection bid. At the ensueing legislative election, he was reelected deputy.

He was, on March 31, appointed Minister of Culture and communication in the third cabinet of prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, and was kept at this position on June 2, 2005, for the government of Dominique de Villepin.

In 2005, he rose to fame by defending the controversial DADVSI copyright bill before the French parliament, resulting in a variety of criticism against him from both the opposition and members of his own party. On this occasion, president of the National Assembly Jean-Louis Debré, a fellow UMP member, is reported to have declared that Donnedieu de Vabres was "a zero who put us in the shit and, from the start, dragged us into an adventure" (Le Canard Enchaîné, March 15, 2006). Because of his staunch support for the law, he is the target of a campaign of Google bombing mapping ministre blanchisseur ("laundering minister") to a press article about his conviction.



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Geographical origins

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