- Région Hauts-de-France
Born in 1965 in Châlons-sur-Marne, Xavier Bertrand obtained a master's degree in public law and a postgraduate diploma in local government from the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Reims. He worked as an insurance agent in Flavy-le-Martel, Aisne, from 1992 to 2004. In 1995, he became deputy mayor of Saint-Quentin, responsible for the town's activities and development. In 1998, he was elected general councillor for the Aisne department and then, in 2002, deputy for the 2nd constituency of the Aisne department. Appointed Secretary of State for Health Insurance in 2004, Xavier Bertrand was Minister of Health from 2005 to 2007, before being appointed Minister of Labour from May 2007 to January 2009, then Minister of Labour, Employment and Health from 2010 to May 2012. As part of his responsibilities, he led a major package of social reforms, including the introduction of minimum service in transport and a ban on smoking in public places. He was elected Mayor of Saint-Quentin in 2010 and re-elected Deputy for the 2nd constituency of Aisne in 2012. In December 2015, he became the first President of the Hauts-de-France Region (population 6 million). He is stepping down from his role as Deputy and Mayor to devote himself fully to implementing his project for local residents, "Notre Région au travail" ("Our Region at work"): - The Region helps people who are looking for work: creation of Proch'Emploi, to bring jobseekers closer to companies that are recruiting, which has helped thousands of people get out of unemployment. - The Region supports those who are working, by restoring purchasing power and removing obstacles to work: transport and childcare subsidies, provision of a car for €1 a day for those returning to work, schemes for secondary school pupils, apprentices and students. - The Region is at the side of those who create jobs, the entrepreneurs, with tailor-made tools: professional training, financing for their projects, solutions to combine economy and ecology, in particular with Rev3, the Third Industrial Revolution. While the Region is now taking action on a day-to-day basis, its role is also to prepare and build for the future. Xavier Bertrand and the elected representatives of the Hauts-de-France region have secured the launch of the Seine Nord Europe canal, the project of the century for the economy and environment of the Hauts-de-France region. It will link Compiègne to the Dunkerque-Escaut canal along a 107 km route and will create thousands of jobs. On 27 June 2021, he was re-elected to lead the Hauts-de-France Region for a second term.