The Berlin International Economics Congress

An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Roles of Global Politics & Civil Society in International Economics

(Berlin; February 4th - 7th, 2010)

Dominique Voynet

Former Minister of Planning and Environment of France

Born into a family of teachers, Dominique Voynet obtained a Bachelors degree at the age of 16, she then continued to train as a doctor, specifically as an anaesthetist. During her studies in the late 1970s, she began participating in environmental activism. She fought against the establishment of nuclear reactors in Fessenheim and Malville, and the deforestation of the Vosges area on behalf of the Belfort Association for the Protection of Nature.

She also became a member of Amnesty International and the Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT, "French Democratic Confederation of Labour"). In her student years, she was a broadcaster for an independent radio station, "Radio ondes rouges" (Red Radio Waves). Her pacifist and environmental efforts continued with her membership of Front de lutte antimilitariste (FLAM, "Front for the Antimilitarist Struggle") and Friends of the Earth.

Politics tempted her at this time; however the issues that were dear to her – social efforts, peace and environmentalism – were not represented in France by any party at the time. For this reason, she became one of the founding members of The Greens in France.

In 1989 she was elected a Member of the European Parliament. From 1992 to 1994 she was a member of the conseil régional (regional council) of Franche-Comté.

She contested the 1995 presidential election which raised her public profile across all of France. In the first round of voting, she won 3.32% of the vote.

She was elected mayor of Montreuil sous bois in the Seine Saint Denis on the second round of Municipal elections, 16 March 2008, defeating Jean Pierre Brard longstanding communist mayor since 1984.

From 1997 to 2001 she was Minister of the Environment and Regional Planning under the Lionel Jospin government, she resigned on 9 July 2001 and was replaced by Yves Cochet. In 2004, she was elected senator for the Seine-Saint-Denis département. Since the 2008 French municipal elections she is the elected mayor of Montreuil

Dominique Voynet was designated the Green candidate for the 2007 presidential election on 2006-07-18. In the first round of the election, she garnered 576,666 votes (1.57 %), failing to reach the second round.

More recently, Dominique has caused a stir within the party by supporting, in an interview with the "environmental journal", That McDonald's France now had such an environnemental policy that "McDonald's is now legitimate to talk about the environment to its customers."