Jean-François Copé ([ʒɑ̃.fʁɑ̃.swa kɔ.pe]; born 5 May 1964) is a French politician. He is Mayor of Meaux, Deputy (Député) for the 6th constituency of Seine-et-Marne, and acts as President of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Group in the French National Assembly. He was Spokesperson for the French Government between 2002 and 2007, and assumed other tenures in the government—including Minister of the Budget—at the same time. In November 2010 he became General Secretary of the UMP. In August 2012 he announced that he would run for the presidency of the UMP, facing the former Prime Minister François Fillon.
On 19 November 2012 he was elected President of the UMP with 50.03% of votes from its members, defeating François Fillon, who asserted his own victory. He resigned from the post on 27 May 2014 following an invoices scandal and poor results for the UMP at the 2014 European elections.
Jean-François Copé was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, the son of Professor Roland Copé, a surgeon of Romanian Jewish origin, and Monique Ghanassia, of Algerian Jewish origin. His paternal grandparents were Marcu Hirs Copelovici, a physician born in Iaşi (Romania), and Gisele Lazerovici. His maternal grandparents were Ismael André Ghanassia, a lawyer in Algiers (son of Moïse Ghanassia and Djouhar Soussi, from Miliana, in Algeria), and Lise Boukhabza (granddaughter of a Tunisian rabbi).
Raised in a French Jewish family, he describes himself as "a non-practising Jew" ("Juif non pratiquant"). He studied at the École Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel, and then at Lycée Victor Duruy, where he obtained his Baccalauréat. In 1985 he entered Sciences Po for two years, before attending the École nationale d'administration, from which he graduated in 1989. He followed training seminars on New Public Management in the United States, and he is a proponent of Benchmarking on budget matters. Divorced, he has four children, François-Xavier, Pierre-Alexis, and Raphaëlla, from his previous marriage, and Faustine, from his current union.
Following his graduation in 1989, he joined the Caisse des dépôts et consignations until 1991. He then worked as head of cabinet for the CEO at Dexia, while teaching Local Economy and Finance at Science-Po. He left those attributions in 1993 to get involved in the leading right-wing party at the time, the RPR.
In 1997 he came back to teaching as an Associate Professor of Economy and Finance at Paris 8 University, up until 2002. He also returned to the Caisse des dépôts et consignations between 1997 and 1999, before joining the supervisory board of Dexia from 2000 to 2002.
After serving in various political roles in the RPR and the Balladur government, he became spokesperson for the government of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin in 2002. On 24 November 2004 he became Minister of the Budget and spokesperson for the government in the Raffarin III government; he was renewed in this function in the following Villepin government. Following the 2007 parliamentary election, he became leader of the UMP parliamentary group in the 13th Legislature.
In 1995 he became Mayor of Meaux at 35, and was re-elected in 2001 and 2008. Because of his nomination in the government in 2002, he had to step down in favour of Ange Anziani. Nonetheless, he took back the office in 2005 after Anziani's resignation. He was also regional councillor of Ile-de-France from 1998 to 2007 and was list leader of the UMP-UDF in Ile-de-France in the 2004 regional elections.
He became deputy of the 5th constituency of Seine-et-Marne in 1995, following the nomination of the incumbent to the Juppé government. However, he was defeated in 1997 by a Socialist candidate in a difficult RPR-PS-FN three-way second round race. In 2002, he was elected in the 6th constituency. He was re-elected there by the first round in 2007, becoming President of the UMP Group in the French National Assembly at the same time.
In November 2010 he became General Secretary of the Union for a Popular Movement. He declared himself a candidate for the presidency of the UMP in August 2012, facing François Fillon, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and Bruno Le Maire. He was supported by many strong UMP members, such as former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, UMP leader at the National Assembly Christian Jacob and former Minister of Education Luc Chatel.
In September 2012 Copé denounced the development of an anti-White racism by people living in France, sparking a nationwide controversy in media and politics.
On 19 November 2012 Copé declared himself winner of the Union for a Popular Movement leadership election with 50,03% of votes, an assertion that was contradicted by François Fillon who asserted his own victory. In the following days, the crisis amplified with a mutual accusation of fraud.
On 27 February 2014 Le Point magazine accused Copé of using a friend's company as contractor for UMP's events organisation, and overpaying it. Copé rejected the charges, accused the magazine's editor of persecution and sued him. Following UMP's poor results in the 2014 European elections and accusations linked with the Bygmalion invoices scandal, Copé was forced to resign as UMP chairman on 27 May 2014.
A candidate to the 2016 Republican primary, he ended last with only 0.3%. He supported Alain Juppé against his former rival François Fillon in the second ballot.
Secretary of State for Relationships with Parliament and Government's spokesman : 2002–2004.
Minister deleguated to Interior and Government's spokesman : March–November 2004.
Minister of Budget, Budget Reform and Government's spokesman : 2004–2005.
Minister of Budget, State Reform and Government's spokesman: 2005–2007.
National Assembly of France
President of the Union for a Popular Movement Group in the National Assembly : 2007–2010 (Resignation).
Member of the National Assembly of France for Seine-et-Marne (5th, then 6th constituency) : 1995–1997 / Reelected in 2002, but he became secretary of State / Since 2007. Elected in 1995, reelected in 2002, 2007, 2012.
Regional councillor of Île-de-France : 1998–2007 (Resignation). Reelected in 2004.
Mayor of Meaux : 1995–2002 (Resignation) / Since 2005. Reelected in 2001, 2005, 2008.
Deputy-mayor of Meaux : 2002–2005.
Municipal councillor of Meaux : Since 1995. Reelected in 2001, 2008.
Agglomeration community Council
Président of the Communauté d'agglomération du Pays de Meaux : Since 2003. Reelected in 2008.
Member of the Communauté d'agglomération du Pays de Meaux : Since 2003. Reelected in 2008.
Deputy General secretary of the Rally for the Republic : 2001–2002.
General Secretary of the Union for a Popular Movement : 2010-2012.
Président of the Union for a Popular Movement : 2012-2014.