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Xavier Darcos

Xavier Darcos
Darcos in June 2021
Minister of National Education
In office
18 May 2007 – 23 June 2009
PresidentNicolas Sarkozy
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon
Preceded byGilles de Robien
Succeeded byLuc Chatel
Member of the French Senate
for Dordogne
In office
1 October 1998 – 7 June 2002
Succeeded byDominique Mortemousque
Mayor of Périgueux
In office
20 January 1997 – 7 June 2002
Preceded byYves Guéna
Succeeded byJean-Paul Daudou
In office
17 September 2005 – 16 March 2008
Preceded byJean-Paul Daudou
Succeeded byMichel Moyrand
Personal details
Born (1947-07-14) 14 July 1947 (age 76)
Limoges, France
Political partyUMP
(m. 1999)
Alma materUniversity of Bordeaux

Xavier Darcos (born 14 July 1947) is a French politician, scholar, civil servant and former Minister of Labour.

An agrégé professor in literature and general inspector of the National Education system, he has been Mayor of Périgueux, a Senator, and a minister in Jean-Pierre Raffarin and François Fillon's governments.


Darcos was born on 14 July 1947 in Limoges to Jean-Gabriel Darcos and Anne-Marie Banvillet.

After getting a PhD in Latin studies from the University of Bordeaux under the direction of Jean-Pierre Néraudau and becoming a professor emeritus in letters and social sciences, he started teaching in 1968, first in Périgueux, then in a Bordeaux khâgne from 1982 to 1987, and finally at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Paris from 1987 to 1992.

In 1989 he became deputy to the Mayor of Périgueux. Three years later, he became a senior school inspector.

From 1993 to 1995 he was the chief of staff (directeur de cabinet) to Education Minister François Bayrou, from 1995 to 1997 advisor to Prime Minister Alain Juppé for education and culture matters, and from 1995 to 1998, along with François Bayroux and Claude Allègre, he was the president of school inspectors. From 1996 to 1999 he was also a Professor in comparative literature at the Paris IV University.

In 1997 he became Mayor of Périgueux, and was reelected both in 2001 and 2005. He was also elected Senator of Dordogne in 1998.

In May 2002, he became Minister for School Education in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's cabinet, then on 1 April 2004 Minister for Cooperation, Development and Francophony.

He has been a member of the Aquitaine Regional Council since 2004. On 15 June 2005 he became a French ambassador for the OCDE.

In 2006, he was elected as member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques and was its secrétaire perpétuel from 2010 until 2017.

Since 18 May 2007, he has been the Minister of National Education in François Fillon's governments. In March 2008, he failed to be reelected as Mayor of Périgueux.

In 2009, he condemned as "criminal" statements made by Pope Benedict XVI which claimed that condoms promote AIDS, when in fact they help protect against it.[1]

Darcos was elected as an immortel of the Académie Française on 13 June 2013.[2]

Political career

Governmental functions
Electoral mandates

Senate of France

Senator of Dordogne : 1998–2002 (Became minister in 2002).

Regional Council

Regional councillor of Aquitaine : Since 2004. Reelected in 2010.

Municipal Council

  • Mayor of Périgueux : 1997–2002 (Resignation) / 2005–2008. Reelected in 2001, 2005.
  • Deputy-mayor of Périgueux : 1989–1997 / 2002–2005. Reelected in 1995.
  • Municipal councillor of Périgueux : 1989–2008. Reelected in 1995, 2001.

Agglomeration community Council

Awards and honours


  • Histoire de la littérature française, 1992
  • Approches ovidiennes de la mort, 1995
  • Mérimée, 1998
  • Robert des grands écrivains de langue française, (with other writers)
  • L'Art d'apprendre à ignorer, 2000
  • Dictionnaire des mythes féminins, 2002 (with other writers)
  • Lettre à tous ceux qui aiment l'école, 2003 (en coll.)
  • Deux voix pour une école, 2004 (with other writers)
  • L'École de Jules Ferry, 2005 (Prix Louis-Pauwels [fr] in 2006)
  • L'État et les Églises, 1905–2005, 2005
  • L'État et les Églises, la question laïque, 2006
  • Tacite, ses vérités sont les nôtres, 2007
  • Bruno Neveu (1936–2004), Institut de France, 2007
  • La escuela republicana en Francia, Prensas universitarias de Zaragoza, 2008 (ISBN 978-84-92521-38-8)
  • René Haby par lui-même, en coll., INRP, 2009, (ISBN 2-7342-1100-9)
  • L'école forme-t-elle encore des citoyens ?, avec Aurélie Filippetti, Frémeaux & Associés, 2008
  • Peut-on améliorer l'école sans dépenser plus ?, avec Vincent Peillon, Magnard, 2009 (ISBN 978-2210747852)
  • Ovide et la mort, PUF, Coll. « Hors collection », 2009 (ISBN 978-2-13-057818-5)
  • Une anthologie historique de la poésie française, PUF, coll. « Hors collection », 2010 (ISBN 978-2-13-058506-0)
  • Dictionnaire amoureux de la Rome antique, Plon, 2011 (ISBN 978-2-2592-1245-8)
  • La Poésie française, Eyrolles, coll. « Mes passions », 2012 (ISBN 978-2-212-55533-2)
  • Histoire de la littérature française, Hachette, 2013 (ISBN 978-2-01-160932-8)
  • Oscar a toujours raison, Plon, 2013 (ISBN 978-2-259-21069-0)
  • Auguste et son siècle, Artlys, 2014, (ISBN 978-2-85495-578-1)
  • Jean-Pierre Angrémy, dit Pierre-Jean Remy, Institut de France, 2015
  • Dictionnaire amoureux de l'Ecole, Plon, 2016, (ISBN 978-2-259-227599)
  • Virgile, notre vigie, Fayard, 2017, (ISBN 978-2-213-70457-9)


Media related to Xavier Darcos at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices Preceded byGilles de Robien Minister of National Education 2007–2009 Succeeded byLuc Chatel
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Xavier Darcos
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