Patrick Divedjian

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Person.png Patrick Divedjian   ZoominfoRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
UMP regional elections IlM 2010.jpg
Fontainebleau, France
Died29 March 2020 (Age 75)
Cause of death
Alma materLycée Condorcet, Panthéon-Assas University, Sciences Po
SpouseSophie Vanbremeersch
PartyUnion des démocrates pour la République, Rassemblement pour la République, Union pour un mouvement populaire

Patrick Devedjian was a French politician of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party. A close adviser of Nicolas Sarkozy since the 1990s, he was Minister under the Prime Minister in charge of the Implementation of the Recovery Plan, a special ministerial post created for two years following the global financial crisis of 2008, a tenure which commenced in December 2008. He was of Armenian descent.

Early Life

Devedjian attended a Mechitarist Armenian Catholic boarding school in Sèvres. After graduating from the Lycée Condorcet, he studied law at the Panthéon-Assas University (Paris II) and political science at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).

In 1964 he became a member of a far-right group called Occident, led by Pierre Sidos, which also included the future bourgeois ministers Alain Madelin and Gérard Longuet. He justified this membership with the conviction that Algeria must remain French: “As a Christian from the Orient, I had the feeling that Christians were not defending themselves enough against Islam. (...) I didn't want Christianity to capitulate to Islam again."[1]

In the summer of 1965, Devedjian and Madelin committed several thefts (including a Simca 1000 and identity papers) on the Côte d'Azur, used a forged license plate and illegally owned a 6.35 pistol. For this, both were sentenced to one year's imprisonment on probation.[2] After an attack on communist students at the University of Rouen in January 1967, Devedjian was convicted along with twelve other Occident activists (including Madelin and Longuet) for "planned and armed assault" and had to pay a fine of 1000 francs. Suspecting him of betraying the group, his comrades tortured him with waterboarding and expelled him from Occident.[3]

Since 1969 Devedjian was married to Sophie Vanbremeersch, daughter of General Claude Vanbremeersch. In 1970 Devedjian became a lawyer; in the same year he founded the philosophical-political journal Contrepoint. He collaborated with the liberal thinker Raymond Aron and changed his political views.

He was admitted to the Paris Bar in 1970. He became a militant in the Gaullist movement in 1971 and took part in the foundation of the Rally for the Republic (RPR) party in 1976.

Mayor of Antony and Deputy

In 1983, Devedjian was elected Mayor of Antony, a position he would hold until 2002 with re-elections in 1989, 1995 and 2001. In 1986, he also became a Deputy in the National Assembly from the Hauts-de-Seine department and was re-elected six times in 1988, 1993, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012. He was a member of the Assembly Committee on Finance and was rapporteur of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Committee.

In 1992, he was one of the few members of the RPR who voted to support the Maastricht Treaty. During the 1995 presidential campaign, he supported Édouard Balladur together with Nicolas Sarkozy, and suffered unpopularity with the RPR after Balladur's defeat against Jacques Chirac. He became a close adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy and came back into favour during the presidential campaign of 2002.

Second Chirac presidency

After Jacques Chirac’s reelection in 2002, Nicolas Sarkozy, who became Minister of the Interior and de facto Number 2 of Jean-Pierre Raffarin's government, chose Patrick Devedjian to be his Deputy Minister for Local Liberties, in charge of local government. As President Chirac had requested that ministers did not carry local executive powers, Devedjian resigned as Mayor of Antony and was succeeded by Raymond Sibille. He was also replaced in Parliament by his substitute Georges Siffredi.

When Nicolas Sarkozy became Minister of the Economy and Finance in 2004, Patrick Devedjian followed him as Deputy Minister for Industry.

In June 2005, new Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin did not include Patrick Devedjian in his government. As a result, Georges Siffredi resigned from Parliament in October in order for Devedjian to be reelected in the Hauts-de-Seine 13th constituency.

Devedjian proposed an amendment to a proposed bill penalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide on 9 October 2006 that read, "These regulations do not apply to academic and scientific researches and studies." Devedjian added a statement to the amendment that according to media would "prevent any provocations and political demonstrations organized by a foreign country."[4]

When Nicolas Sarkozy resigned from Government and became President of the Union for a Popular Movement party, Patrick Devedjian became his political advisor.

2007 elections

After the 2007 presidential election and Nicolas Sarkozy’s election as President of the Republic, tensions appeared between Sarkozy and Devedjian, who had wished and been predicted to become Minister of Justice. Instead, Sarkozy chose Rachida Dati, the first woman of Northern African ancestry to hold a Ministry in France. Devedjian was not included in François Fillon’s government. On that occasion, Devedjian bitterly remarked: "I am in favour of a government open to a wide range of people—even to Sarkozists." The joke earned him the 2007 Prize for Political Humour.

Instead, Devedjian took the presidency of the Hauts-de-Seine General Council on 1 June, becoming head of the richest département in France. He was also named Deputy Secretary-General of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), replacing Brice Hortefeux, then Secretary-General on 25 September, sharing the party leadership with First Vice President Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

Return to government

From 8 December 2008 to 13 November 2010, Devedjian was appointed Minister under the Prime Minister in charge of the Implementation of the Recovery Plan, a special ministerial post created for two years after the global financial crisis of 2008 and the announcement of a recovery package by President Sarkozy on 4 December. He left the UMP leadership to Xavier Bertrand on 8 December.

He is stated to have died "from" COVID-19 in March 2020.[5]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/199322 April 199325 April 1993Greece
Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel
The 41st Bilderberg, held in Greece
Bilderberg/20068 June 200611 June 2006Canada
54th Bilderberg, held in Canada. 133 guests


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