After working for six months in the State Secretariat for Agriculture, the former deputy for the High Garonne is acting as the head of Territorial Communities. A former tennis player with a background in telecommunications, he will be on a mission to continue smoothing relations between the Elysée and local elected officials.
Little known to the general public, Dominik leads the For Elisabeth Borne team. Until now Secretary of State, the Carcassonne (Aude) native was appointed Ministerial Representative for Local Authorities this Monday, replacing the resigned Caroline Cayeux, whose asset declaration was challenged by the High Authority for Transparency of Life. Meanwhile, he retains the Ruralities portfolio he has held since being appointed to the government last July.
At the age of 63, the new guardian of the territories in the government has known several lives. This former tennis champion, who used to play on the Roland-Garros courts, started politics in 2012. Under the label of the Radical Party, then led by one of his relatives, Jean-Michel Baylet, this professional engineer was elected deputy for Haute-Garonne.
Local elected official
Two years later, before the introduction of the anti-collegation law, the parliamentarian became mayor of Saint-Orens-de-Gameville, on the outskirts of Toulouse. In 2017, he joined La République en Marche and became vice-president of Toulouse Métropole before returning to the National Assembly.
This teacher’s daughter then sits on the Economic Affairs Committee, which is obvious for a former private executive.
Accepted by major telecommunications companies such as Cegetel or SFR, coming to the government in the Ruralities portfolio to succeed Joël Giraud, who won the legislative elections last June by 200 votes, is discretionary.
Persecution of village mayors
On the road map: “Reconciliation between rural and urban areas” Communes Newspaper.
But his appointment is met with skepticism by unions of elected officials. The French association of rural mayors regrets that city policy is attributed to the deputy minister Olivier Klein, while rural areas are represented only by the secretary of state. Worse, this title comes last in the protocol ranking of all members of the government.
To convince, Dominique Faure is trying to put the accelerator on the “rural agenda” launched by the government in 2019, and France wants to go faster with the placement of service homes and the end of white areas.
Strained relations between Macron and the communities
The new “Madame local authorities”, who have been very reserved in the media, will now have to turn to music the rapprochement Emmanuel Macron has called for with the mayors.
In 2017, the first steps of the president’s five-year term were complicated by local elected officials. They blew the whistle on the head of state during his first visit to the Congress of Mayors, 6 months after his election. The following year, despite promising to “come annually to give an account of the commitments undertaken,” he skipped the meeting and instead received a thousand mayors at the Elysée.
The gesture greatly angered local elected officials at the time, further straining an already strained relationship. Since then, the atmosphere has calmed down after the yellow vest crisis and then very strong demands by the government during Covid-19.
Putting oil on the teeth
However, two grievances continue to overshadow the relationship between the president and the mayors: the executive, which is considered too centralized – despite the appointment of several local figures in the government, such as Christophe Bechu, the former mayor of Anges – and the review of local taxes.
Last Wednesday, instead of addressing local elected officials, the president opted to walk the aisles of the Mayors Fair, which brings together companies working in public services — much to people’s confusion. Then he bought a thousand of them again in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
In his new ministry, the former top athlete must try to smooth relations between the government and elected officials’ unions.