Anne (Ana) Hidalgo (French pronunciation: [an idalgo]; born 19 June 1959) is a French politician who is the current Mayor of Paris. She is the first woman to hold the office.
She has been a member of the Socialist Party (PS) since 1994, previously serving as former National Secretary for Culture and Media. She was the First Deputy Mayor of Paris, under Bertrand Delanoë (March 2001–March 2014). She was elected as a Councillor in 2001 for the 15th arrondissement and ran again in the French municipal elections, 2008. She was elected mayor at the March 2014 municipal election.
Family background and youth
Hidalgo was born in San Fernando, near Cádiz, in Andalusia, Spain. Her paternal grandfather was a Spanish Socialist who became a refugee in France after the end of the Spanish Civil War along with his wife and his four children. However, her grandparents returned to Spain some time later. Her grandmother died on the return trip whilst her grandfather was sentenced to death, although this was eventually commuted to a life sentence.
Hidalgo's father was raised by his maternal grandparents. He was an electrician. In the late 1950s, he married a seamstress; they had two daughters, Ana (Anne) and María (Marie). However, due to the difficult economic climate in Spain during this period, Hidalgo's parents migrated, this time as economic immigrants, to France. They settled in Lyon in 1961, with their two daughters.
She grew up in Vaise, the ninth district of Lyon, speaking Spanish with her parents and French with her sister. Her parents are now back in Spain while her elder sister, Marie, manages a company in Los Angeles, California.
Hidalgo became a French citizen at the age of fourteen; she is also a Spanish citizen.
Hidalgo graduated with a degree in social work before completing a Master of Advanced Studies (DEA) in social and trade unionism at Paris West University Nanterre La Défense. The mother of three children, she is divorced and has remarried.
In 1982, she entered the national contest for the Labour Inspectorate, ranking 5th. In 1984, she won her first post in the Inspection du travail representing the 15th arrondissement of Paris. She retired from the civil service in July 2011, aged 52.
- 1984-1993: Inspection du travail, France
- 1993-1995: Delegation for professional training, Department of Labour, France
- 1995-1996: Mission to the International Labour Office, Geneva
- 1996-1997: Officer at the Human Resources Directorate, Compagnie Générale des Eaux (then Vivendi and Vivendi Universal)
Hidalgo served in three cabinets under the Jospin Government :
- From 1997 to 1998: as adviser to the cabinet office of Martine Aubry, Minister of Employment and Solidarity;
- From 1998 to 2000: as technical adviser then consultant to the cabinet office of Nicole Pery, Secretary of State for Women's Rights and Vocational Training;
- From November 2000 to May 2002: as technical adviser (and officer) to the cabinet office of Marylise Lebranchu, Minister of Justice (responsible for social relations and status of officials).
In the 2001 municipal elections, she led the list of the Socialist Party (PS) in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, which won 26.5% of votes in the first round then was at the second round behind the list gathered around Édouard Balladur and Mayor René Galy-Dejean. She joined the Conseil de Paris and was appointed First Deputy Mayor of Paris.
In June 2002, she was a candidate in the parliamentary elections for the 12th arrondissement of Paris, winning 29.6% of votes in the first round, but Balladur was elected with 54.2% of the vote.
In March 2004, she was elected to the Conseil régional d'Île-de-France on the list of Jean-Paul Huchon.
As part of the internal campaign for the nomination of the Socialist candidate in 2006, she publicly supported Dominique Strauss-Kahn, while remaining close to Lionel Jospin and Bertrand Delanoë. With other female leaders of the Socialist Party, she criticized the "peoplelisation" of politics, referring to the promotion of Ségolène Royal as a popularist widely-identifiable member of the Socialist Party, rather than a classical hardline Marxist.
In June 2007, she was a candidate at the legislative elections for the 13th arrondissement of Paris and had in the first round 28.2%, against 36.6% for the UMP candidate Jean-François Lamour, and was beaten on the second round with 56.7% for Lamour.
On 21 December 2005, in the debates on DADVSI, she took a public stand against the amendments of the Socialist Group introducing the "global licence" to download online material. On 26 December, she signed with Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris responsible for Culture, a view published in the newspaper Le Monde defending her position on behalf of cultural diversity which would be threatened by the "global licence." Some people contend that she was in fact defending the interests of Vivendi Universal, the music and film company which employed her a few years earlier.
On 3 January 2006, she presented with François Adibi and the Socialist Party's Culture Section a report and new recommendations "for a fair solution", rejecting both the DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the "global licence." She was later ostracised by the PS leadership which chose to defend in the National Assembly the "global licence" advocated by Patrick Bloche (Paris), Didier Mathus (Saône-et-Loire) and Christian Paul (Nièvre).
In 2005, Hidalgo took a stand in the debate on cults in France, becoming the president of a committee of vigilance against the cults at the Council of Paris. She was especially opposed to the Church of Scientology and New Acropolis, and participated in a demonstration in front of the Church of Scientology's premises. A map of cults in Paris, created by the Mairie de Paris at that time and promoted by Anne Hidalgo, was controversial and Hidalgo filed a complaint against an unknown person for circulating a leaflet on the Internet signed by a "committee to support Anne Hidalgo", which requested denunciation of "non-compliant behaviours." Anne Hidalgo denies any link with this supposed support committee. A complaint that she brought against the head of the organization that circulated the leaflet was later dismissed.
From May 2016, in order to combat air pollution in the city, Hidalgo oversaw the introduction of a scheme called "Paris Respire" (literally "Paris Breathes"), which included banning all cars from certain areas of Paris on the first Sunday of the month, as well as making public transport and the city's bicycle and electric vehicle schemes free for the day. She also worked further to reduce car usage, with an increase in the price of parking meters, a ban on free parking on certain days, and the conversion of certain sections of a highway along the River Seine into a riverside park.
She has also proposed a ban on diesel motors in Paris streets, and has promised to have a 24/7 service for the metro.
She resides in the 15th arrondissement of Paris with Jean-Marc Germain, a Socialist Member of Parliament, and their son.
Despite having a Catholic education, Hidalgo is an outspoken atheist.
- Commander, Order of Isabella the Catholic (2010), "in recognition of successful Spanish integration in France";
- Chevalier, Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur (2012).
- Commander, Order of the Polar Star (2014)
- Dame Grand Cross, Order of Civil Merit (2015).
- "Yerevan Mayor Gold Medal", 2016