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Viewing cable 05PARIS6744, ALAIN MADELIN SEEKS U.S. SUPPORT FOR HIS CANDIDACY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05PARIS6744 2005-09-30 16:04 2011-02-10 08:08 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
Appears in these articles:
http://abonnes.lemonde.fr/documents-wikileaks/article/2011/02/09/wikileaks-les-visiteurs-de-l-ambassade_1477418_1446239.htm
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 006744 

SIPDIS 

DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/WE, DRL/IL, INR/EUC, INR/B, EUR/ERA, 
EUR/PPD, EB AND IO 
DEPT OF COMMERCE FOR ITA 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/2015 
TAGS: ECON EU FR IO PGOV PINR SOCI
SUBJECT: ALAIN MADELIN SEEKS U.S. SUPPORT FOR HIS CANDIDACY 
TO HEAD THE OECD AND HIS PROJECT TO REFORM THE OECD 

Classified By: Ambassador Craig Stapleton for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 

SUMMARY 
------- 
1. (C) At a meeting with Ambassador Stapleton on September 
6, former French Finance Minister Alain Madelin solicited 
U.S. support for his candidacy to head the OECD. Madelin 
stressed his commitment to reform of the OECD along the lines 
of the U.S. proposal to that end. Madelin also made the case 
for his preferred future priorities for the OECD -- 
furthering globalization, encouraging free and open societies 
in the Muslim world, supporting development in Africa, 
fostering structural reform in European economies, and 
pathfinding into the knowledge era beyond globalization. 
Madelin is the most openly and steadfastly pro-American of 
all major French politicians. He also strongly and publicly 
supported President George W. Bush and America's initiative 
to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Notwithstanding his 
service as a minister (Finance, Telecommunications and 
Tourism, and Small and Medium-sized Business) and his 
founding of a political party dedicated to democratic and 
free-market principles (Liberal Democracy (DL)), Madelin is 
seen in France as a maverick and an outsider -- precisely 
because of his unabashed pro-Americanism and undiluted 
commitment to democracy and free-markets. End Summary. 

REPORTING, NOT ADVOCATING, MADELIN'S CANDIDACY 
--------------------------------------------- - 
2. (SBU) This cable reports Madelin's request for U.S. 
support for his candidacy to head the OECD, and conveys some 
of the points made by Madelin in support of his candidacy. 
This report has been cleared by USOECD. Embassy Paris is not 
advocating U.S. support of Madelin to head the OECD. 
However, Madelin's commitment to implementing OECD reform as 
proposed by the U.S. may recommend his candidacy. The fact 
that he is at once endorsed by France and pro-U.S. is also 
noteworthy. Madelin's credentials as an advocate of open 
societies and free markets are remarkable for a French 
political figure. His public support of President Bush and 
the U.S. effort to liberate Iraq -- including statements in 
the French parliament to that effect -- make him a friend of 
America whose requests for consideration from us merit our 
serious attention. 

REQUEST FOR U.S. SUPPORT 
------------------------ 
3. (C) At a meeting in Madelin's law offices with 
Ambassador Stapleton on September 6, Madelin asked that the 
U.S. support his candidacy to become Secretary General of the 
OECD. Madelin said that, as "the candidate proposed by 
France, he enjoyed some support in the selection process, but 
that only a political decision" by the U.S. to support him 
could give his candidacy the weight it needed to prevail over 
others vying for the job. 

COMMITMENT TO U.S. GOALS FOR REFORM OF OECD 
------------------------------------------- 
4. (C) In his meeting with Ambassador Stapleton, Madelin 
portrayed himself as someone known for his determination to 
deliver on his commitments. He stressed that his convictions 
with regard to democratic self-governance, rule of law and 
free markets were not "those of lip service." He said that 
he agreed with the U.S. proposed measures to improve, in 
particular, the governance of the OECD, and that he would it 
make it his priority -- should he become OECD Secretary 
General -- to re-engineer the OECD, linking it more closely 
to member governments and re-focusing it on executing the 
missions set for it by the "political level" of OECD member 
states. He also argued that his vision of the OECD's future 
priorities exemplified the application of American values to 
the mission of an international organization. 

MADELIN'S PRIORITY MISSIONS FOR THE OECD 
---------------------------------------- 
5. (SBU) Madelin outlined what he said should be the OECD's 
"priority missions," and presented the Ambassador with a 
written brief about them. He said he believed these missions 
exemplified the application of "our common values" (American 
and French) of freedom, democracy and rule of law to the 
goals of an international organization such as the OECD. 

-- Enhancing globalization: work to promote free trade, open 
markets and extend the benefits that they have brought about 
in the context of an integrating, world economy; 

-- Encouraging free and open societies in the Muslim world in 
particular: validate and (when possible) enable the policy 
choices, both political and economic, that would bring about 
democratic and prosperous, open societies in the Muslim world; 

-- Supporting the development of Africa: coordinate a 
"Marshall plan for Africa, since so long as Africa is "left 
by the wayside," it is "impossible to defend globalization 
and its underpinning idea of freedom." 

-- Fostering structural reforms in European economies: 
Madelin, true to form, projects a role for the OECD in 
bringing around the "very radical free market reforms," he 
believes would bring renewed growth and prosperity to many of 
Europe's sluggish economies; 

-- Anticipating the global knowledge society: Madelin 
envisages a role for the OECD as a knowledge repository and 
exchange mechanism for policy experience that has worked -- 
made globalization more advantageous for ordinary people. 

BACKGROUND ON MADELIN 
--------------------- 
6. (SBU) Madelin is a member of the majority, center-right 
Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party. He is a member of 
France's National Assembly, representing the 4th district of 
the Ille et Vilaine department in the Brittany region of 
western France. He was elected in 1978, and (excepting three 
periods when he held ministerial positions) has served 
continually, regularly winning re-election. Madelin was the 
founder of the now-defunct Liberal Democracy (DL) political 
party. He ran in the 2002 presidential elections, but 
garnered only 3.9 percent of the first round vote placing 
eleventh out of eighteen candidates. Running as an 
independent, he was reelected to the National Assembly in the 
2002 legislative elections. Soon thereafter he folded his 
cash-strapped DL party into the newly formed UMP. 

7. (SBU) Madelin is best known for laissez-faire capitalist 
proposals that reflect Anglo-American economic thinking -- 
quite outside the French mainstream for economic policy. An 
admirer of Margaret Thatcher, Friedrich von Hayek, and Milton 
Friedman, Madelin has long called for an end to unproductive 
and unwarranted state intervention in the economy. Madelin 
briefly served as Finance Minister during the government of 
Prime Minister Juppe from May to August of 1995. He was 
forced to resign after both Juppe and President Chirac 
objected to key features of Madelin's budget proposal, some 
of which called into question the government,s &vocation,8 
as the French call it, to redistribute wealth and income. 
Madelin also served as Minister for Industry, 
Telecommunications and Tourism (under Prime Minister Chirac) 
from 1986-88, and as Junior Minister for Small and 
Medium-sized Businesses from 1993-95 (under Prime Minister 
Balladur). 

8. (SBU) Madelin organized and led a series of vigils in 
Paris following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 
In early 2003, during the controversy at the UN over the 
resolution to authorize military action against Iraq, Madelin 
was the first and best-known French politician to argue in 
press articles (including in the Wall Street Journal of 
January 31, 2003) that France needed to be at America's side. 
He wrote, "The American cause is indeed ours...it is time 
for France to choose: either to protect the Iraqi dictator 
against America, or to protect the world against Saddam and 
what he represents." 

COMMENT 
------- 
9. (C) Madelin said that he had received President Chirac's 
own assurance of strong, official French support for his 
candidacy. He also said that he had been solicited to go 
after the job by reformist members of the OECD secretariat 
who -- Madelin said -- believed that only leadership strongly 
committed to democracy and free-markets could save the OECD 
from its increasing irrelevance. In addition, according to 
Madelin, these reformers believe a French head of a 
bureaucracy based in France would have a better chance of 
effecting difficult, internal reforms. We believe that the 
French political establishment is ready to support, in a 
sustained way, Madelin's candidacy, both as a national, 
favorite son candidate and to further sideline him and his 
ideas from the domestic political scene. End Comment. 
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm 
STAPLETON