PARIS: The French ministry of defence is expected to announce the
appointment later this month of Jean-Francois Bureau, a former adviser
to president Francois Mitterrand, as the head of its information and PR
service - the first civilian to take up the post.
Bureau will report to minister of defence Alain Richard and act as his
official spokesman - a new responsibility which has been interpreted in
some quarters as an attempt to politicise the post. He will also preside
over the slimming down of the service as France gears up for the phasing
out of compulsory military service by 2002.
Bureau is also expected to take over the responsibilities held by his
predecessor, General Dominique de Corta, who retired earlier this year
(PR Week, 22 May). These include: international and domestic PR,
publications and internal communications.
A spokesperson for the PR service said: ’He has not been officially
appointed yet, but it is practically sure. We are going to go through an
internal reorganisation, like in all the other divisions of the
Bureau is currently head of communications, publications and archives at
the Cour des Comptes, France’s national audit organisation which he
joined almost three years ago. He was previously an adviser on defence
issues for former president Mitterrand from 1991 to 1994 and head of
information and PR for Socialist minister of the interior Pierre Joxe
from 1990 to 1991.