INTERNATIONAL: Bureau is first civilian to head French defence PR

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.

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

army.’



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.



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