Philippe Wojazer | Reuters
Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, arrives on stage with his wife Brigitte Trogneux to deliver a speech at the Parc des Expositions hall in Paris after early results in the first round of 2017 French presidential election, France, April 23, 2017.
More than 220,000 people have signed a petition against French President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to create a formal First Lady role for his wife Brigitte.
Unlike the U.S. First Lady, the wife of the French president does not have a formal role, although they are often informal champions for charitable causes. Past presidential wives have had small teams working for them at the Elysee presidential palace.
During his election campaign, Macron said he wanted to create a formal role for the French First Lady, with her own office and staff.
He has made clear the First Lady should not receive a public salary, but many French people say they see his plan as an “Americanization” of their politics.