Élisabeth Guigou is a French socialist politician.
Guigou first got a taste of front-line politics when she was appointed Minister of European Affairs (1990–1993), during the campaign on the Maastricht Treaty.
Guigou was elected to the European Parliament in the 1994 elections. Throughout her time in parliament, she served as vice-chairwoman of the Committee on Institutional Affairs. During 1994–1995 she was member of the Tindemans group. Together with Elmar Brok, she represented the European Parliament in the negotiations that produced the Amsterdam Treaty.
In 1997, Guigou was elected to the National Assembly in the Vaucluse département and entered incoming Prime Minister Lionel Jospin’s cabinet, as Minister of Justice (1997–2000) and then as Minister of Employment (2000–2002).
During her time in office, Guigou co-sponsored several bills that became law. She co-sponsored a 1998 law which abrogated the requirement of “manifestation of will” for children born in France of foreign parents to gain citizenship. Also in the late 1990s, she took action to grant investigating magistrates more independence; at the same time, she gave the Justice Ministry the ability to intervene.
Guigou also co-sponsored a 2000 law which articulated the French policy on presumption of innocence in media by prohibiting magazines and newspapers from publishing photographs of accused individuals wearing handcuffs or other scenes which may “jeopardize a victim’s dignity”. It forbids the publication of photographs of survivors of violent crimes, including terrorist attacks, without their permission. The law, which was unanimously supported by the Senate and later became known as the Guigou law.
Guigou has been serving as chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs since 2012. She is also a member of the Committee on European Affairs and the Working Group on the Prevention of Conflicts of Interest. In addition to her committee assignments, she serves as vice-chairwoman of the French-Moroccan Parliamentary Friendship Group. Since 2015, Guigou has been serving as a member of the European Commission’s High-level Group of Personalities on Defence Research.