Who is Gaspard Koenig, new presidential candidate?


BIO – The philosopher and writer Gaspard Koenig announced on Tuesday that he was a candidate for the presidential election. This liberal, who has already been a candidate for the legislative elections in 2012, wants in particular to “simplify” the lives of the French by reducing the standards.

“The goal today is to restore freedom, responsibility, autonomy so that people can make their decision.” Such is the ambition of Gaspard Koenig, 39, in running for the presidential election next April. Considering that no candidate defends this “simplification” bureaucracy, he wants “simplify” the life of the French by reducing “per 100 the number of standards”, which he presented on France 2 as “a bureaucratic prison”.

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The philosopher and writer had the opportunity to draw this observation after having traveled in 2020 the country on horseback while staying “every evening or almost at the inhabitant”. Last May he founded a political movement that summed up his ambition well, called “Simple”.

This will not be the first foray of the philosophy associate, who voted for Emmanuel Macron in 2017, into the world of politics. After his professional debut as a professor of philosophy at the University of Lille, he joined the cabinet of Christine Lagarde, then Nicolas Sarkozy’s Minister of Economy, as a pen. In June 2012, he was a candidate in the legislative elections in the 3rd constituency of the French Abroad (Europe-North) under the label of the Liberal Democratic Party. At the end of the first round he obtained 4.4% of the votes.

Defender of a universal income

In 2013, Gaspard Koenig founded the think tank GenerationLibre, which asserts “defend freedoms, all freedoms” and “reinventing liberalism in the 21st century”. Its work has notably inspired a proposal for a universal income defended by the Agir Ensemble group in the National Assembly. “Today, we have never been so convinced of the need for a citizen base, a real income for freedom and a mechanism for universal solidarity”, wrote its defenders in a forum in May 2020, including Gaspard Koenig. With such “citizen base”, the country would have “immediately disposed of what we have been trying for several weeks to invent, through a number of emergency aid measures and adjustments to our support systems” in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

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In April 2021, the graduate of ENS Lyon participated in the States General of Secularism, and in December 2021 he signed with a hundred deputies of the majority a platform against the overexposure of children to screens, “the evil of the century” according to them.

Philosopher but also writer and novelist, Gaspard Koenig was part of the last selection for the Renaudot Prize in the Essays for On horseback in the footsteps of Montaigne (L’Observatoire), retracing his journey on the roads of the country in 2020. He had already been selected for the Renaudot in the Novels category in 2006 for A Russian kiss (Grasset). In 2004, he was selected at the Goncourt for his first novel Octave was twenty (Grasset). In 2005, for this same book, he was awarded the Jean Freustié prize.

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