The former French president François Hollande (right) and his successor Emmanuel Macron in 2017. Both leaders studied at ENA. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP via Getty
Emmanuel Macron is expected to officially announce on Thursday the closure of the École Nationale d’Administration, the elite French finishing school for the country’s leaders where he studied.
Known as ENA, the grande école has been the hothouse for France’s top civil service and a pathway to power in the public and private sectors. Four French presidents, including Macron, have passed through its doors as have dozens of ministers and business leaders.
Founded by Gen Charles de Gaulle in October 1945 with the idea of breaking the upper-class hold over France’s higher echelons, ending nepotism and making the civil service more democratic, it has instead become a byword for an establishment elite that critics have accused it of encouraging groupthink.