Graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (1978).
Administrator at the National Assembly, first with the Delegation for the European Communities (1981-1983), then with the Committee on Foreign Affairs (1983-1986). Adviser to Laurent Fabius,
President of the National Assembly (1988-1992). Socialist Party national secretary with responsibility for development cooperation (1993-1995).
Member of the Socialist Party national bureau (1993-2004).
Member of Sèvres Municipal Council (2001-2008). Member of the European Parliament (since 1994).
Chair of the French Socialist delegation in the European Parliament (1997-2004). Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (2004-2009). Substitute member of the European Convention set up to prepare a draft European Constitution (2002-2003).