Xavier Bertrand became deputy mayor of Saint-Quentin in 1995, delegated to the organisation and development of the town. He was elected MP for the 2nd constituency of the Aisne department in the legislative elections of 2002.
He was appointed as Minister of health in Dominique de Villepin’s cabinet in 2005, a post he held until 2007, when he was named Minister of Labour from May 2007 to January 2009, then Minister of Labour, Employment and Health from 2010 to May 2012 under François Fillon. Within the framework of his responsibilities, he steered through a raft of social reforms including the introduction of the minimum service and the ban on smoking in public places.
In December 2015, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie regional elections, Xavier Bertrand’s list of candidates won a majority, with over 57% of votes, based on a political programme focused on work and pride in being a citizen of the new Greater Region, set against the background of the merger of the Nord–Pas de Calais and Picardy regions.
Xavier Bertrand became the first President of the Hauts-de-France Region. He left his tenure as Deputy Mayor in order to devote himself to his programme for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hauts-de-France region: assisting jobseekers (creation of Proch’Emploi to bring together jobseekers and recruiting companies within employment basins), supporting workers by increasing their buying power (help with transport and childcare costs), assisting and accompanying job-creating companies (professional training, financing the creation of businesses), removing obstacles to employment (“On the way to work” for those who are re-entering the workplace but don’t have a car).