Lionel Jospin (French: [ljɔnɛl ʒɔspɛ̃]; born 12 July 1937) is a French politician. He served as prime minister of France from 1997 to 2002.
Jospin was the Socialist Party candidate for president of France in the elections of 1995 and 2002. In 1995 he was narrowly defeated in the final runoff election by Jacques Chirac. In 2002 he was eliminated in the first round after finishing behind both Chirac and the far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen. He then announced his retirement from politics.