A territory with 240 municipalities in the Drôme, 50,000 km traveled per year, and every midweek political responsibilities in Paris: MP Célia de Lavergne readily recognizes the “schizophrenic side” of her function, “between two worlds” of which she is “the binder”.

Tuesday mornings around 5:15 a.m., the 42-year-old elected leaves La Chapelle-en-Vercors where she lives to catch the 6:30 a.m. TGV to Valence. This allows him to be at the Palais Bourbon from 9:00 a.m. to follow appointments, meeting of his LREM group, then in the afternoon questions to the government and meeting of its Economic Affairs Committee.

For hearings or examinations of texts, and sometimes meetings with ministerial advisers, she stays on Wednesdays in Paris. And more if it is permanent for the votes in the hemicycle, one week out of 3 or 4 – the practice of these rounds of permanence is usual under all majorities and partly explains the image of a hemicycle often far from be full.

Last year, Célia de Lavergne, an engineer with a degree from Polytechnique and Ponts et Chaussées, was co-rapporteur for the climate bill. She then sat for three weeks in a row, days and nights.

Total change of frame the rest of his week: he is devoted to the “field”, a long-term work, less visible and less known. Its constituency, the 3rd of the Drôme, mountainous, is one of the largest in France and combines “hyper rurality” and areas close to the dense Rhone Valley.

“Sometimes people ask me where my driver is… But no, I drive myself!” Exclaims the one who has criss-crossed the Drôme and visited many of the 3,000 farms under her jurisdiction.

The deputy has a permanent office near Valence, with two collaborators who “move a lot too” (another is in Paris) – she is deemed “demanding” even “tough” with her collaborators, according to an LREM source. It also offers decentralized hotlines.

To finance these activities, parliamentarians have a monthly advance for mandate expenses of 5,373 euros, and a credit for the remuneration of their collaborators of 10,581 euros per month.

The deputies themselves receive an allowance of 7,240 euros gross monthly since they leave their jobs most of the time for their mandate.

Before the Covid epidemic, Célia de Lavergne hosted public meetings or citizen cafés on Friday or Saturday evenings, then she converted to Facebook lives.

While Macronist deputies are often accused of being disconnected, she makes a point of “going towards”.

In addition to visits to companies or health establishments, Célia de Lavergne went to meet local elected officials – she herself did not seek any other mandate – and regularly makes points with prefect and sub-prefects on the application of laws.

In view of her experience, she speaks out against the reduction in the number of parliamentarians, a promise of candidate Macron in 2017 which did not succeed and was not taken up during the presidential campaign.

The one who claims not to “inaugurate the chrysanthemums” has taken various regional subjects to the national level: to bury the electricity networks after the episode of heavy snow in 2019, or the following year to improve the “universal service” of the phone.

At the same time, Célia de Lavergne, whose first term was five years ago, was a time “whip” (referent) of her commission then spokesperson for the LREM group, before reducing her trips to Paris.

Because this mother of three children aged 6, 9 and 12, whom she is raising with her husband, admits that her charge is “out of proportion” with what she has known previously. To be a deputy, “it’s both an opportunity, an honor, a responsibility, and I gave everything”.

She is running again in the June legislative elections, “to serve the territory”: “Five years that I have been campaigning!”

Célia de Lavergne will face her in particular an RN candidate, Philippe Dos Reis, and a candidate from the new union of the left, Marie Pochon.

05/13/2022 11:21:36 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2022 AFP