The High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP) has rejected a retraining project of the former Minister Delegate for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari at the shipowner CMA-CGM, pointing to “substantial ethical risks”, according to a notice published on Tuesday 24 May. The former deputy minister had already obtained the green light from the HATVP to sit on the board of directors of a start-up specializing in the construction of hydrogen vehicles. In the project challenged by the High Authority, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari wanted this time to become executive vice-president in charge of the space division that the CMA-CGM plans to create.
The former member of the executive would have been in this capacity a member of the executive committee of the shipping giant. Contacted by Agence France-Presse, the CMA-CGM did not wish to comment on the information. Member of the government between September 2019 and May 2022, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari’s project was deemed “incompatible” with his former functions due to “substantial ethical risks”, according to the High Authority. Given the files that the former minister had to manage – intermodality, civil aviation, satellite applications, ports or maritime transport – the HATVP considers that this position at the CMA-CGM would pose a risk of “substantial” questioning of the “independent and impartial functioning of the administration”.
The High Authority also notes that the Minister met eight times with the senior executives of the maritime transport company. What create “a legitimate doubt as to the conditions under which the minister exercised his governmental functions, with regard to the ethical principles and the obligation to prevent conflicts of interest which are imposed on him”, advances the independent organization . At the same time, it gave the green light – but under very strict conditions – to the creation by the former minister of a consulting company.
The HATVP warns the former LREM deputy for Haute-Vienne against the criminal risk of “illegal taking of interests” in cases where his future consulting company has a company in the transport sector as a client. For a period of three years, he must also refrain from any approach, including the representation of interests, with members of the government or administrations responsible for transport.
On May 17, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said he was “perfectly serene” and assured that he had “no state of mind” to leave in the private sector after a stint in government that he had long announced not to want to continue.
While he was a minister, he had taken on his own funds a prestigious “Executive Master” training at Polytechnique, a program intended for executives and leaders. In a letter interview with former X in December 2021, the minister revealed that he had registered for this training, which comprises twelve modules of four to five days spread over 14 months, before being appointed minister.