The High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP) has rejected a retraining project for the former transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari at the shipowner CMA CGM, pointing to “substantial ethical risks”, according to a notice published on Tuesday 24 May.

The former minister of the government of Jean Castex, who had already obtained the green light from the HATVP to sit on the board of directors of the start-up Hopium, specializing in the construction of hydrogen vehicles, wanted, this time , become executive vice-president in charge of the space division that CMA CGM plans to create. Mr. Djebbari would have been, in this capacity, a member of the executive committee of the shipping giant. Contacted, the CMA CGM did not wish to comment on the information.

“Legitimate Doubt”

Member of the government from September 2019 to May 2022, Mr. 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 post at CMA CGM would cause a risk of questioning the “independent and impartial functioning of the administration”.

The HATVP also notes that Mr. Djebbari met eight times with the senior executives of the shipping 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 High Authority.

It also gave the green light, but under very strict conditions, to the creation by the former minister of a consulting company.

“Perfectly Serene”

The High Authority for the transparency of public life warns the former deputy of La République en Marche for Haute-Vienne against the criminal risk of “illegal taking of interests” in cases where his future consulting company would have as a client a company in the transport sector.

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.

Mr. Djebbari had said, on May 17, “perfectly serene” and had assured that he had “no state of mind” to leave in the private sector, after a stint in government, which he had long announced would not don’t want to continue.