As early as January, he said “not sure about continuing in politics”. At the beginning of May, he was counting the days. Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said he was “perfectly serene” on Tuesday and had “no qualms” about joining the board of directors of a hydrogen car manufacturer after having been deputy minister to Transport. “It doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all, it’s normal to return to normal activity after politics”, defended himself on RMC and BFMTV the minister who is waiting to know his successor to hand over the ministry to him.

It is undisputed that Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, former director of operations of a private airline, who became a deputy in 2017 then secretary of state and minister in 2019, is leaving political life. But Monday morning, on social networks, the company Hopium announced the entry to its board of directors of the one who was still a minister. A calendar which would be explained by the obligation made to Hopium to communicate on this proposal for appointment 35 days before its general meeting of June 20.

Hopium’s Board of Directors proposes the appointment of Mr. @Djebbari_JB, Minister Delegate for Transport, as a director. More info:— Hopium (@hopiumofficial) May 16, 2022

It was the company that approached him, he says. The 40-year-old former minister, laden with diplomas, one of which he prepared “on (his) free time” at the ministry and “over a year”, admitted to having requested the High Authority on the transparency of public life ( HATVP) on January 30, to be sure to respect the deadlines for referral, in particular of conflict of interest, when a minister joins a company with which he was able to work while in office. “There are rules, you have to follow them,” he argued. Which doesn’t mean he had “dropped” his wallet five months ago: “I’ve been fully at work, seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” he defended.

Rather than “hanging on for 40 years” to a political office, Djebbari therefore preferred Hopium: “I am not a civil servant, I will help a start-up in a few months. If not, what’s the alternative model, do nothing and hide in a large group? “, he pretended to question. The idea of ​​continuing in politics, by reclaiming his mandate as deputy of Haute-Vienne, does not seem to have been an option for him.

Hopium is working on the production of cars using hydrogen to move. In its opinion, the HATVP considered that “the risk of illegal taking of interests can be ruled out” but issued a reservation enjoining Jean-Baptiste Djebbari not to take any action, in particular with the Ministry of Transport for three years.