“In ecological and social matters, with Macron, the account is not there”

6:20 on May 31, 2022

In 2017, the mathematician Cédric Villani presented himself under the label La République en Marche in Essonne’s 5th constituency in 2017, where he was largely elected. Two and a half years later, he expressed his desire to be a majority candidate for mayor of Paris, but the party’s national nomination commission set its sights on Benjamin Griveaux. Medalist Fields maintains its candidacy, will be expelled from LREM in January 2020 and will not win the election. On June 12, he presents himself for the second time to voters in Essonne’s 5th constituency under new colors, those from the Génération Écologie party, led by Delphine Batho, for which he was a spokesman for the primary environmentalist.

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You were an LREM candidate for the 5th constituency in Essonne in 2017, today you are running under the brand Génération Écologie, which is part of Nupes. What caused this change?
Two and a half years ago, I left the majority midway through, with Delphine Batho, Matthieu Orphelin and other deputies, founding the Ecology Democracy Solidarity Group. We have been very active in promoting what we thought was conducive to ecological and social change. The extension of the deadline for access to abortion has thus been initiated by our group. I note that since 2020, the majority have been systematically in retreat on ecology and social issues. Whether it’s the exemption on neonicotinoids, the law on climate resilience, the citizens’ convention … The laws that have been adopted are under campaign promises. In ecological and social matters, with Macron, the account is not there.

What differences do you see between the campaign you ran in 2017 and the one you run today?
It’s the same territory and yet it’s very different. Not just because the brand has changed, but because I run a local campaign thanks to the knowledge gained on the topics and the terrain. I travel the district by bicycle, I have acquired it, and I fight for the attractiveness of the Center for Science, Research and Innovation in Paris-Saclay or for the preservation of the fertile farmland on the Plateau de Saclay. I would also like the new Paris-Saclay hospital to be in full interaction with the scientific pole. More generally, I campaign for the development of culture, for health services for the benefit of the entire population, as well as for an ecological, democratic and comprehensive transformation of the territory.

This five-year period boils down to big promises, for small results

Different parties put ecology at the center of their program, why did you join Génération Écologie and not another?
It is, above all, a meeting. I closely followed the work of Delphine Batho. I had many exchanges with her, and I appreciated her strict, tenacious personality. Over the weekend, your newspaper disseminated a ranking of the deputies who voted most for ecology. It is a classification whose criteria can be disputed, but whatever criteria are taken into account, in terms of ecology, it would be in the first. It was natural for me to work with her. It provided a culture of global problem analysis.

Also read – INFO JDD. Which MP voted most for ecology?

What ecological balance do you draw from these five years?
The ecological assessment of this five-year period does not live up to the urgency and the promises. At some points, however, there is some progress, especially around the animal issue. It will be forbidden to catch wild animals in circuses and whales. But there was nothing about the problems of breeding, hunting, nothing that does not interfere with the economic interests, nothing that does not interfere with the community of hunters. The hunters themselves acknowledge this. Willy Schraen said Emmanuel Macron protects hunters from successive ecology ministers. That says a lot! There is no will to tackle the major issues, such as glyphosate, which have been backfired. The Climate and Robustness Act lacks ambition, although the Citizens’ Convention was a good idea. This five-year period boils down to big promises, for small results. Today we are stuck in the same big problems as at the beginning of a five-year period.

In the past, I suffered greatly from the fact that there were few programs written on En Marche

During this campaign, you will be criticized for not clearly assuming that you are a candidate for an alliance that wants to bring Jean-Luc Mélenchon as Prime Minister. What do you answer?
On the one hand, I would like to remind you that we are a coalition of parties with a programmatic base. In the past, I suffered greatly from the fact that there were few programs written on En Marche. I therefore set myself the course of supporting a program and values. And then, institutionally speaking, our institutions are so upside down. We start by electing the executive board, and we let them appoint the other head of the executive board. Finally, we are holding parliamentary elections in the hope that they will move in the direction of the previous election. Elsewhere, we do the opposite: everything comes from parliamentary elections. So let’s get things right, let’s start by looking at the results of these choices.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon insists on becoming Prime Minister. Do you believe that Nupes can be the majority and impose Emmanuel Macron cohabitation?
Everything is possible, but it is not my job to have a crystal ball. Also, there is no poll in my riding and I am doing really well. It can distort everything. My task is to ensure that the constituency returns to Nupes and Génération Écologie, to bring ecology in the right direction, on issues of defense of living things or even tax justice.

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