Marie Ekeland resigned after the government's decision to dismiss Rokhaya Diallo from the institution; the appointment of the feminist activist had been widely criticized.
Eight days after the appointment of its members, the National Digital Council is becoming an empty shell. In the wake of the resignation of its president, Marie Ekeland, almost all of its members slammed the door on Tuesday, December 19, after the controversy sparked by the appointment of Rokhaya Diallo.
Read also: Rokhaya Diallo dismissed from the National Digital Council
Faced with the bronca aroused by this appointment, Mr. Mahjoubi had asked that she leave the Council on December 11. Rather than comply with this government injunction, Marie Ekeland, founder of the Daphni investment fund, preferred to resign and thus give up proposing a recomposition of the college of thirty newly appointed members. “We worked a lot with Mounir Mahjoubi and the members of the CNNum to find a solution that would preserve its integrity and completeness. We didn't make it”, justified the entrepreneur in a letter made public, while continuing to defend Rokhaya Diallo.
“I was shocked by the caricatures to which Rokhaya Diallo and Axiom have been reduced: they have nothing to do with who they really are. »
In the process, twenty-seven of the thirty members of the council followed the example of Marie Ekeland. "Noting the impossibility of implementing his project, considering that the work of the Council can no longer be done according to effective methods, we have decided to collectively present our resignation", they write in a collective message.
Among the resigners, Pierre-Yves Geoffard, from the Paris School of Economics, rapper Axiom, Benoît Thieulin, director of innovation at Open and co-dean of the School of Management and Innovation at Sciences Po , Aymeril Hoang, director of innovation at Société Générale, or Éric Carreel, who created the Withings scales, formalize their departure from the institution.
Hard blow for Mounir Mahjoubi
Feminist and anti-racist activist, Rokhaya Diallo divides. The one who said herself “a bit abrasive” in an interview granted on November 30 to the Regards.fr website denounces, for example, the “state racism” in France. She thus invited Jean-Michel Blanquer to file a complaint against her. Like what the Minister of Education had done in November against the SUD-Education union of Seine-Saint-Denis, after the latter had used this expression. If the rapper Axiom had also been the subject of criticism, Mounir Mahjoubi had, however, not wanted his departure.
"The government was not ready to follow the appointment of Rokhaya Diallo to the end", said a member. In fact, in fine, the decree appointing the National Digital Council was signed by the Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe.
Read also: Object of criticism on its composition, the National Digital Council will be overhauled
For Mounir Mahjoubi, the blow is hard. The youngest of the government, who had chaired the CNNum until the beginning of 2017, before joining the campaign of Emmanuel Macron, had taken many months to relaunch this institution supposed to guide the government on digital subjects. “In the world of start-ups, the debates are legion. When a project fails, we stop and start again, he tries to justify after this failure. Marie Ekeland wanted a very global project for the CNNum, which did not allow us to move forward on digital issues. »
One thing is certain, this crisis demonstrates all the ambiguity of the place of this institution in the public debate. Officially, the government wanted to make it an entity "independent" and pretended to give Marie Ekeland all the freedom she needed to carry out her project. But the government takeover shows how much an advisory commission has its hands tied. "The current form of appointment and functioning of the CNNum is confusing and cannot guarantee its independence", has also recorded Marie Ekeland in her letter. "Independence does not mean "too far" », admits Mounir Mahjoubi himself.
Will the National Digital Council survive this crisis? The Secretary of State plans to appoint a new college and a new president, capable of being operational in early 2018. He wants advice “even more oriented towards working-class neighborhoods and rurality”.
Source: © The National Digital Council loses its president and almost all of its members