Jean-Noël Barrot, the digital stranger betting on Europe

Jean-Noël Barrot, the digital stranger betting on Europe

Too political or too technical? An elected official who knows nothing about digital, or an expert already at the heart of the machine? When he was appointed ministerial delegate in charge of digital transformation and telecoms, Jean-Noël Barrot heard everything. At 39, the unknown to the general public lacks neither self-confidence nor bite. A mocking twinkle flashes in his blue eyes as he brushes away those simplifications.

“The truth is that I am a researcher specializing in funding innovation. Then I became a deputy, very concerned with business issues,” he replies amid the happy hubbub of France Digitale Day, the big annual gathering of the France Digitale association. The double doctorate graduate of HEC, Sciences-Po and the Paris School of Economics taught finance at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for five years. After a partial general election in the 4th constituency of Yvelines, which he just won with 71% of the votes this Sunday, October 9th, he is beginning a second term as MP. But today “in politics” and not as a simple technician, the newcomer to the government, who is close to François Bayrou, wants to fulfill the mission entrusted to him by Elisabeth Borne.

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“We need the political impetus to bring all digital issues together at the same time. This is the only way for us to succeed in digital transformation and for France to retain its rank as a great digital nation,” explains the man with dual ancestry, both political and entrepreneurial. Jean-Noël Barrot is the son of Minister and EU Commissioner Jacques Barrot, who died in 2014, and grandson of Christian Democrat resistance fighter Noël Barrot. His mother, Florence Poivey, who enthusiastically retweets his speeches, gave him a taste for the business, she ran a plastics processing SME, Plastic Union, for 25 years and held responsibilities at Medef.


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