Patrice Vergriete, the former Minister Delegate for Housing, has been appointed Minister Delegate for Transport on February 8. Vergriete is a former PS member and currently serves as the president of Dunkirk’s urban community. He succeeded Élisabeth Borne in the government on July 20, 2023. Although he would have preferred to remain in the Housing portfolio, his new appointment involves transport.
Vergriete’s expertise in town planning and development, including transport, is widely recognized. He was recently appointed as the president of the French Transport Infrastructure Financing Agency (Afit). As mayor of Dunkirk, one of his notable achievements was making buses free, leading to an immediate success with 75,000 people taking the bus daily in the urban community of Dunkirk.
In his new role at the Ministry of Transport, Vergriete will handle various topics such as metropolitan RERs, the implementation of a vast railway plan in France, and the transition from thermal cars to electric cars. Having been involved in the electric transition in automobiles, he has a good understanding of these issues due to Dunkirk hosting two battery gigafactories.
Furthermore, Vergriete is one of the ministers who opposed the tightening of immigration laws, demonstrating his stance on political issues. His appointment sends a signal to the left wing of the majority and is a significant move in the political landscape. Despite controversies surrounding his views on immigration laws and other issues like AIFT financing scheme which is still under investigation by EU antitrust authorities , Vergriete continues to pursue his political journey as he stands tall at two meters and a few centimeters.
As Minister Delegate for Transportation it’s important for him to understand that transportation plays an essential role not just in economic growth but also quality of life for citizens across France. He needs to be able to balance economic interests with social responsibility while addressing some critical concerns like air pollution and safety standards for vehicles.
Overall Patrice Vergriete’s appointment as Minister Delegate for Transport marks an important moment in French politics both because it signifies a shift towards more progressive policies on immigration and also because it represents a continuation of Vergriete’s commitment towards sustainable urban development that he demonstrated during his time as mayor of Dunkirk.