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Jean-Baptiste Djebbari: "IHEDN training is unique and exciting".

As an auditor for the "defence policy" major in the 2022-2023 national session, the former Minister Delegate for Transport looks back on this year-long experience and what it has taught him.
How did you hear about IHEDN?

When I was a member of the National Assembly. I was appointed to government in the meantime, but I didn't give up on the idea. This led me to apply after my ministerial experience. And a year later, I have no regrets. This course is unique and exciting.


Did the strategic context influence your decision to apply for the national session?

It strengthened my resolve to gain a better understanding of the technical, organisational, operational and ethical issues relating to defence, and thus to reinforce my convictions about possible political options. The quality of the speakers made this exercise possible.


You are best known as a transport specialist. What have you gained professionally from following the "defence policy" major?

The world of transport is not completely separate from the world of defence. The aeronautics industry has a dual dimension that has not escaped anyone's attention. The emergence of drones, for example, requires us to think about how to regulate low-level air traffic while taking account of public safety imperatives. The defence policy major not only provides an opportunity to acquire a cross-disciplinary knowledge of defence issues, but also to delve deeper into subjects of personal and professional interest. 


More generally, how would you sum up this year of defence training?

The strength of IHEDN training is - as General Yakovleff puts it - that it brings together people "who already have some experience and still have some ambition". What I remember about this course was the quality and interest of the site visits, the pleasure of working in committee on important subjects, and the very high personal quality of the CHEM auditors. 


IHEDN's mission is to spread the "spirit of defence". What does this mean to you?

Our society lacks a narrative and a collective commitment. The conflict in Ukraine has shown that it is citizens who are the bulwark of a nation whose sovereignty and values are under attack. The IHEDN is helping to forge a spirit of defence that will need to be more widely deployed in all educational settings in the future. The tragedy of the world requires greater cohesion; the spirit of defence is one of the fundamental building blocks.