Bartolomeus Jozef Lodewijk Rosalia "Bart" Somers (born 12 May 1964 in Mechelen) is a Belgian, Flemish politician. He is currently the mayor of Mechelen and President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Committee of the Regions. In 2017 Bart Somers was awarded 2016 World Mayor Prize as recognition for his outstanding achievements in welcoming refugees during recent years and for the long-term integration of immigrants from different cultures, religions and social backgrounds.[1][2][3] He obtained a law degree from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Bart Somers
Bart Somers.jpg
Mayor of Mechelen
Assumed office
2001
Preceded byGeert Bervoets
Leader of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats
In office
2004–2009
Preceded byDirk Sterckx
Succeeded byGuy Verhofstadt
Minister-President of Flanders
In office
11 June 2003 – 20 July 2004
Preceded byRenaat Landuyt (Acting)
Succeeded byYves Leterme
Personal details
Born (1964-05-12) 12 May 1964 (age 55)
Mechelen, Belgium
Political partyOpen Vld
Spouse(s)Miet Bourlon
Children2
Alma materCatholic University of Leuven
WebsiteOfficial website

Political careerEdit

Between 2003 and 2004 he was the Minister-President of Flanders.

After the regional elections of June 2004 he was appointed the interim chairman of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD). On 4 December 2004, he was elected with just over 50 percent of the vote to a full term as chairman.

Bart Somers was one of the three negotiators for the Open VLD during the 2007 Belgian government formation.

After his party's defeat in the regional elections of 2009, he resigned as chairman of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats.

In June 2016, the European Committee of the Regions adopted Bart Somers report on "Combatting Radicalisation and Violent Extremism: Prevention mechanisms at local and regional level".[4] His opinion won cross-party support for its calls for more effective policing, for more cooperation between local, regional, national and European authorities, and for an approach based on respect for core principles.[5][6]

In October 2016, Bart Somers was elected as Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Committee of the Regions.[7]

In February 2017, he received the "World Mayor Prize 2016", an election for the year's best mayor in the world.[8]

In October 2019, he became Vice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Living Together and Domestic Administration in the Jambon Government. [9]

Personal lifeEdit

He was formerly married to Miet Bourlon (currently divorced) and he has two children, a girl Lieze and a boy Jan Klaas.[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Mechelen mayor Bart Somers wins World Mayor Prize | Flanders Today". www.flanderstoday.eu. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  2. ^ "World Mayor: Mechelen Mayor Bart Somers". www.worldmayor.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  3. ^ "Bart Somers awarded 2016 World Mayor Prize - ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions". ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions. 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Combatting radicalisation: how local authorities can play a crucial role". The Guest Blog. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  6. ^ "Liberal rapporteurs in the CoR tackle food waste and radicalisation - ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions". ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions. 2016-06-21. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  7. ^ "Bart Somers elected as new ALDE CoR President - ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions". ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions. 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  8. ^ Haezendonck, Sven Van. "Bart Somers wint prestigieuze '2016 World Mayor Prize': "Een voorbeeld voor heel Europa"". Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  9. ^ Huyghebaert, Pieterjan. "Wie is wie in de nieuwe Vlaamse regering? Van vertrouwde gezichten tot nieuwe lichting". VRT NWS (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-10-02.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Geert Bervoets
Mayor of Mechelen
2001–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Renaat Landuyt
Acting
Minister-President of Flanders
2003–2004
Succeeded by
Yves Leterme
Preceded by
Dirk Sterckx
Leader of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Guy Verhofstadt