Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Policy Committee

CEMR presidency - 12.12.2016

European towns and regions have a new President
The president of Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, was elected president of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) at the occasion of the CEMR Policy Committee held on 12 December in Maastricht. As CEMR president, he will represent 130,000 cities, towns and regions federated through 60 national associations from 42 European countries. 

Upon his election, Stefano Bonaccini declared: “CEMR must be the link that can relaunch the European project, based on the central role of local governments as a fundamental principle. In a globalised era, with the resulting loss of identity and homogenisation of cultures, it is necessary to put people at the centre of a strong political and social project. Our slogan should be united in our diversity. And only with the support of local governments and participation of the citizens can we build a stronger Europe”.

Stefano Bonaccini has a proven track record of commitment to local and regional issues. Councillor for Youth Policy, Culture, Sports and Free Time in Campogalliano in 1990, he then went on to become councillor for Public Works and Historical heritage in Modena. He became president of Emilia-Romagna region in 2014. Stefano Bonaccini is also president of CEMR's Italian section (AICCRE) and president of the Conference of Italian Regions.

President Bonaccini, who succeeds the former mayor of Santander and current Spanish Minister for Public Works and Transport, Iñigo de la Serna, is to serve a three-year mandate.

In addition, CEMR has renewed its Policy Committee, made up of over 170 local and regional elected representatives. The Policy Committee is now composed of 46% of women and 54% of men.

The new president is joined by two new co-presidents:
  • Gunn Marit Helgesen, Councillor of Telemark County, President of the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Governments (KS)
  • Rainer Haas, President of Ludwigsburg county, Vice-president of the German section of the CEMR (RGRE).

Chair of the Financial Management Committee
  • Christine Oppitz-Plörer, Mayor of Innsbruck, Member of the Executive Board of the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns

  • Mariana Gâju, Mayor of Cumpăna, First-Vice President of the Association of Romanian Communes (ACoR)
  • Ewa Janczar, Councillor, Warsaw City Council
  • Petr Kulhánek, Mayor of Karlovy Vary, Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic (SMO-CR)
  • Philippe Laurent, Mayor of Sceaux, Executive President of the French Association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (AFCCRE)
  • Luc Martens, Councillor, Roeselare, President of the Association of Flemish Cities and Towns (VVSG)
  • Carlos Martinez Minguez, Mayor of Soria, Member of the Board of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP)
  • Lena Micko, Member of the City Council Linköping (Sweden), President of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR)
  • Christiane Overmans, Councillor, the Federal City of Bonn, Member of the Board of the German Section of the CEMR (RGRE)
  • Giorgos Patoulis, Mayor of Maroussi, President of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE)
  • Fatma Sahin, Mayor of Gazantiep, Union of Municipalities of Turkey
  • David Simmonds, Councillor, London Borough of Hillingdon, Local Government Association (LGA)
Executive Presidents
  • Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris
  • Anders Knape, Councillor, Karlstad
  • Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of Cracow
  • Annemarie Penn-Te Strake, Mayor of Maastricht
  • Oldřich Vlasák, Councillor, Hradec Králové

    The Presidency is also available in PDF format: CEMR Presidency


Pierre Vander Auwera
Communications Lead

Email :
Tel. : + 32 2 500 05 41
Skype : pierre_vda
Background information

The Policy Committee is CEMR’s main decision making body. It approves, among other things, the budget, the annual work programme and the admission of new members. It is a political forum for European local leaders, and a platform for towns and regions to exchange information and best practices. The Policy Committee is made up of over 170 local and regional elected representatives, who are nominated by the national member associations and national sections of CEMR.
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