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Michel Lebrun elected president of the EU's Committee of the Regions

Members of the EU's Committee of the Regions (CoR) have elected Michel Lebrun (BE/EPP) as their new president who placed economic growth and jobs for young at the top of his priorities. The municipal councillor of Viroinval will take over from Luis Ramón Valc á rcel Siso who was elected MEP during the European elections. The President of Italy's Umbria Region, Catiuscia Marini (PES), was also voted in as First Vice-President replacing Mercedes Bresso who also heads to the European Parliament as an MEP.

Michel Lebrun has been a member of the assembly since its creation in 1994. As well as being Vice-President of Belgium's Walloon parliament he held a number of posts during his illustrious political career in Belgium including Minister of Higher Education, Research and International Relations in Wallonia Brussels Federation, and Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Spatial Planning in Wallonia.

Speaking during the Committee's plenary in Brussels, where members also celebrated 20 years since the institution was formed, Mr. Lebrun (EPP) said, "It is a real honour to take over the Presidency of this political assembly for which I have been politically active representing the citizens of Wallonia for the past twenty years. It is clear that the most pressing task ahead for the EU is to deliver on growth, jobs and cohesion, giving our young people a new positive outlook for the future. During my Presidency I will ensure that the CoR continues to show just how important regional and local authorities are for reinforcing European democracy. We are starting to put the crisis behind us but we need to do more and, as local and regional authorities, we need to take the lead putting in place measures that will deliver for our communities. I will continue to champion this and all other issues that matter the most for the regional and local level, defending the interests of all regions and cities in Europe".
Catiuscia Marini (PES), a member of the CoR since 2010, backed these priorities stating that, "My election as First Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions is a great opportunity for the Umbria Region. Together with the other regions and local communities of Europe, we are being asked to play a part in developing an ambitious renewal plan that fosters growth and jobs, especially for Europe's young citizens. I devote the coming months to a structured dialogue with the other European institutions. It is crucial to exclude the national co-funding of the Structural Funds and of European investment from the calculation of the stability pact, which would be a concrete and practical indication that we were moving away from austerity policies towards investment and growth policies".




Carmen Schmidle
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