30 Jun, 2020

Double liberal victory in France

Members of the Renew Europe Group in the European Committee of the Regions (Renew Europe CoR) Vincent Chauvet and Jean-Noël Verfaillie were respectively re-elected and elected Mayor of Autun and Mayor of Marly during the second round of the French municipal elections on 28 June.

Vincent Chauvet was re-elected with 53% of the vote, which also marks his first election victory as head of the list (Chauvet succeeded the previous Mayor during the last mandate). Turnout for this second round was up, after being delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak. During that difficult period Chauvet explained what he did for his city and citizens. As the member of Renew Europe CoR, Chauvet sits on the Green Deal Working Group while also being the coordinator for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy Commission. Before becoming a member, Chauvet also joined the programme of Young Elected Politicians (YEP) and participated in the EU Regions Week in 2019, discussing the future of EU and the role of regions and cities in it.

His first reaction after winning re-election was focused on the road ahead:

“Let’s get to work. We have a great responsibility and there are many challenges, for instance with this sanitary crisis, which is still not over, and especially with this economic crisis that is coming. In our first days of this new mandate, our objective will be to save this touristic season.”

Jean-Noël Verfaillie was elected Mayor of Marly for the first time with 53.5% of the vote. Verfaillie has been a member of Renew Europe CoR since the previous mandate, now sitting on the Environment, Climate Change and Energy Commission (ENVE) as well as the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy. He was also part of the European Committee of the Regions official delegation to COP25 in Madrid as the then Vice-Chair of ENVE and takes a keen interest in reconversion as his region is a former industrial stronghold.

“It’s a big moment. We have this feeling of responsibility now, a city of 12,000 inhabitants to manage. It has been a long time working towards this for us,” Verfaillie commented.

Both Mayors join the other French Mayors in Renew Europe CoR, who were elected in the first round of the French municipal elections in June: Renew Europe CoR President and Mayor of Saint Omer François Decoster, Cécilie Gallien, Thibaud Guignard, Jean-François Barnier and Xavier Priollaud.

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