Congress Keynote: Bart Somers, Mayor of Mechelen, Belgium,

Winner of the “World Mayor Prize” announced as keynote speaker at this year’s Congress

Bart Somers is a Flemish politician, member of the Open Vld party. He has been minister-president of the region of Flanders, party president, Group Chairman for Open Vld in the Flemish Parliament and president of the ALDE-group in the Committee of the Regions. Since 2001 he is Mayor of Mechelen and in 2016 he was awarded the World Mayor Prize for his outstanding efforts in the long-term integration of immigrants from different cultures, religions and social backgrounds. He transformed Mechelen from a grey and neglected city into one of the most attractive places in Belgium and at the same time into a worldwide role model for integration.

In October 2019, he became Vice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Home Affairs, Administrative Affairs, Civic Integration and Equal Opportunities.