Committee of the Regions
Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso elected CoR president
By Isabelle Smets | Thursday 19 July 2012
Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso (EPP) is the new president of the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR). Valcárcel Siso is Spanish, 57 years old, and was voted in by the CoR’s 18 July plenary session for two and a half years, until the end of the institution’s current mandate, in February 2015. He will take over from the Italian Mercedes Bresso (PES), in line with an agreement reached between the various political groups of the CoR when Bresso was elected. Bresso was elected first vice-president of the CoR, a post that was until now filled by the new president.
It is the first time a Spaniard has been elected as the president of the CoR. Valcárcel Siso has been a member of the CoR since 1995, the same year as his election as president of the autonomous community of Murcia. He is still the president of the region, having been re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. He will officially take up his new assignment on 13 august.
In his investiture speech, Valcárcel Siso stressed how important it was to involve local and regional authorities in resolving the economic crisis and in implementing the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy. “Our main political goal must be to promote sustainable growth and jobs in line with the Europe 2020 strategy,” he said. He added that the CoR would make a significant contribution to the implementation of the 2020 strategy at local and regional levels before each spring European Council. As part of his presidential priorities, Valcárcel Siso said that the CoR would also focus on promoting culture and sports in Europe, which he sees as being catalysts in creating jobs. His proposals include improving cooperation among the different capitals of culture, collaborating with international bodies to promote the heritage of EU cities and regions and working alongside the European Commission to develop a European industrial policy for sustainable tourism. “I would like to incorporate culture as a key driver for growth and jobs in cities and regions. I would like to particularly work with international organisations, like UNESCO, in each of our regions and cities to preserve it and use it for local development through, for example, sustainable tourism and sport actions,” Valcárcel Siso said.