Tampere (FIN), 13 November 2008.
Michèle Sabban, Vice-President of the Ile-de-France region (F), was today elected President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the largest independent network of regional authorities in wider Europe.
A former AER vice-president (2006-2008), Ms. Sabban was elected from among three candidates to the two-year post during AER’s annual General Assembly, which is taking place this week in Tampere (FIN) under the title “Migration and Integration: Regional solutions to a European challenge”.
Ms. Sabban said after the election: “Our Assembly will have to pick up new challenges and our work program will have to respond to the major issues confronting regions today: climate change, demographic changes, migration and the common agricultural policy.
“We will bring together the voices of the regions on the European scene; we will establish strong relations of trust with the European institutions in 2009, and we will find a common platform to work with all the organisations representing local and regional authorities in Europe and across the world.”
The General Assembly further elected two vice-presidents, Constantin Ostaficiuc (President of Timis, Romania) and Peter Straub (President of Baden-Württemberg Assembly), as well as a vice-president treasurer, Urs Wüthrich-Pelloli (Minister-Delegate for European Affairs, Basel Landschaft, Switzerland).
Seats were also allocated for AER’s executive political Bureau, which consists of members selected by fellow-regions of the 33 countries represented within AER.
AER’s General Assembly (GA) on migration and integration has attracted over 400 participants, including experts, EU officials and politicians representing around 150 regions of the wider Europe. The GA concludes tomorrow with members’ adoption of the Tampere Declaration on Migration and Integration.
Michèle Sabban, a short biography:
Michèle Sabban has been President of the AER Observatory on Gender Issues since 2004 and an AER Vice-President since 2006. She took on the AER Presidency when Riccardo Illy withdrew from politics last Spring.
Ms. Sabban has been Vice-President of the regional Council of Ile-de-France (F) since 1998, in charge of personnel, general administration and government contracts. She is also Vice-President of International Socialist Women.
Born in June 1954 in Kef, Tunisia, Ms Sabban is a mother of three children and has a degree in Fine Arts. Active in many associations, notably in the protection of Human Rights, she has for a long time been committed to the acknowledgment of the place of women in the political arena.
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