Powered by xpats.com
Weather
9 °C

Not registered yet?

  • Daily & weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment our articles
Register now

You are here

Recent articles

Nov 23, 2017

A string of pop-up stores have opened their doors this week in downtown Brussels, as part of a ma...

Nov 23, 2017

Federal state secretary Philippe De Backer (Open Vld) has brought together Belgium’s main p...

Nov 23, 2017

A major fire at a waffle factory in Forest sent clouds of thick black smoke over southern Brussel...

Nov 23, 2017

The tree is up, the stalls are in place and the nativity is good to go: Winter Wonders officially...

Mechelen mayor Bart Somers wins World Mayor Prize

Feb 14, 2017
0

Bart Somers, mayor of Mechelen and former minister-president of Flanders, has been awarded the World Mayor Prize. Somers (Open VLD), 52, becomes the first Belgian mayor to ever win the prestigious honour, beating 37 other international nominees to win.

The biennial prize is awarded by the City Mayors Foundation, an international organisation that promotes and facilitates open communication and good practices between city governments. It awards the prize to a mayor who “has made exceptional contributions to his or her community and whose vision for urban living is relevant to towns and cities across the world”.

According to the prize citation, Mechelen “has shown Europe that people from many different countries and cultures can come together and be proud citizens. Bart Somers believes that all people in Mechelen are unique and different. They have different dreams, do different jobs, lead different lives. But Mechelen is their home, their city”.

The foundation gives Somers (pictured), who became mayor in 2001, credit for turning Mechelen into a role model for integration. One in five people in Mechelen has North African roots, there are 128 nationalities, and the city has a zero record for young men travelling to Syria and Iraq to fight.

This is the third time a Flemish mayor has figured in the World Mayor Prize. Antwerp’s Patrick Janssens was nominated in 2008, and Ghent’s Daniël Termont was nominated in 2014, coming in second.

“I believe that true social cohesion is only possible if we prevent segregation,” Somers wrote in his nomination essay. “That is a task for the government. The government should set an example and make it clear that we all need to integrate in diversity. It is not only up to the newcomer to adapt. Everyone has to adapt to the New Normal, to a diverse society. That is what we try to do in Mechelen.”

Photo courtesy Bart Somers

Questions & Answers

Help and get help

me@satyamkapoor.com

Hey fellow members,

I am currently pursuing masters in computer science from Bru...

SAmeta

Hi,

Has anyone done registration recently in 1000 brussels commune ? Can it be...

me71

I am looking for an experienced coach or job search consultant who can help me write an...

Jobs

Events & Social

Upcoming

24 Nov
24.11.2017
Ixelles
by Beseda
24 Nov
24.11.2017
Bruxelles
by Belgium GAA Club
24 Nov
24.11.2017
Brussels
by Caledonian Society of...

Popular

3 Dec
03.12.2017 to 03.10.2019
New York
25 Nov
25.11.2017
Bruxelles
by ARAU (Atelier de Recherche et d'Action Urbaines)
2 Dec
02.12.2017
Wespelaar
by Image by Mira Photography

Twitter