|Mayor of Mechelen|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Geert Bervoets|
|Leader of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats|
|Preceded by||Dirk Sterckx|
|Succeeded by||Guy Verhofstadt|
|Minister-President of Flanders|
11 June 2003 – 20 July 2004
|Preceded by||Renaat Landuyt (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Yves Leterme|
|Born||12 May 1964|
|Political party||Open Vld|
|Alma mater||Catholic University of Leuven|
Bartolomeus Jozef Lodewijk Rosalia "Bart" Somers (born 12 May 1964 in Mechelen) is a Belgian, Flemish politician. He is currently the mayor of Mechelen. In 2017, Bart Somers was awarded 2016 World Mayor Prize as recognition for his outstanding achievements in welcoming refugees during recent years and for the long-term integration of immigrants from different cultures, religions and social backgrounds. He obtained a law degree from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
Bart Somers is the son of the former People's Union parliamentarian, Joos Somers, who was notably a deputy and a senator. After a law degree at KU Leuven, Bart Somers went through the Volksunie before joining the Open VLD in 1992.
Between 2003 and 2004, he was the Minister-President of Flanders.
After the regional elections of June 2004 he was appointed the interim chairman of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD). On 4 December 2004, he was elected with just over 50 percent of the vote to a full term as chairman.
Bart Somers was one of the three negotiators for the Open VLD during the 2007 Belgian government formation.
In June 2016, the European Committee of the Regions adopted Bart Somers report on "Combatting Radicalisation and Violent Extremism: Prevention mechanisms at local and regional level". His opinion won cross-party support for its calls for more effective policing, for more cooperation between local, regional, national and European authorities, and for an approach based on respect for core principles.
In October 2016, Bart Somers was elected as Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Committee of the Regions.
In February 2017, he received the "World Mayor Prize 2016", an election for the year's best mayor in the world.
In October 2019, he became Vice minister-president of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Living Together and Domestic Administration in the Jambon Government. On November 6, 2023, he decided to resume his position and focus on his mayoralty of Mechelen.
He was formerly married to Miet Bourlon (currently divorced) and he has two children, a girl Lieze and a boy Jan Klaas.
- "La Chambre des représentants de Belgique". www.lachambre.be. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
- "Mechelen mayor Bart Somers wins World Mayor Prize | Flanders Today". www.flanderstoday.eu. Archived from the original on 2020-10-13. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "World Mayor: Mechelen Mayor Bart Somers". www.worldmayor.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Bart Somers awarded 2016 World Mayor Prize - ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions". ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions. 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "DPG Media Privacy Gate". myprivacy.dpgmedia.be. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
- "Le fantôme de la Volksunie empoisonne le futur gouvernement belge". L'Express (in French). 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
- "Combatting Radicalisation and Violent Extremism: Prevention mechanisms at local and regional level". reneweurope-cor.eu.
- "Combatting radicalisation: how local authorities can play a crucial role". The Guest Blog. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Liberal rapporteurs in the CoR tackle food waste and radicalisation - ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions". ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions. 2016-06-21. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Bart Somers elected as new ALDE CoR President - ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions". ALDE Group - Liberals & Democrats in the European Committee of the Regions. 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- Haezendonck, Sven Van. "Bart Somers wint prestigieuze '2016 World Mayor Prize': "Een voorbeeld voor heel Europa"". Gazet van Antwerpen (in Flemish). Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- Huyghebaert, Pieterjan. "Wie is wie in de nieuwe Vlaamse regering? Van vertrouwde gezichten tot nieuwe lichting". VRT NWS (in Flemish). Retrieved 2019-10-02.
- "Somers is zoveelste klepper die liberaal schip verlaat". De Tijd. November 6, 2023. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
- Media related to Bart Somers at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- ALDE Group in the European Committee of the Regions (official website)[permanent dead link]