Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Council of Europe - 18.03.2010

Congress elects new Secretary General
Andreas Kiefer was elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe's (CoE) Congress of Local and Regional Authorities during the plenary held on 17 March in Strasburg.

Kiefer, who was elected by 137 votes out of 244 valid ballots, is currently Director of the European Affairs Department of the Land Salzburg Regional Government in Austria. He will start his mandate on 1 April, and this, for a period of five years. The Italian, Antonella Cagnolati, came in second with 94 votes.

Councillor Sandra Barnes, CEMR Policy Committee member and leader of the South Northamptonshire Council, was elected President of the CoE Congress Committee on Social Cohesion on 16 March. Barnes has been a member of the Congress since 2000, during which time she worked actively in the field of social cohesion, notably as rapporteur on domestic violence and human trafficking. She is also a current representative of the Chamber of Local Authorities as well as a member of the Committee of the Regions.

On a different note, at the occasion of the Congress plenary on 17 March, the Association of Basque Municipalities (EUDEL)'s President, Jokin Bildarratz, and its General Director, Mar Zabala, condemned the murder of the French policeman, Jean-Serge Nérin, at the hands of ETA.

The shooting marked the first episode in over four decades of ETA-related violence leading to the death of a French policeman.
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