Bart Somers is a Belgian politician, member of the Flemish liberal party “Open Vld”, where he has fulfilled various functions. He has been minister-president of the region of Flanders, party president, Group Chairman for Open Vld in the Flemish Parliament and president of the ALDE-group in the Committee of the Regions.
Since 2001 Bart Somers is Mayor of Mechelen and in 2016 he won the World Mayor Prize due to his successful transformation of a rather neglected city into a vivid, safe and desirable place to live. Currently, he is Vice-Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, Flemish Minister for Home affairs, Administrative affairs, Civic integration and Equal opportunities, the latter he prefers to title “Minister of Living Together”. Within his current role, he translates the model of Mechelen in the whole of Flanders through “Plan Living Together”, a project that focuses on the important role of local governments in integration and equal opportunities-policy.