Władysław Ortyl, Head of Podkarpackie region, was today elected the new president of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Committee of the Regions. He will lead the growing conservative political group over the next two and a half years.
Mr Ortyl is a prominent member of the Law and Justice Party which has governed Poland since 2015. His vast political experience includes three terms in the Polish Senate and serving as secretary of state in the Polish Ministry of Regional Development.
Commenting on the outcome of the elections, the newly-elected ECR president said: “I thank all our members for their confidence in me. Our group is home to some of the most influential political parties in Europe and to many inspirational independent politicians who all share one goal: to shape a reformed European Union which respects all Member States and local communities. Under my leadership, we will continue to be the advocate of common sense and proportionate regulation. Our membership is growing and so are our ambitions to reform the EU”.
Despite the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU and the loss of valued members of the Conservative Party, the ECR Group in the CoR continues to grow. It now has 44 members including fifteen heads of region, ten mayors and deputy mayors, four presidents of regional councils and more than a dozen regional ministers and councillors.
Rob Jonkman, Alderman in Opsterland in the Netherlands and former president of the ECR Group, was elected the ECR’s first vice-president, as well as the group’s political coordinator in the Economic Policy and Financial Affairs committees.
The group’s other vice-presidents will be Marco Marsilio, president of Abruzzo region in Italy; Oldřich Vlasák, councillor in Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic and former vice-president of the European Parliament; and Juraj Droba, Head of the Bratislava Self-Governing region in Slovakia.
The group also elected five political coordinators in a number of policy fields. Dr Pavel Branda (Deputy Mayor of Radlo) will lead on cohesion policy; Jakub Chełstowski (Head of Silesia region) on energy and climate change; Robert Kościuk (Mayor of Krasnystaw) on natural resources; Daniela Ballico (Mayor of Ciampino) on employment and research; and Matteo Bianchi MP will be responsible for external relations.
As a sign of the group’s increasing influence, ECR members are expected to chair the Joint Consultative Committee between the EU and Montenegro, and assume some of the leading roles in the committees for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC) and Economic Policy (ECON).