Policy Advisory Committee

Influencing urban mobility policy in Europe

The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) is a group of leading and dedicated elected politicians that act as an advisory board to the CIVITAS Initiative and network of cities. It convenes regularly to share experiences on sustainable urban mobility policy and interact with DG MOVE. The main activities of the PAC members are:

  1. Delivering policy recommendations;
  2. Reinforcing the liaison between the DG MOVE and the CIVITAS network of cities, as well as the CIVINET national and regional networks;
  3. Supporting DG MOVE in evaluating CIVITAS city applications to host the CIVITAS Forum conference, and providing input for its agenda;
  4. Taking part in key CIVITAS activities such as study tours, peer reviews and policy support groups;
  5. Ensuring and strengthening the involvement of local politicians from CIVITAS cities in the implementation of CIVITAS activities;
  6. Advising and supporting the organisation of CIVITAS core activities.

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Contact

Ana Costa
INOVA+
(+351) 229 397 130

pac [at] civitas [dot] eu

PAC members

Koen Kennis
Koen Kennis
Deputy Mayor - City of Antwerp

PAC Chair

Koen Kennis is a Flemish politician with more than 20 years of political experience. He is currently the first Deputy Mayor of the city of Antwerp, Belgium, and the President/Chairman of the Transport Region of Antwerp. Since 2013, he has been Deputy Mayor for finance, mobility, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), tourism and intra-municipal decentralisation.

Initially, he started his career in the private sector as a manager for Belgavia from 1994 until 1997, and later became a managing consultant for Stork Asset Management Solutions from 1997 until 2009.

From 2009 to 2012, he was the Chief of Staff/Head of the Cabinet to Geert Bourgeois, the then Vice Minister-President of the Flemish Government.

Grigoris Konstantellos
Grigoris Konstantellos
Mayor - Municipality of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni

PAC Vice-Chair

Grigoris Konstantellos was elected Mayor of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni in September 2014 and re-elected in May 2019.

He has been actively involved with local government since 1990 when he was elected to Town Council of the Municipality of Voula. Later, he was elected Vice Chairman of the Town Council (1990-1994) and was appointed as Vice Mayor (2007-2010).

With an academic background in public administration, political science, and management, as well as in aviation, he brings a multifaceted perspective to his role as Mayor. Prior to being Mayor, he was a Commander for Olympic Airways and Olympic Airlines. He also worked as a pilot for UN peacekeeping operations.

Whilst Mayor, Konstantellos has aspired to make the Municipality of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni an example for other municipalities in Greece and abroad in the fields of innovation, green technology and sustainability. The Municipal Authority has embraced the principles of Circular Economy and incorporated them in its administration.

Tiziana Benassi
Tiziana Benassi
Deputy Mayor for Environmental Sustainability - City of Parma

PAC Member

Tiziana Benassi was appointed as Deputy Mayor for Environmental Sustainability of the City of Parma in 2017. In this position, she is responsible for sustainable mobility, European projects, and environmental and energy policies. She is active on several boards and committees related to transport. 

During her mandate, she aspires to make Parma a more sustainable, attractive, green and smart city by encouraging cycling and walking, increasing inter-modality and public transport use, and implementing comprehensive charging infrastructure for e-vehicles.

Benassi has an extensive academic background Civil Engineering, Architecture and Behavioural Science – a combination that has developed her knowledge of land use, mobility, and traffic planning. In previous positions where she led various technical departments in local administrations, she gained particular experience in urban planning and transport.

Susanne Muller
Susanne Müller-Hübsch
Mayor for Mobility, Public Works and Urban Development - Municipality of Anderlecht

PAC Member

Susanne Müller-Hübsch is Mayor for Mobility, Public Works and Urban Development in Anderlecht, one of the nineteen municipalities in the Brussels-city region.

She worked as a political advisor on questions of mobility and European funding at the European Parliament, before starting her own business. Her academic background is in law.

Having been active in green politics for years, she is currently working on questions of raising and maintaining a good quality of life in Anderlecht. She deals with road safety, noise, and pollution by working on road safety concepts, low-traffic zones, and future neighbourhood development. Readapting the use of public space is the major focus of her work. 

Gunter Riegler
Günter Riegler
Councillor of Culture, Science and Finance - City of Graz

PAC Member

Dr. Günter Riegler is a Tax Consultant and Auditor, and currently Councillor of Culture, Science and Finance of the City of Graz (Austria). In his role as Councillor he supports efforts that work towards smart urban planning and decarbonisation of public transport.

Throughout his professional career, he has been interested in understanding the logic and limits of public management and public choice, especially the reasons for market failure and the exploitation of public goods.

Previously, as Director of the Graz Court of Revision (2004-2011) or as Director of FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences (2011-2017) he engaged with the challenges of urban planning, the logics of decision making in the public sector, and the importance of supranational political efforts in solving these problems. He has a Ph.D in Business Administration.

Ana Oregi
Ana Oregi Bastarrika
Deputy Mayor - Municipality of Vitoria-Gasteiz

PAC Member

Ana Oregi Bastarrika is Deputy Mayor of the Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council and Councillor responsible for Land, climate action, mobility and public space. She is also president of the Environmental Studies Centre which supports municipalities develop and implement SUMPs.  

Previously, she was Minister of the Environment and Land Policy for the Basque Country, Member of the Council of the Aquitaine-Euskadi-Navarra Euroregion, and President of the network of Basque Municipalities for Sustainability, Udalsarea. She has also been a Member of Parliament for Álava in the Basque Parliament, where she was coordinator of the parliamentary working group for the monitoring and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Oregi Bastarrika is also an urban architect (UNAV). Throughout her professional career she has collaborated with UNESCO and participated in different networks such as nrg4sd, ICLEI, TCG, CDP, where she represented the Basque Country and Vitoria-Gasteiz in different international forums.

Vasilena Mitsiadi
Vasilena Mitsiadi
Vice Mayor of Technical Services and Infrastructure - Municipality of Trikala

PAC Member

Vasilena Mitsiadi is Vice Mayor of Technical Services and Infrastructure for the Municipality of Trikala (Greece). She has been a vital part of Trikala’s efforts to transform into a smart and sustainable city, and she tries to lead by example by moving about the city on two-wheels or by foot.  

Since 2014, she has been an elected member of the City Council of the Municipality of Trikala. Previously she was Vice Mayor of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth and Vice President at the Research Center of Music Museum of Vasilis Tsitsanis. Prior to serving in government, she worked as a freelance engineer in the private sector—primarily as a Technician of Safety.

Her academic background is in both Mechanical Engineering and Quality Assurance. Her passions include theatre, music, cinema and contemporary dance, and she believes that art can influence and change the mentality of a society.

Vassilios Tsiakos
Vassilios Tsiakos
Mayor - Municipality of Karditsa

PAC Member

Vassilios Tsiakos is the Mayor of the Municipality of Karditsa (Greece). The Municipality aspires to be a fully sustainable, circular and climate neutral city.

Prior to his election as a Mayor, he held the position of Deputy Regional Governor of the Region of Thessaly for two consecutive mandates. The Region of Thessaly is a pioneer throughout Greece in the fields of environment, circular economy, cohesion and integrated mobility planning.

Tsiakos has extensive experience in the field of education and has worked throughout his career in a variety of fields, including environment, mobility, and cohesion.

George Marinakis
George Marinakis
Mayor - Municipality of Rethymno

PAC Member

George Marinakis is a lawyer and has been the Mayor of the Municipality of Rethymno (Greece) since 2007, where he has served four consecutive terms. He has been a member of the CIVITAS PAC since 2018.  

As Mayor, he aspires to transform Rethymno into a city model for sustainable development, blending its two consistently growing sectors – mobility and tourism. Rethymno is a member of the Covenant of Mayor (2011) and the Covenant of Mayor for Climate & Energy (2017). Sustainable mobility is a priority pillar for the city’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP).

Rethymno is one of the first municipalities in Greece to develop both a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) and Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan (SULP).

Daniel Hellden
Daniel Helldén
Vice Mayor of Traffic - Municipality of Stockholm

PAC Member

Daniel Helldén is the Vice Mayor of Traffic in Stockholm, a position he has held since 2014. He is known for making the city more accessible for all types of traffic with priority to buses, bicyclists and pedestrians. He has also initiated summer pedestrian streets in Stockholm which is much appreciated.

He is also the Chairman of the city parking company Stockholm Parkering AB. In this role, he has contributed to an increase in new electric charging stations. Helldén’s holds a Doctorate in political science.

He is committed to make the city greener, the air cleaner and the city less dependent on fossil fuel. Stock intends to be a fossil fuel free city by 2040.

Carl Hassens
Carl Hanssens
Vice-Mayor for Mobility - Sint-Niklaas (Flanders, Belgium)

PAC Member

Carl Hanssenshas been Vice-Mayor for Mobility in Sint-Niklaas (Flanders, Belgium) since 2013. Since 2019, he has also been Vice-Mayor for Public Space and Urban Development. He became a member of the CIVITAS PAC in 2018.

He studied languages (Dutch – English – Spanish) before embarking on a sixteen year career in finance with JP Morgan/Euroclear, Euroclear Bank and Group, where he held roles including Director of Risk Policy.

He has a particular interest in evolving stakeholder management that captures necessary information for projects as well as encourages buy-in from various stakeholders. Sint-Niklaas aims to use the power of quality public space projects to increase buy-in, such as for the project to transform the central square or the city centre.

Over the past decade, Sint-Niklaas has built upon its SUMP alongside its Urban Development Plan, Climate Plan, and Masterplan Public Space, in order to develop a broader plan for sustainability in its public spaces.

Dejan Crnek
Dejan Crnek
Deputy-Mayor - Municipality of Ljubljana

PAC Member

Dejan Crnek is the Deputy-Mayor of the Municipality of Ljubljana. In this role he is actively involved in the implementation of the new traffic policy for the City of Ljubljana, which emphasises alternative mobility modes and multi-modality. His portfolio also includes health, social affairs, and sport.

He has been a member of the PAC since 2015, and previously held the position of Chair from 2018-2020. He was also an active participant in the European Mobility Week and the Ljubljana European Green Capital 2016 activities.

Crnek is an elected Member of the Ljubljana City Council and was appointed Deputy-Mayor in 2014. He has also served three terms as President of the District Council of Šmarna gora. In this role he focused on infrastructure development and improvement within the district, which included prioritising certain mobility measures, including traffic calming and improved public transport accessibility.

Adelheid Byttebier
Adelheid Byttebier
Vice-Mayor for Mobility - Municipality of Schaerbeek (Belgium)

PAC Member

Adelheid Byttebier is Vice-Mayor for Mobility for the Municipality of Schaerbeek (Belgium), where her portfolio covers mobility and Dutch-language education, youth and culture.

She has been living in Schaerbeek, one of the 19 municipalities in the Brussels capital region, for 33 years, and has been committed to a better city and planet all her life.

With a new mobility plan, bicycle brigade and school streets, among other things, she wants to bring a stronger focus on road safety within the municipality.

Philip Broeksma
Philip Broeksma
Vice Mayor - Municipality of Groningen

PAC Member

Philip Broeksma is Vice Mayor of Groningen, the largest municipality in the north of the Netherlands. He is responsible for Mobility, Energy Transition, and Digital Innovation. He has extensive experience with renewable energy and green logistics; themes that suit the municipality of Groningen.

Born in the city of Hengelo, he studied mathematics and computer science in Groningen. After management positions at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, he was an Alderman for four years in Winsum and then joined the faculty at the University of Groningen.

Broeksma is both a father and grandfather, and appreciates photography and music, and regularly goes to football matches with his daughter.

PAC Statements

Statements constitute one of the PAC's most important outputs. Often taking the form of policy recommendations, these contribute to the work of policy makers working in urban mobility at European, national and local level. They also support the identification of CIVITAS's policy priorities and seek to mobilise industry, transport operators, and other stakeholders.

covenantofmayors.eu
eltis
EPOMM
European Mobility Week
sump
managenergy
Smart Cities Marketplace
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