Lydia Peeters to join the Flemish Government

The Flemish liberals have announced who will take over from Bart Tommelein when he leaves the Flemish Government to become Mayor of the West Flemish coastal city of Ostend. Lydia Peeters will take on responsibility from energy, finance and the budget in Flemish, which Mr Tommelein’s responsibility as the liberals’ Deputy Prime Minister in the Flemish Government will be taken on by Sven Gatz.  

Lydia Peeters is currently the Mayor of the Limburg municipality of Dilsen-Stokkem. At the municipal elections on 14 October Ms Peeters was elected to serve a 4th term as Mayor.  However, for the first 5 months at least, she will have to step down as Mayor of Dilsen-Stokkem to become a Minister in the Flemish Government.

Lydia Peeters told VRT News that "I am very proud that I will shortly be able to take over from Bart Tommelein.

Ms Peeters added that she intends to go to Ostend to discuss what work she will need to do in her new job with the man she is set to replace in order to allow the transition to run as smoothly as possible.

Lydia Peeters has been a member of the Flemish Parliament since 2009 and Mayor of Dilsem-Stockem since 2001.

The choice for a woman as Mr Tommelein’s successor underlines the liberals desire to show their gender equality credentials. Moreover, Lydia Peeters is from Limburg, not an important fact to be taken into account given that the elections are in just under 6 months’ time. Sofie Vandeweerd will take over from Ms Peeters as Mayor, while she  is a Minister.