Franco Avena, pictured, was elected as CNE president at a meeting on Tuesday
A strident campaigner for multilingualism in Luxembourg has been elected president of Luxembourg’s foreigners’ council, the CNE.
The appointment of Franco Avena was made on 23 January, during the first meeting of the CNE since new members were elected in July 2017.
Avena served as vice president to the council from 2007 to 2012 and was an alternate member from 2012 to 2017.
An outspoken defender of equal rights for speakers of languages other than the national languages, he published an op ed in Le Quotidien in April 2017. He was part of a group which outlined a list of recommendations to improve the council’s standing to integration minister Corinne Cahen in June 2017.
The recommendations included increasing the electoral base of the CNE by integrating members of integration committees at local authorities, companies and all foreigners registered to vote at communal level elections. To be eligible for the latter, foreign nationals must have been resident in the country for five or more years. Avena is joined by Claire Geier-Courquin, pictured below, as vice president.
The future of the advisory body came under question in January when MP David Wagner posed a parliamentary question asking why the new council had not met since the elections in July 2017. The time gap was caused by delays among some partner organisations in appointing representatives. Composed of 34 active members, of which 22 are representatives for foreign interests, CNE representatives are appointed for a five-year mandate.
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