On 19 May, the General Assembly of the European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN) elected Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff as its new President. Prof. Dr. Wolff is the new Minister for Science and Economic Affairs in the government of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. She succeeds Dr. Rainer Haseloff, who was elected as Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt in April 2011. Prof. Dr. Wolff is the new Minister for Science and Economic Affairs in the government of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. She succeeds Dr. Rainer Haseloff, who was elected as Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt in April 2011. As Minister for Business and Employment of Saxony-Anhalt, he became President of the ECRN in November 2006. During his term, the ECRN grew from a network of 14 chemical regions to 21 regions covering the most important chemical sites in Europe. A major success in his term was the recognition of the ECRN as the regional stakeholder in the High Level Group of the European Commission on the Competitiveness of Chemical Industry in Europe.
Prof. Wolff thanked her predecessor for his inspiration and strong support for chemical regions in Europe. She underlined that the European Union must remain an important industrial region and highlighted the role of the regions in shaping and implementing EU policies on the ground.
The General Assembly also elected Alberto Cavalli, the Undersecretary responsible for University and Research, the region of Lombardy and Petr Fiala, the Chairman of the Financial Committee , the region of Usti, as Treasurer of the network.
Furthermore, the ECRN General Assembly agreed on a joint position and the network's input into the European Commission's consultation on the Green Paper on the "Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding", underlining the need to strengthen complementarities and synchronise regional funding activities with EU funding modalities.