Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais, France, since 2008
WORLD MAYOR 2018
Dedicated to women mayors
The 2018 World Mayor Prize and Commendations will be conferred on women mayors who have made outstanding and long-lasting contributions to their communities. The organisers wish to show what outstanding women mayors achieve all over the world. By doing so, they hope to encourage more women to contemplate a career in local government and run for political office. The women, who will be awarded the 2018 World Mayor Prize and other honours, will be role models for young women and, indeed, men everywhere. Qualities sought ||| Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais, France, was longlisted for the 2018 World Mayor Prize. ||| Critical comments |||
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Mayor of Calais (France)
Nominated by Xavier B., Calais:
The Mayor of Calais is the best, because no one before her had transformed our city so much. Natacha Bouchart is fighting to restore a good image. Image that has been damaged because of the migration problem. In Calais, she has been known as ‘mayor courage’. It does a lot to revive the economy, for culture (900 events a year). Natacha Bouchart wants to make Calais a seaside resort, thanks to the work done to transform the waterfront. She is everywhere, goes in all media. She travels to promote Calais in the world. In short, despite the difficulties we face, it represents an undeniable asset. I have admiration for Natacha Bouchart.
Nominated by Isabelle L., Calais:
C’est une maire très sympathique, accessible, humaine et humble. Elle répond toujours présente pour les calaisiens ou pour la ville. Elle défend les intérêts de tous autant qu'elle le peut.
Challenges for Calais: Elle se bat pour redorer l'image et l'attractivité de la ville dans un contexte de difficultés socio-économiques et du contexte migratoire. Peu de maires dans le monde ont à faire face à cette situation
Nominated by Candelier, France:
Natacha BOUCHART fait face à la crise des migrants depuis de nombreuses années. Elle fait le nécessaire pour alerter les pouvoirs publics sur ses difficultés . Elle garde la tête haute et fait face. Aujourd‚hui elle tente de redonner de l‚espoir aux habitants de calais et de trouver des solutions pour le développement économique de sa ville. Elle est courageuse.
Nominated by Sophie, Vincent & Victor H., Calais:
Our mayor is a woman. So many men in politics nowadays. She is our mayor since 2008 . She is so nice, very kind. She likes her city and she is very very present from Monday to Sunday everywhere , her life is her city and her city is her life .She is very gentle , she is calm .We appreciate her bravery . She brings in our city a lot of culture , she has got a lot of projects for our city .She fights every day from years for her city with an important problem : immigration. She respects human rights and would like to find solutions to protect everyone, migrants and us.
Challenges for Calais: Calais is know everywhere in the world now due to immigration problem. Our mayor Mme Bouchart respects human right and take an important part of her life to solve this problem. She has met a lot of people (Presidents Sarkozy, Holland , Macron and their ministers...) she talked a lot of time at the TV show to explain her city particularity . How can I speak about her as she is known by everyone .Her task is not easy , she likes her job .
Nominated by Julie C., Calais:
Our mayor of Calais has create infrastructures for the natives of Calais but also for the tourists. In redinamisé the city center, embellished the city. Financier was on everything funds (collections), meetings. She it knew how to carry projects very high with a lot of enthusiasm. The migratory crisis made him(her) give a lot of work which surmounts. A great lady!
Challenges for Calais: Create thé infrastructures.
Activity for the personns
Help for à fragility population
Create animation, New front séa.
Protection for the Calaisien
Nominated by B. M., Calais:
Natacha Bouchart is the best mayor of the town, she works very hard for all the population. She gives her time for them and the people give her back the satisfaction. She has working very hard about the migrants situation and for the people whose are living in Calais
Challenges for Calais: Natacha Bouchart always organized the meeting with the population and always participate to all events in Calais where the people were been there
She‚s the best of Mayor since 2008
Nominated by Anne-Lise P., Calais:
Mise en valeur de la ville; Suivi de la situation migratoire
Challenges for Calais: Rénovation de l'église Notre-Dame, requalification du Front de merci, concerts et spectacles gratuits. Défense des intérêts des calaisiens face aux problèmes posés par la présence des migrants
Nominated by Anne-Marie J., France:
Due to the immigration problems Natacha Bouchart has always made the best to try to resolve all the problems in the Calais area with no aid from the government Macron.
Nominated by N. H., Calais:
Pas parfaite, there is room for plenty of improvement, criticism pours in from everywhere in generous doses... Put yourself in her shoes: honestly, who would do so much better here and now? Her functions as Mayor were never a temporary step on a way to higher, more prestigious positions in more glamorous Parisian circles. Number one quality: sheer hard work. Loads of it. When does she sleep? Number two quality; she remains the lady next door, and some people find it funny, bunch of idiots. Her awkwardness at times is a credit to her. Its very hard to take a poverty stricken city into the 21st century: the place looks a d... sight prettier than when she started off; a lot of effort has gone successfully into making it a green city ( no more chemicals for weeding, a revolutionary scheme for the biogaz plant along with the recycling centre; careful use of water for beautiful parks, gardens etc; help to insulate homes built in the fifties sixties and seventies, etc ! etc) Loads of home-based initiatives to nurture young businesses and support young people with new ideas, a superb new art school, an incredible cultural life for such a small town so far from Paris and Lille, loads of support to all local initiatives that make people from all walks of life and all ages involved in the city, busy and happy, be it practising a sport, discovering art and culture or just getting together and being happy. The offers for over 60ies is so varied and free or very cheap compared to many other towns. The local libraries are fabulous and hives of activity, way beyond borrowing books, magazines, music and films. Yes, Mrs Bouchart is making this little benighted town a better place to live in. As far as I am concerned, and I come from Perpignan, where I go to regularly to visit family. Si I think I have a pretty extensive vision of what goes wrong and what goes right in a town. North-South. I would not live anywhere else but Calais, and the work of the present Mayor plays a big part in how i think and how I enjoy life here on a day to day basis.
Challenges for Calais: Poverty and unemployment: see above; loads of initiatives to nurture new busisnesses, several offers to train young people who need basics to succed in their entrepreunial first steps. Lots of home based initatives by locals to inject life are regularly supported.
Nominated by Sarrazin, Calais:
Quand elle arrive à la mairie de Calais, cette native de Lens est encore peu connue sur la scène politique. Assistante parlementaire, elle avait aussi siégé jusque-là dans l‚opposition de droite de la ville à partir de 2001. En 2008, candidate UMP aux municipales, elle parvient à battre le maire PCF sortant avec 54,02 % des voix, mettant ainsi fin à trente-sept ans de gestion communiste. Elle a bénéficié notamment du désistement du candidat du FN. En 2014, elle est réélue avec un score de 52,12 %.
Tête de liste LR pour les régionales dans le Pas-de-Calais en décembre 2015, elle devient vice-présidente de la nouvelle région Hauts-de-France après la victoire de Xavier Bertrand. Le mois suivant, elle démissionne du Sénat, où elle siégeait depuis 2011. Mais quelques jours plus tard, elle devient assistante parlementaire du sénateur Jean-François Rapin, qui n‚est autre que son successeur à la chambre haute du Parlement. Face à la polémique, elle renonce à sa fonction le 4 février.
« A vous, chère Theresa, aux touristes, aux chefs d‚entreprise, aux commerçants, aux institutions, aux politiques, je veux dire : „Vous êtes les bienvenus‰. » Ainsi s‚adresse Natacha Bouchart à la nouvelle première ministre britannique, Theresa May, dans une lettre ouverte, publiée le 18 juillet par des journaux britanniques. Ses relations avec les Anglo-Saxons n‚ont pas toujours été aussi cordiales : depuis plusieurs années, elle réclame la renégociation des accords du Touquet et le déplacement de la frontière de Calais en Angleterre.
A ses yeux, Nicolas Sarkozy est le seul capable de résoudre la situation à Calais. En vue de la primaire de la droite et du centre, elle affiche son soutien ferme à l‚ancien chef de l‚Etat, dont elle partage les « propositions très fortes » pour la ville. Un soutien qui a un poids symbolique important, tant la situation dans cette ville de la région Hauts-de-France hante les discours des divers candidats à la primaire.
Après avoir soutenu le projet de construction d‚un mur le long de la rocade menant au port de sa ville, elle s‚y oppose finalement quand le ministre de l‚intérieur, Bernard Cazeneuve, annonce, le 2 septembre, la poursuite rapide du démantèlement de la « jungle ». Elle considère alors que le mur, dont la construction a démarré, « n‚a plus lieu d‚être ». Le 26 septembre, elle a profité de la visite de François Hollande à Calais pour s‚assurer qu‚il « acceptait le principe de suspension des travaux, jusqu‚à la fin du démantèlement ».
Nominated by Sabrina P., Calais:
Since Natacha BOUCHART is a mayor of CALAIS, our city is reborn. It is a person very invested for our city on all the plans. She gives itself body and soul and surrounds itself with the best to reach the goals that she settled for our city. Nathacha BOUCHART is really the best mayor of the world.
Nominated by Martine M., Calais:
She is deeply in involved in getting our city to beautify and transform itself (beach works) so that people are attracted to come to visit us .the large presence of migrants and the problems and accidents they have done. A lot of damage to our city. She also creates a very strong bond with England and talk about our lace en Chine.
Challenges for Calais: - Natacha Bouchart is planning with China the construction of a park of attraction.
- She has not hesitated to as our government about the large presence of migrants in our city and to meet our president on this subject to put in place
Nominated by Schoemaeker, Calais:
Elle défend sa ville comme aucun autre maire , et essaye de donner une autre image de la ville malgré la présence de migrants: de la violence et des trafics que cela entraîne...
Nominated by Isabelle L., France:
En dix ans notre ville dortoir éteinte par 37 ans de communisme a reprit figure humaine malgré l'occupation toujours plus forte des migrants . elle a su redonner du dynamisme , et de l'espoir .Elle tourne Calais vers l'avenir grâce à de grands et beaux projets .Bravo
Nominated by Christelle L., Outside France:
Pour son investissement pour le problème migratoire et son implication pour le développement de sa ville.
Nominated by Marjorie D., Calais:
C’est un maire très impliqué et très courageux qui n’hésite pas à defendre ses idées
Nominated by Aliette P., France:
Depuis 2008 elle a tiré Calais vers le Haut, a fait d'énormes réalisations malgré une conjoncture économique et sociale difficile
Nominated by Faustine M., Calais:
In the light of the difficult struggle she is facing in since 2008 the face of migration issues, she deserves this title.
Nominated by Lrx., Calais:
Elle est très engagée pour sa ville ..elle fait beaucoup de chose aussi pour les jeunes
Challenges for Calais: j‚espère que le problème avec le flux migratoire sera réglé..elle s'engage beaucoup car nous en pouvons plus de ce flux.. la ville est devenu morte et sale a cause d'eux
Nominated by Jerome C., Calais:
Gestion difficile de la crise migratoire dans sa ville.
Une personne très proche et a l'écoute de la population.
Une dame persévérante qui ne lâche rien pour le bien vivre des calaisiens.
Très régulièrement sur le terrain.
Fier de notre maire
Vive Calais vive Mme Bouchart
Nominated by L. L., Calais:
Since 2008 this mayor has not stopped struggling 24 hours à day for the population. She's develops the local economy in spite of the migratory problem. She prefers to be a mayor rather than a senator, yet it is more difficult.
Challenges: She does not stop calling out to the gouvernments to force them to act on the territory and to protect her population
Nominated by Arlette et Serge P., Calais:
Since several years our city is the center of an important problem of bad reputation due to the presence of refugees .Our mayor has had to convince both french and british gouvernments to solve the difficulties occured by this situation.Our mayor tries with a strong energy to develop again the tourism and the economic environment
Challenges for Calais: Our mayor has started to improve the attractivy of our beautiful beach in modifying the environment in creating new attractions ,hôtels and animations.Natacha Bouchart tries to convince companies (logistic and transport) to come in Calais ,the town, with the harbour and the tunnel,being the biggest area in Europe to go in UK
Natacha Bouchart s'implique avec énergie, obstination et courage pour redonner à notre ville un attrait touristique et économique qu'elle a perdu depuis quelques années en raison d'une mauvaise réputation due à l' afflux migratoire.
Challenges for Calais: Elle redonne une belle image de notre front de mer en rénovant, construisant , enjolivant de façon à retrouver un tourisme florissant . Elle essaie de convaincre des entreprises de venir sur Calais (logistique et transport) .Calais est en effet le premier port de voyageurs et de fret vers la Grande Bretagne.....
Nominated by Irène P., France:
Son courage et sa détermination face à la situation compliquée dans la ville de Calais
Sa droiture et son énergie dans ses fonctions
Challenges for Calais: Relance intelligemment le commerce de sa ville et ne néglige aucunement l‚habitant en étant constamment à l‚écoute
Nominated by Eric L., France:
Madame Bouchart gère sa ville de façon rigoureuse et assure une bonne sécurité malgré le flux de migrants et le laxisme des gouvernements successifs en face de ce problème difficile.
Nominated by Leonard L., Calais:
Notre Maire est une personne simple, accescible, dévouée et d'êtres investie pour sa ville
Nominated by Jacques L., Calais:
She found à solution for our country with thé problèm of 10000 illégal people in thé city of Calais she wad alone in France to help us
Nominated by Sylviane P., Calais:
C'est une maire face à tous les combats, qui mène sa tâche d'une main de fer dans un gant de velours,agit au maximum pour redressement de sa commune contre tous, ; sociale, sur tous les terrains
Challenges for Calais: N'hésite pas à frapper à la porte de tous les ministères, pour les solliciter face aux problèmes migratoires illégaux dont Calais est hélas la cible, car la dernière ville pour atteindre l'Angleterre
Nominated by Philippe M., Calais:
The mayor’s courage courage. Facing immigration problems making her daily management of the city very difficult, she never let her projects down to grow the city economy.
Nominated by Biehl, France:
Beaucoup de mérite a gérer cette ville face aux migrants
Nominated by Greg, France:
Because she managed quite well the crisis of the refugees in Calais
Nominated by H. M., France:
Elle fait ce qu'elle peut localement alors que le problème est national voire europeen.
Nominated by H. C., France:
Beaucoup de courage avec l'immigration
Nominated by Daniel T., France:
Has done a lot for migrants
Nominated by A. A., France:
Je soutiens Madame Natacha Bouchard pour l'election, car elle fait face à de nombreux problèmes avec les migrants, son mèrite est grand, la tâche pas facile. Bravo Natacha et bonne chance.
Nominated by Gilles, outside France:
A sweet lady with iron gloves/
Challenges for Calais: To make Calais both an economic and ecologic town.
Nominated by Arnaud M., outside France:
Very tough situation and a brave Mayor always in the field
Challenges for Calais: Migrants in Calais
Nominated by Françcoise L., France:
Natacha Bouchart has given up several prestigious positions to devote herself to the mayorship of Calais, which is perhaps the most difficult city in France to manage. She chose the difficulty against ease and honors and her role in Calais is very positive
Challenges for Calais: Problems of migrants. She got the intervention of the President and the Minister of the Interior to improve the very difficult situation. Many works aim at the attractiveness of the city and the environment are in progress and are very promising
Nominated by Dalmito, Calais:
The way she deals with migrants is amazing ! Bravo !
Challenges for Calais: Migrants are a big issue around our city. This last years, she acted with patience and strength to make sure the safety of the people of Calais is respected.
Nominated by Marie-Claude B., France:
Good mayor. Courage et aide et générosité pour les migrants.
Challenges for Calais: Helping the migrants
Critical comment by John G., France:
Mayor Natacha Bouchart has done nearly nothing for local people in all the time she has been in office except to pose the migrants and refugees as the problem behind all the locals' problems and to refuse migrants even the most basic of rights,
She does do a good Christmas lights in Calais for the locals and homeless refugees to look at though in sub zero temperatures.
The local economy is a disaster and has been for many years and nothing has improved since she has been in power, if tourists people don't want to stop In Calais it is because there is so little going for it other than boarded up properties., it is not the migrants but the conditions she helps impose that make Calais so unattractive.
However her principal « success » has been apparently making local people blame migrants for her failed economic policies.
Rather than explain things clearly as she should have been able to as she herself is a descendant of Armenian and Polish refugees She has invented a version of the local reality that represents people who are fleeing persecution and danger in their own countries as posing a threat to local people just please her electorate and gain the votes of the far right but this does not correspond with the facts .
The real problem in Calais is the fact that the French meekly do the bidding of the British in closing their border and never mind the violence of the border regime in place, she has omitted to point this out except by accident when she wanted to renegotiate the le Touquet treaty, then she realised it would mean criticising the man who negotiated it, former President Nicholas Sarkozy, her mentor so she stopped mentioning that.
She has an unpleasant habit of accusing people (the exiles) who have little choice but to roam the streets , being chased beaten and arrested and gassed in their sleep by the CRS police and have no voice to defend themselves, of being criminals.
She even recently has had the nerve to accuse the associations of course without the slightest evidence, that is the people that out of the goodness of their hearts come rain or snow, hand out blankets tents and food , but who have long criticised the inhumanity of her policies of dealing arms to people smugglers.
She has endlessly claimed that migrants are better off than local people, distortions and half truths so crazy that only people so mesmerised by the rest of her policies could believe them. Her comments are consistently aimed to create jealousy and drive a wedge of hate between local people and the migrants.
Rather than asking Britain to take responsibility for the migrants wanting to go there when she went to the UK she requested the UK government to destroy migrants rights in the UK, so people would no longer want to go through Calais to get there . She also asked for more money for security, which translates as walls, barriers and heart beat detectors etc and more Police and their associated well documented violence.
She launched a hotline number on her Facebook page to denounce squats in disused buildings and warehouses. The only undignified places where migrants can find shelter, it should be noted the last time such a call was announced was in Vichy France.
She has never once expressed a word of sympathy in public for the now hundreds of migrants who have died run down on the surrounding roads and the port Calais and Dunkirk
She has never had a word to denounce the well documented and seemingly never ending Police violence that happens under her nose.
She expresses only fake sympathy for Calaisians, but has done very little to help them in terms of employment, just blaming the migrants for the failures of her economic policies
e.g. among her various blunders she closed the campsite not caring a bit for the effect it would have on local trade and did sod all for the Seafrance ferries
She often helps create unsanitary conditions in camps and then blamed the migrants for them , for example in 2015 with a camp of Syrian refugees not far from the port she refused them drinking taps or showers and left them just 3 toilets between 250 people. She also refuses to give them bins, or collect the rubbish and when conditions became so bad with rats and scabies. She then used it as an excuse to close down the camp.
More recently when Secour Catholique wanted to put up showers on their premises she had rubbish skips put in front of their association to stop them being delivered
She succeeded in forcing the migrants outside the town and then celebrated her ‘generosity’ in the media, that by giving them a dilapidated closed down camp des vacances for them while giving absolutely nothing to the associations who set up the camp,
Then when it all went wrong as it was inevitably going to because the camp was next to the main road leading to the port created dangerous conditions .The combination of border closure which she championed and a camp , next to the motorway lead to a population that grew and for whom the only way out was onto the motorway.