Andorra will have a joint government to face the challenges of the future

The stage of the new Government of Andorra begins.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 May 2023 Monday 22:30
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Andorra will have a joint government to face the challenges of the future

The stage of the new Government of Andorra begins. It will be equal for the first time in history (six men and six women) and has before it important challenges for the country such as joining the European Union, the development of social policies such as pension reform and the acceleration in the achievement of rights for women.

The new executive was presented last Wednesday, but previously the head of the Government, Xavier Espot, who repeats in office after broad electoral support, already advanced during his inauguration speech the importance that dialogue and collaboration will have in this new stage collaboration to achieve the best results with key issues for the Principality. Espot pointed out that "it is necessary to work intensively on relations with the EU and close the association agreement". For this, he indicated the importance of retaking the state pact and opening it not only to extra-parliamentary parties such as Liberals and Terceravia, but also "to social agents."

Another aspect that will mark the legislature will be the pension reform. According to Espot, the axis of work from which it starts will be to keep the retirement and old age branches separate, and it will be necessary to increase the contributions and the retirement age. Likewise, it will be important to diversify old-age coverage. Regarding the rights of women –expressed with the Government's own configuration– the head of the Government expressed his willingness to grant more rights “to achieve effective equality”.

The effective appointment of Espot as head of the Government took place on May 15. In the act of oath of office, Espot assured: "The mandate that I collect is that of the will of the citizenry, a mandate of broad representation." For this reason, the head of the Government indicated that he will listen to "the voice of those who have difficulty finding housing at an affordable price, that of the elderly who want a dignified old age and the powerful voice of women who want to move towards a equal rights".

In the presentation of the government team, Xavier Espot announced the parity nature of the cabinet and recalled the importance of promoting proximity "between the rulers and the ruled." He also asked his team "not to distance themselves from the public because they have been appointed ministers" and also wanted to emphasize that proximity means "knowing up close the problems, opportunities, expectations and concerns of the women and men of Andorra".

The objective of the new Executive is none other than to carry out a task that leaves its mark "and that we achieve a better Andorra after our time in the Government", said Espot, for whom at this stage it will be necessary to face "what is foreseen, what is unforeseen and even to the unpredictable”.

Apart from the Executive, the secretaries of State were also appointed: the one for Relations with the European Union, Landry Riba Mandicó; the one for Energy Transition, Transport and Mobility, David Forné Massoni, and, finally, the one for Digital Transformation and Telecommunications, Marc Rossell Soler. Likewise, the general secretary of the Government will be Ester Fenoll Garcia; the chief of staff of the head of government, Silvia Calvó Armengol, and the head of protocol, Maria Marina Amat.

The composition of the new government cabinet will be as follows:

Xavier Espot is the eighth head of the Principality's Government. Born in 1979 in Escaldes-Engordany, he has a degree and a master's degree in Law from Esade and a degree in Humanities from the Ramon Llull University. He began his political career in November 2011 as Secretary of State for Justice and the Interior, under the mandate of Antoni Martí. In July 2012 he was appointed Minister of Justice and the Interior and in 2016 he assumed the portfolio of Social Affairs. In 2019 he led the candidacy of Democrates per Andorra in the general elections and his victory made him, at 39 years old, the youngest head of Government in the country's history. His current undisputed victory makes him repeat in office.

Conxita Marsol Riart has a recognized political career. She was born in 1960 in Artesa de Segre, she has a degree in Law from the Faculty of Lleida of the University of Barcelona and has a postgraduate degree in Andorran Law. Marsol she began her political career as president of the liberal parliamentary group between 2005 and 2007, after more than twenty years as general secretary of the Comú de Andorra la Vella, where she would return years later as major consul. In 2007 she was appointed Minister of the Presidency, Commerce and Companies, as well as spokesperson, under the mandate of Albert Pintat. In 2015 she was general counselor for a short period of time and until 2019 she served as consul major of Andorra la Vella. This year she led the Democrats ticket in the nation's capital.

Ladislau Baró has a degree in Contemporary History and Human Geography from the University of Barcelona, ​​in Political Science and Administration from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​and in Law from the Open University of Catalonia. Born in Sant Julià de Lòria in 1961, he was a professor of sociology and political science for twelve years at the National Distance Education University. His long political career began in the pre-constitutional period, when he was Minister of Education and Culture between 1990 and 1991. The following year he became one of the 28 members that would make up the Constituent Commission of the General Council, in charge of voting on the Constitution. . He was a parliamentarian for three consecutive legislatures.

Jordi Torres (Encamp, 1975) has a degree in Economics from the University of Tolosa and has a PDD from IESE. He developed his political career in various institutions. Between 2003 and 2007 he was senior counselor in the Comú de Encamp, where he was in charge of the Finance area. Likewise, he held the presidency of the boards of directors of Gasopas (2000-2004) and Saetde (2009-2013). Between 2010 and 2011 he was Andorra's ambassador to the Council of Europe. He held the position of Minister of Territorial Planning in 2015 and repeated in the same portfolio under Espot's mandate between 2019 and 2021, the year in which he became the Tourism and Telecommunications portfolio.

Ramon Lladós is a Telecommunications Engineer from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris, a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana (USA) and an MBA from IESE in Barcelona . Lladós (La Seu d'Urgell, 1969) is a neighbor of Encamp. His professional career began as an engineer at Andorra Telecom. At the teaching and research level he worked at the American University of Notre Dame, where he worked in the field of video compression algorithms. He also worked for the consulting firm McKinsey and held management positions in the financial sector. Since 2018 he was the internal audit director of Crèdit Andorrà, now Creand.

Imma Tor, born in Sant Julià de Lòria in 1966, is a professor of French Language and Literature at the universities of Toulouse and Paris-La Sorbonne. She began her professional life as a teacher and graduated in International Relations at the Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies (CEDS) in Paris. In 1998, she began her diplomatic career in Strasbourg as Andorra's permanent representative to the Council of Europe, until 2004. Later, she was Andorran ambassador to France (1999-2007), permanent delegate to Unesco (2004-2007) and representative of the cap de Govern en la Francophonie (2004-2008). She headed the Andorran mission in Brussels until 2010, the year in which she became deputy director of the French language at the Organization internationale de la Francophonie. Since 2016 she is the advisor in charge of the French language and linguistic diversity of said organization. She holds the award of being a Knight of the Legion of Honor and of Arts and Letters of France.

Ester Molné is a lawyer and was born in January 1977 in La Massana. She graduated from the University of Tolosa, she has a postgraduate degree in Andorran Law from the University of Andorra. Her political career began as Secretary of State for Justice and the Interior, between 2016 and 2019. During the legislature that is ending now, Molné was the general counselor of the Democratic parliamentary group and chaired the legislative commission for Justice, the Interior and Institutional Affairs.

Raül Ferré, born in La Massana (1964), was Secretary of State for Tourism between 2008 and 2009 and during the terms included between 2011 and 2019. He was minor consul of La Massana. He substitute president of Ciutadans Compromesos and vice president of the legislative commission of Territorial Policy, Urbanism and Environment. Ferré has higher studies in tourism and business.

Trini Marín, born in Escaldes-Engordany in 1964, studied administrative training. She was head of the Public Attention Area and the Benefits Service of CASS. Her political career began in 2004 as councilor for Social, Human Resources and IT in the Commune of Escaldes-Engordany. Later she was senior councillor. From 2012 he was consul mayor of Escaldes-Engordany for Democrates. In July 2021 he assumed the position of Minister of Public Administration and Citizen Participation.

Helena Mas was Secretary of State for Health under the mandate of the Government of Xavier Espot, to coordinate the implementation of health policies. She was born in Sant Julià de Lòria in 1979 and is a psychologist by profession. She specializes in clinical and legal psychology, and in forensic psychological expertise. In the recent elections, he led the Democrats' candidacy in Sant Julià de Lòria.

Guillem Casal, born in Canillo in 1990, became part of the cabinet of the former head of the Government, Antoni Martí, in 2015. In May 2019, he was appointed chief of staff of Xavier Espot, a position that he has held until April of this year to be the one who headed the candidacy of Demòcrates in Canillo. Casal has a degree in Political Science and Public Management from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He also has a master's degree in political marketing and a postgraduate degree in Andorran taxation.

Mònica Bonell, born in Canillo in 1971, has a degree in Tourism. His professional career started in the Administration as a technician for companies and tourist activities in the Government of Andorra. Bonell has an extensive career in Andorran politics and institutions. He was junior consul of Canillo, general subsyndic and general counsellor. As a parliamentarian in the General Council, she was vice-president of the Democratic Parliamentary Group, president of the Legislative Economy Committee, member of the legislative committee of Foreign Policy, of Territorial Policy, Urbanism and the Environment, and titular member of the Andorran delegation of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.