Barbara Trachte's network - Economic Policy

Barbara Trachte’s network – Economic Policy

She has been immersed in politics since childhood, to the point of already writing leaflets in primary school! The Brussels State Secretary for Economic Transition (Ecolo) displays a very determined personality but also very attentive to different points of view

“Actually, I’ve always been in politics.” With a father working at Amnesty International and a refugee mother from Rwanda who worked as a nurse at the Petit-Château, Barbara Trachte has always heard about the major issues of society and international politics around the family table. “My brother and I realized very early on how lucky we were to be able to grow up in Belgium and how important it was to get involved here, she confides. We quickly integrated the fact that what was happening in the other side of the world concerned us too.”

“Actually, I’ve always been in politics.” With a father working at Amnesty International and a refugee mother from Rwanda who worked as a nurse at the Petit-Château, Barbara Trachte has always heard about the major issues of society and international politics around the family table. “My brother and I realized very early on how lucky we were to be able to grow up in Belgium and how important it was to get involved here, she confides. We quickly integrated the fact that what was happening in the other side of the world concerned us too.” And it is not at school that this awareness has been put on hold. His parents had indeed opted for a school practicing active pedagogy, where we read the newspaper in class as soon as we had learned to read. “The fall of the Berlin wall, I remember that we talked about it in primary school, she says. We even wrote pamphlets on the policy of the mayor of the time, Roger Nols, which had earned a visit from the police to the school. It was obvious for me to participate, and even to be one of the kingpins of these societal fights, such as anti-racism.” It even seems that on pictures from the 1990s, we can see the young Barbara Trachte throwing eggs at the building of the French Community, place Surlet de Chokier, during demonstrations demanding, already, a refinancing of education… This growing interest in political debates encouraged him to attend a few municipal councils. This is how she met Isabelle Durant (whose children attend her school), Denis Grimberghs (alderman cdH) or Bernard Clerfayt (DéFI) who is now her colleague in the Brussels government. “All these personalities, I already rubbed shoulders with them during my adolescence,” she says. Barbara Trachte chose to study law in Saint-Louis, then at the ULB. A choice dictated both by the desire to better understand the functioning of our institutions and by the opening of the trial of the Rwandan genocidaires, responsible in particular for the death of several members of his maternal family. “From the first year, I was lucky to have Françoise Tulkens as a teacher for seminars, remembers Barbara Trachte. I had confirmation that this was indeed the path I should follow. Today, I don’t really do law anymore but it remains a real reading grid for me, a way of approaching cases.” However, she worked for several years as a lawyer, first at Fedasil with Isabelle Kuntziger (director of the Wallonia-Brussels school of public administration) and then as a trainee lawyer in the office of Philippe Levert (DLM) and Jacques Englebert. His first case was a complaint against a mayor who had exceeded the ceiling on election expenses. “It was great for a young lawyer who is interested in politics, she remembers. And we won! I even pleaded at the Council of State. I really liked the Council of State, it maybe one of the things I miss.” The university years were also those of concrete political engagement. At Ecolo. Obviously for this woman who wants to combine local and global, environmental and social issues. “I did not do electoral shopping, assures Barbara Trachte. If Ecolo had not existed, I would not have been active in a political party.” She distributed her first leaflets during the municipal elections of 2000. There she met Vincent Vanhallewyn, today the first alderman in Schaerbeek and whom she has since considered to be her political alter ego. “We chat all the time,” she says. At the time, under the impetus of Federal Secretary Jean-Michel Javaux, she participated in the birth of Ecolo-J with Benoît Hellings (first alderman in Brussels), Matthieu Daele (MP for Verviers) and a few others. She will be co-president of this “young” section of Ecolo for a time. She then forged many links in Wallonia, Flanders (Kristof Calvo, federal deputy since 2010, chaired the Jong Groen at the same time) and throughout Europe. She is close to Ska Keller, a German MEP who had been the Greens’ candidate for the presidency of the Commission, and especially to Franziska Brantner who is now German Secretary of State for the Economy. Paradoxically, active politics will also open Barbara Trachte up to representatives of other political parties. Elected MP in 2009 (and re-elected since), she appreciates the cafeteria of the Parliament, this place where MPs can confront their points of view outside the field of microphones and cameras. “It allows you to see what people have in their stomachs, what their lines are, she said. As long as you don’t do politics full time, you ultimately have little opportunity for such discussions with opponents. policies. It’s a shame, I think.” From her parliamentary life, she maintains close ties with Joëlle Maison (DéFI), Françoise Bertiaux (MR), Caroline Désir (PS) or Alda Greoli (Les Engagés). After 10 years of parliamentary life, she feels ready to “get her hands dirty” and assume a position in an executive. It will be that of Secretary of State for Economic Transition. “Our ambition to green the economy was much more original in 2019 than today, observes Barbara Trachte. With the problems of supply chains and energy prices, everything shows that we must go in this direction The signals are encouraging When he received his award, Manager of the Year Sébastien Dossogne said that what inspired him were the Sustainable Development Goals (from the UN, Editor’s note). his first sentence at the ceremony, it’s incredible anyway.” That said, if she is delighted with this evolution of minds, the Secretary of State is also careful not to go faster than the music and to take the time to convince. “I am inhabited by the question of the climate emergency, she confides. However, it would be a mistake to believe that this conviction is shared by all. We must take people where they are and not where we think they are. You have to listen to them and take the time to compare ideas.” She is generally delighted with the dialogue with the economic world and personalities such as the CEO of finance & invest.brussels Pierre Hermant (“he teaches me things every week”), Laurent Hublet (Be Central), Ibrahim Ouassari (Molengeek), Leila Maidane (begreator) or Pascale Switten (Cameleon). Clearly, Barbara Trachte loves being in the action, in building solutions. From there to say that she will still be a political representative in 10 or 20 years, there is however room for improvement. “I’m not attached to politics, but what I do will always be political, she concludes. Moving forward on climate and social issues will always be at the heart of my action. It may go through an association or even a bank, but it will always have a collective meaning and it will be linked to sustainability.”

.

Comments

0 comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.