INTERNATIONAL: Merchez takes over PR for Ile-de-France

PARIS: Dominique Merchez has been named communications director for the Ile-de-France regional council, which governs the Paris region and is one of 22 French regional councils. Merchez was previously communications adviser to European affairs minister Pierre Moscovici.

PARIS: Dominique Merchez has been named communications director for

the Ile-de-France regional council, which governs the Paris region and

is one of 22 French regional councils. Merchez was previously

communications adviser to European affairs minister Pierre

Moscovici.



He oversees around 20 staff and is responsible for public relations,

media relations, publications, internal communications, and

advertising.



He joined Moscovici in 1997 from his post as communications adviser to

the leader of the Socialist party Lionel Jospin. Jospin was elected as

France’s prime minister last year. Merchez left the party after the

general election, having worked closely with Jospin on his successful

election campaign.



His predecessor at the Ile-de-France was Caroline Croce Spinelli, who

has left following the regional council elections in March, when the

Socialist party took control of Ile-de-France from the right wing

Rassemblement Pour la Republique (RPR).



Croce Spinelli, who has not announced her next move, reported to RPR

Ile-de-France president Michel Giraud. Giraud has been replaced by

Socialist party member Jean-Paul Huchon.



Merchez is expanding the communications department inherited from his

predecessor, to include five PR staff from the president’s department

and six internal communications staff. They will join the 10 external PR

staff overseen by Croce Spinelli.



He hopes to boost public awareness of the regional council and its

functions, to help counter a decline in the number of people voting in

regional elections.



Merchez reports to Huchon and will work closely with Jospin’s head of

communication Manuel Valls, who is also a regional council member. Valls

controls the Ile-de-France’s purse strings as vice-president responsible

for finance. The two men worked together during last year’s general

election when Valls oversaw communications for Jospin’s month-long

election campaign.



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