Lluís Recoder, CiU’s top mayor, now in charge of Infrastructure, Transport and Housing
The new Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability was the former Mayor of Sant Cugat del Vallès, a middle-to-upper class residential city next to Barcelona. Recoder represents the most social-democratic and least identity-centred sensibility in the Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC), the Liberal wing of the two-party Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). Recoder’s Ministry changes its name and increases its mandate.
Barcelona (ACN).- The new Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability will direct a macro department. The Ministry was previously known as the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Works. Now, its mandate also includes Housing and some other former competences of the Environment Ministry, which does not exist any more. These include waste and water management. Recoder is a former Member of the Catalan Parliament, and years ago of the Spanish one. Now, Recoder quits as the Mayor of Sant Cugat del Vallès, a residential city of 81,000 inhabitants, a middle-to-upper class suburb of Barcelona. Before the last elections, when the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition, Convergència i Unió (CiU), was going through difficult times, Recoder held the most important public office of the CiU: the Mayor of Sant Cugat. This gives some idea of the important change that Catalonia is currently experiencing; a change that could increase in the next municipal elections, when the CiU could win some of the largest cities of Catalonia, such as Barcelona.
Being the most important Mayor and public post-holder of the CiU in Catalonia over the last four years gave Recoder public recognition and a position within the party. However, Recoder is not part of Mas\u2019 inner circle. In fact, some now seemingly distant speculations spoke of Recoder being a possible future successor to Artur Mas as leader of the Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC), the Liberal party in the CiU. Over the last two years and especially nowadays, Artur Mas\u2019 leadership is unquestionable, but after the 2006 elections, the waters were a bit more troubled, and some were speculating who would succeed Mas if he were to loose the 2010 elections. Recoder never presented his candidacy as a formal alternative, but his name was in all the unofficial speculations. Moreover, during the electoral campaign, when the CiU\u2019s victory was obvious and Artur Mas was nominated as the next Catalan President, Recoder offered his services to be included in the next CiU Government. The gesture was not welcomed internally, as Mas had said that he would not talking about names and positions before winning the elections. However, Mas finally appointed Recoder as his Minister for Territory and Sustainability, in charge of Public Works, Transportation, Regional Policy, Housing and Waste and Water Management.
Recoder was born in Barcelona in 1958. He holds a Bachelor degree in law from the University of Barcelona and specialised in town planning law. In fact, as Mayor of Sant Cugat, he had to deal with a town planning issue regarding a new project in an area called Torre Negra. Recoder defended the notion that the area should be included within the Collserola Natural Park, speaking against the construction company Núñez i Navarro. At the end, Recoder won and Torre Negra is a protected rural area.
Lluís Recoder has been a militant of the CDC since 1976. In fact, he is one of the founders of CDC Youth, the Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya. In this organisation he held almost all positions, including the Presidency, between 1988 and 1991. At that time, the current Minister was already a Member of the Spanish Parliament, a position he occupied from 1986 to 1999. Recoder was a Member the Spanish Parliament, but also of the Catalan Parliament, between 1999 and 2006. Since 1999 he was Sant Cugat\u2019s Mayor, the most important municipality controlled by the CiU, a situation that is very likely to change next May with the new Municipal elections. Recoder was combining his job in the Catalan Parliament with his responsibilities in Sant Cugat. However, in 2006, he decided to focus exclusively on Sant Cugat, until in 2008 he joined the CDC\u2019s Executive Committee, of which he had been a member until 1999. In 2004, Artur Mas asked Recoder to join the Executive once again, but he refused in order to focus on the next municipal elections. In Sant Cugat, he first ruled in 1999 with the Conservative People\u2019s Party (PP) and later, in 2003, with the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC). In 2007, he got an absolute majority and governed alone.
It seemed that Recoder wanted to stay in Sant Cugat, where he was highly appreciated. Recoder even received twice the International Transparency award. However, in 2008, he asked to join the Executive again; Mas accepted his petition. In 2010, Recoder announced that he was not running again for the office of Mayor and he offered his services to Mas in the next Catalan Government. Lluís Recoder is a moderate politician, with the profile of a social-democrat concerned about Climate Change. Recoder is definitely a politician to watch, with his own group of supporters, something that caused tensions with some figures in the party. However, now in the Government, all the past tensions and speculations seem to be far away.