President of the Executive Council of Corsica
Gilles Simeoni was re-elected President of the Corsican Executive Council on 1 July 2021. A native of Bastia and Lozzi, he is the son of Edmond Simeoni, a leading politician on Corsica's contemporary scene, considered to be the father of modern island nationalism.
Gilles Simeoni holds a master's degree in law and a doctorate in political science, and was an active member of the student unions at the University of Corsica during his youth. Trained as a lawyer, he is also the leader of the Corsican autonomist movement “Inseme per a Corsica”, then of the political party “Femu a Corsica”, whose founding congress was held on 15 October 2017 in Corti.
He was sworn in as a member of the Bastia bar on 27 October 1994 and became one of Corsica's best-known criminal lawyers. In particular, he was one of Yvan Colonna's leading counsel.
In 2003, Gilles Simeoni joined the Ligue des droits de l'homme. He was named one of France's 30 most powerful lawyers in 2010 by GQ magazine.
In 2014, he won the municipal elections and became Mayor of his home town, Bastia.
Following a landslide victory for the “Pè a Corsica” coalition in the territorial elections of December 2015, he then became the first nationalist elected to head Corsica's Executive Council.
Committed in particular to the issues of sustainable development, recognition of insularity, and European and Mediterranean cooperation, in 2017 he became President of the Islands Commission of the CPMR (Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions), a body that brings together all the islands of Europe. It develops and co-constructs a number of projects for island territories with various European and Mediterranean partners.
That same year, he was awarded the "Trombinoscope Prize for Local Elected Official of the Year" in Paris. This distinction is awarded by a jury of political journalists.
On 1 January 2018, the creation of the “Collectivité de Corse”, resulting from the merger of the “Collectivité territoriale de Corse” and the two departments, led to new territorial elections. Gilles Simeoni was re-elected President of the Corsican Executive Council with 56% of the vote.
In the final territorial elections in June 2021, he led the “Fà Populu Inseme” campaign, which came out on top and won an absolute majority in the Corsican Assembly.
His political commitment is based on the recognition of the fundamental rights of the Corsican people, and the construction of a democratic, emancipated, open and united Corsican society. Since taking office, his main demand has been to obtain full autonomous status for Corsica.