Jeanne Barseghian

Jeanne Barseghian Elected as Strasbourg Mayor

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STRASBOURG, France (franceblue.fr, ecolo-citoyenne.eu, etc.) – Jeanne Barseghian was elected as mayor of Strasbourg for a six-year term on June 28 during the French municipal elections, postponed three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 39-year-old Barseghian won on the list of a European green or ecological party, Europe Écologie les Verts (EELV).

Only a few months ago, her name was barely known to the public at large. She joined EELV and began her first political campaign in the 2014 municipal elections on the list of Alain Jund, which joined in the second round with the list of Roland Ries. Winning, she became a municipal councilor, as well as an advisor at the Eurométropole of Strasbourg, an intercommunal region including 33 municipalities.

She was particularly involved in the battle against waste. In 2016, she signed a platform demanding the removal of plastic trays in school cafeterias. Two years later, she and her fellow ecologists quit the executive of the Eurométropole in opposition to the highway bypass project to the west of Strasbourg (GCO).

Barseghian, a vegetarian, was born in Suresnes, in the Hauts-de-Seine Department (something akin to a state or county) near Paris. She came to Strasbourg in 2002 after her studies of law in Paris and Germany to specialize in environmental law at the Robert Schumann University. She demonstrated her commitment to the environment at the time by volunteering at the Alsace Mammal Studies and Protection Group, and at the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife.

She worked on sustainable development and scenarios to succeed the nuclear power plant of Fessenheim, in the Alsace region.

Barseghian on her father’s side is the great-granddaughter of Sarkis and Berdjouhi Barseghian, while her mother is of Breton origin. Sarkis was killed during the Armenian Genocide in Constantinople, whereas Berdjouhi moved to the Caucasus and eventually became one of the first three women elected to the Armenian parliament during the first Republic of Armenia in July 1919. She later wrote short stories and memoirs in France.

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Jeanne Barseghian worked on projects of cooperation with Armenia on sustainable tourism, sociocultural exchanges, and combatting waste in 2010. She created in Strasbourg a branch of the Sevak Association, named after the Armenian poet Paruyr Sevak, and worked two years for it. During this period, she learned the Armenian language and became immersed in its culture. In 2016, she also participated in the filming of a European Arte channel documentary, “Voyage en Anatolie” [Voyage to Anatolia], in which seven Armenians return to the homes of their ancestors, now controlled by Turkey.

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