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Françoise Schepmans: “In the street, I was attacked and insulted by neighborhood thugs”

Françoise Schepmans (MR), first alderman in Molenbeek and former mayor of the municipality, has a long experience of local life.

“Social networks make things more complicated for a local elected official, she testifies. This requires immediate reactions and, if not, it is perceived as a lack of interest in the problems of the population.

Françoise Schepmans, 62, believes that social networks “have changed the relationship between the elected official and the citizen”. But she belongs to a generation which has not built its career on this medium, and which keeps a certain distance from it. “I am not reactive on the networks, unlike other elected officials currently”.

The Molenbeekoise, who is also a Brussels deputy, appreciates her local mandate. “The close relationship of a local elected official can be positive as well as negative. But I don’t feel any difference with the regional mandate, except an impatience that shows up on the networks. But you don’t see it in human contact.”

The current period is not for her the most complicated to manage. François Schepmans had to manage as mayor the delicate period of the attacks. “This period was more complicated for me because I was highlighted in the media. In the street, I was taken to task and insulted by neighborhood thugs. But I was so affected by the consequences of the attacks that these insults did not affect me, all the more so when you see who they came from.

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