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Basel-Mulhouse Airport welcomes Philippe Knibiely and Sylvain Rousselle

The first deputy mayor of Saint-Louis, Philippe Knibiely, has succeeded the late Jean-Marie Zoellé on the Board of Directors of EuroAirport. Following Hubert Monzat’s retirement in April 2020, Sylvain Rousselle has taken over as the new French Financial Controller of the binational public institution.

Mr Knibiely turns to account his solid experience in environmental matters for the benefit of his municipal and transnational mandates, while Mr Rousselle has put his dual legal and financial expertise to work for prestigious French and international institutions. Both appointments are of significance for the governance of the binational airport. The Board welcomed its two new members at its last meeting on 10 July 2020.

Two significant appointments in tune with EuroAirport strategy
“The arrival of Messrs Knibiely and Rousselle will be an asset in these special times” said Luc Gaillet, President of Basel-Mulhouse Airport, at the Board’s last meeting on 10 July. “The Board of Directors welcomes the appointment of these two highly competent and committed individuals”, Mr Gaillet added. Mr Knibiely’s expertise in the environmental area will strengthen the binational platform in the strategic mission defined by the Board of Directors: "to ensure the connectivity of the trinational territory by adopting a sustainable development approach". Mr Rousselle's international experience will be an undeniable asset in mastering multicultural aspects.

A new French Director
Philippe Knibiely, age 53, was elected First Deputy Mayor of the City of Saint-Louis in charge of finance, cross-cutting environmental initiatives, and energy transition in May 2020. After serving a first term as deputy in charge of the environment and community advisor for the Saint-Louis Agglomération from 2014 to 2020, he was elected Vice-President of the Agglomeration on 15 July of this year. Mr Knibiely is hence in charge of environment and energy transition and will lead the committee entrusted with these matters for the Agglomeration.

His environmental convictions are reflected in his studies as an engineer in environmental protection and in his later assignments and positions in this field. From 2004 to 2010, moreover, he was Vice-President of the association Réserve naturelle de France; he is an active member of the Trinational Centre for the Environment in Weil-am-Rhein and sits on the advisory board of the Trinational Eurodistrict of Basel. A Knight of the National Order of Merit, Mr Knibiely has also served as a regional councillor, and has held municipal mandates for over 30 years.

On 23 June 2020, the Secretary of State for Transport issued an order appointing Mr Knibiely to the Board of Directors of Basel-Mulhouse Airport as a representative of the municipal council of the City of Saint-Louis. The Board of Directors also approved his appointment to the Tripartite Consultative Committee ("Beirat"). The Beirat, a committee comprising 18 members, aims to establish ongoing consultation between the Airport and the authorities, economic bodies, public bodies and other partners in South Baden with a view to involving our German neighbours as closely as possible in airport governance.

A new French financial controller
Well-versed in multicultural affairs, Sylvain Rousselle was appointed French Financial Controller of Basel-Mulhouse Airport on 24 June 2020 by a joint decision of the Minister for the Economy and Finance and the Secretary of State for Transport. A graduate of the Ecole du Barreau de Paris in 1986, holder of three masters degrees, and a former student of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, Mr Rousselle has spent a large part of his career abroad and in Overseas France: at the French Embassy in Algiers in 1988, in Cairo in 2006, and with the High Commission for French Polynesia in 2011. From 1986 to 2011, Sylvain Rousselle worked in the French government ministries. Rapporteur at the First Chamber of the French Court of Auditors from 2014 to 2015, he is currently Controller General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. It is in this capacity that he works for Basel-Mulhouse Airport, as well as for airport companies and the major seaports of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
While the financial controllers – Jean-Paul Vest, Swiss Financial Controller, and Sylvain Rousselle – are not members of the Board of Directors of EuroAirport and have no voting rights, they nevertheless attend all meetings of the Board of Directors by right and have extensive supervisory powers over the Airport's operations and finances. They are also members of the Airport Audit and Control Commission.

France and Switzerland: hand in hand, day by day
Basel-Mulhouse Airport is the world’s only truly binational airport in terms of structure and organisation. Its Articles of Association were adopted by a special treaty between the French State and the Swiss Confederation in July 1949. The Board of Directors and the committees are joint representation bodies comprising representatives from both countries on an equal footing; this ensures smooth cooperation and balanced decision-making powers.
Beyond its Franco-Swiss status, the Airport lives up to its trinational calling on the Franco-German-Swiss territory by associating Germany in a consultative capacity, in particular through the "Beirat", and has invited two German observers to the Board of Directors since 1995. The name "EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg", adopted in 1987, underscores this approach.
The Airport is an emblematic and tangible model of cross-border cooperation – a bicultural reality experienced daily by the 6,000 employees who work there.

EuroAirport extends a warm welcome to Mr Knibiely and Mr Rousselle and wishes them all the best in their new assignments!

The Board of Directors is also proud of the appointment of Brigitte Klinkert, member of the Board of Directors, as Minister responsible for Integration and wishes her all the best for her new assignment with the French government!

Philippe Knibiely
Sylvain Rousselle
Philippe Knibiely Sylvain Rousselle