He has been a member of the French Socialist Party since 1974 and has served as its Secretary General in charge of Higher Education.
His duties within the Rhône-Alpes Region (2nd French region after Ile de France in population 6,3 Mhab and economy ) include:
the First Vice-presidency in charge of transport between 2004 and 2010
the Vice-presidency in charge of European and International Affairs since 2010.
As a member of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union since 2004, he is rapporteur on the Trans-European Transports Network regulation. Among other responsibilities, he also was a member of the European Parliament in 2009, and currently is the Chairman of the Association of European Cities and Regions with High-Speed Railway, Vice-president of the “groupement des autorités responsables de transport” (spokesbody for French transport organisations) and first Vice-president of the “GIE Objectif Transport Public”, a public body aiming at promoting public transport.
He published several books and essays, among which a co-authored publication on the future of railways after 2012 (Quel rail après 2012 ? Le temps politique est venu).
He graduated at Sciences Po Paris and a PhD in urban planning and development, and an agrégation degree in economic and social sciences. He is married and has 2 children.