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Herman Van Rompuy

Herman Van Rompuy

President, the European Policy Centre; President Emeritus, the European Council; Prime Minister of Belgium (2008-2009)


Elected as the first full-time President of the European Council in November 2009, Herman Van Rompuy took office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009. In 2012, he was re-elected for a second (and last) term starting on 1 June 2012 and running until 30 November 2014.

At the time of his first election, Herman Van Rompuy was Prime Minister of Belgium. Prior to that he had served in Belgium as Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007-2008) and in several government positions, including as Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Budget (1993-1999). His was Minister of State (2004) and Secretary of State for Finance and Small Businesses (1988).

A former economist at the National Bank of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy began his political career in 1973 as national vice-president of his party’s youth movement. He was president of the Flemish Christian Democrats (1988-1993). He served in the Belgian Parliament, in turn as Senator (1988-1995) and Member of Parliament (1995-2009).
Herman Van Rompuy holds a Bachelor in Philosophy and a Master of Economics from the university K.U. Leuven.

He was born in Etterbeek (Brussels), on 31 October 1947, and is married to Geertrui Windels; they have four children and seven grandchildren.

He is now a professor at the universities of Leuven and Louvain, the College of Europe in Brussels and Sciences Po in Paris and he is the President of the European Policy Centre.
On 21st of July 2015, the Belgian King Philip announced that Herman Van Rompuy would be honored the title of Count and his wife the title of Countess. This title is personal and his children would get hereditary nobility.

Greek-Latin humanities, Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege Brussels (1965)
Bachelor of Philosophy, K.U.Leuven (1968)
Master of Economics, K.U.Leuven (1971)

Career history:
Attaché research center, National Bank of Belgium (1972-1975)
Adviser Cabinet Prime Minister L. Tindemans (1975-1978)
Adviser Cabinet Minister of Finance G. Geens (1978-1980)
Director Centrum voor Politieke, Economische en Sociale Studies (research center of the Christian Democrats) (1980-1988)
Professor Handelshogeschool Antwerpen (1980-1987)
Professor Vlaamse Economische Hogeschool Brussel (VLEKHO) (1982-2008)
Professor Université Catholique de Louvain and College of Europe (Bruges), Sciences Po (Paris) and KUL (Leuven) (all in 2015)

President of the European Policy Center, Brussels (2015)

Political career:
National vice-president C.V.P.-Jongeren (1973-1977)
Member of the National C.V.P. Buro (1978-2009)
C.V.P.-negotiator for the government formation Martens-III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and Dehaene I, II (1980-1995)
Senator (1988-1995)
Secretary of State of Finance and Small Businesses (May 1988-Sept. 1988)
C.V.P.-party National President (Sept. 1988-Sept. 1993)
Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Budget (Sept. 1993-July 1999)
MP in the House of Representatives (1995 -2009)
Minister of State (since Jan. 2004)
Speaker of the House of Representatives (July 2007- Dec. 2008)
Royal Explorer (Sep. 2007)
Royal Conciliator (Oct. 2007)
Prime Minister (Dec. 2008 - Nov. 2009)
President of the European Council (Dec. 2009 - 2014)

Europe in the storm", Editions Racine, 126 p. (May 2014) translated in five languages)
"De kentering der tijden", book published by Lannoo, 112 p. (1979)
"Hopen na 1984", book published by Davidsfonds, Horizonreeks (September 1984)
"Het christendom. Een moderne gedachte", book published by Davidsfonds, Forumreeks (September 1990)
"Vernieuwing in hoofd en hart. Een tegendraadse visie", book published by Davidsfonds, Forumreeks (Autumn 1998)
"De binnenkant op een kier. Avonden zonder politiek", book published by Lannoo, 165 p. (2000)
"Dagboek van een vijftiger", book published by Davidsfonds, 144 p. (October 2004)
"Haiku", Poezie Centrum, Gent, 125 p. (April 2010)
"In de wereld van Herman Van Rompuy", with Katleen Cools, Borgerhoff & Lamberigts, 200 p. (October 2010)
"Haiku 2", Poëziecentrum, Gand, 93 p. (October 2013) (translated in Awards Nobel Prize of Peace 2012, Reception on behalf of the EU Charlemagne Prize (Internationale Karlspreis), Aachen (29 May 2014)

Benelux-Europa Prize, Breda (12 June 2010)
Médaille d'Or de la Fondation Jean Monnet, Lausanne (18 October 2014)
Michele de Gianni Award, Brussels (4 October 2013)
ESMT Responsible Leadership Award, awarded by the European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, (3 July 2014)
Golden Business Centre Club Statuette Award, awarded at the Grand Gala of Polish Business Leaders, Warsaw (25 January 2014)
European Prize Coudenhove-Kalergi 2012, Vienna (16 November 2012)
Otto von der Gablentz Prize, The Hague (18 April 2012)
Honorary senator E Meritu et Honoris Causa of the Movement for a United States of Europe – Action Centre for European federalism (AEF - BVSE), Antwerp (5 February 2012)
"Gouden Penning" awarded by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, Brussels, (14 January 2012)
Nueva Economía Forum Prize, Madrid (10 December 2010)
"Collier du Mérite européen" awarded by the European Merit Foundation, Luxembourg (25 November 2010)
Harvard Club of Belgium Leadership Prize, Brussels (8 September 2010)
Willem van Oranje-Penning, Leiden (October 2014)
Aureus Vives award, Kortrijk 2015
Leopold Kunschak Preis, Vienna 2015
Haiku Ambassador for the EU-Japan Friendship (2015-2017)
Merit Award, European People's Party, October 2015
Flames of Peace Award, Brussels (February 2016)
Comenius Prize, Nerherlands (April 2016)
Annual Prize for Pro-European Policy TV Evropa, Bulgaria (April 2016)
Honorary Doctorate
Université Catholique de Louvain (2 February 2010)
Kobe University Brussels European Centre (4 March 2011)
University of Ghent (18 March 2011)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (1 June 2012)
University of Foreign Languages of Baku (5 July 2012)

Hanoi National University (1 November 2012)
Universidad C.E.U. San Pablo in Madrid (13 December 2013)
University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin (21 February 2014)
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. (20 October 2015)
Kansai University, Osaka, Japan (4 November 2015)
University of St. Andrews, Scotland ( June 2016)
University of Kent (July 2016)

Grand Ribbon holder of the Order of Leopold, Belgium (2009))
Grand Officer in the Order of the Legion of Honour, France (December 2011)
Honorary Citizenship, Beersel, De Haan, Olen, Kortessem and Sint-Genesius-Rode (Belgium) and Matsuyama (haiku-capital, Japan)
Grand Officier de l'Ordre National de Cote d'Ivoire (7 August 2012)
National order "Star of Romania" in the rank of the Grand Cross, Bucharest (25 April 2013)
Ordre National du Benin, Cotonou (20 February 2014)
Order of the White Double Cross of Second Class, Bratislava (30 April 2014)
On 21 July 2015 His Majesty King Philip of Belgium announced to ennoble Mr Van Rompuy and grant him the title of Count.
Order for Exceptional Merits of Slovenia, October 2015
Grand Cordon of the order of the Rising Sun, Japan,
November 2015
Grand Cross of the Order of Malta, 29 June 2016