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Herman Van Rompuy


President of the European Council


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 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), 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 council. He has held various responsibilities within his party and in the Belgian Parliament, serving in turn as Senator (1988-1995) and Member of Parliament (1995-2009).


Herman Van Rompuy holds a Bachelor in Philosophy, and a Master in Applied Economics from the university K.U. Leuven. He was born in Etterbeek, Belgium, on 31 October 1947, and is married with Geertrui Windels; they have four children and four grandchildren.




Grammar School, Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege Brussels (1965)

Bachelor of Philosophy, K.U.Leuven (1968)

Master in Applied Economics, K.U.Leuven (1971)


Career history:


Attaché Internal Affairs 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 (1980-1988)

Lecturer Handelshogeschool Antwerpen (1980-1987)

Lecturer Vlaamse Economische Hogeschool Brussel (VLEKHO) (1982-2008)


Political career:


National vice-president C.V.P.-Jongeren (1973-1977)

Member of the National C.V.P. Buro (1978-…)

C.V.P.-negotiator for the government formation Martens-III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and Dehaene I, II

C.V.P.-president of the district Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde (1982-1988)

C.V.P.-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)

CD&V MP in the House of Representatives (1995 -…)

Minister of State (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 - ...)




"Europe in the storm", Editions Racine, 126 p. (May 2014)

"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", Poëzie centrum, Gand, 93 p. (October 2013)


Awards and distinctions




International Charlemagne Prize (Internationale Karlspreis), Aachen (29 May 2014)
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Benelux-Europa Prize, Breda (12 June 2010)


Harvard Club of Belgium Leadership Prize, Brussels (8 September 2010)


"Collier du Mérite européen" awarded by the European Merit Foundation, Luxembourg (25 November 2010)


Nueva Economía Forum Prize, Madrid (10 December 2010)
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"Gouden Penning" awarded by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, Brussels, (14 January 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)


Otto von der Gablentz Prize, The Hague (18 April 2012)
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European Prize Coudenhove-Kalergi 2012, Vienna (16 November 2012)
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Michele de Gianni Award, Brussels (4 October 2013)


Golden Business Centre Club Statuette Award, awarded at the Grand Gala of Polish Business Leaders, Warsaw (25 January 2014)
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ESMT Responsible Leadership Award, awarded by the European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, (3 July 2014)


Willem van Oranje-Penning, Leiden (October 2014)


Médaille d'Or de la Fondation Jean Monnet, Lausanne (18 October 2014)



Honorary Doctorate


Université Catholique de Louvain (2 February 2010)
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Kobe University Brussels European Centre (4 March 2011)
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University of Ghent (18 March 2011)


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (1 June 2012)
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University of Foreign Languages of Baku (5 July 2012)
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Hanoi National University (1 November 2012)
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Universidad C.E.U. San Pablo in Madrid (13 December 2013)
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University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin (21 February 2014)
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Grand Ribbon holder ofthe Order of Leopold, Belgium (2009)

Grand Officer in the Order of the Legion of Honour, France (December 2011)

Honorary Citizenship, Beersel, Belgium (13 May 2012)

Honorary Citizenship, DeHaan, Belgium (7 July 2012)

Grand Officier de l'Ordre National de Cote d'Ivoire (7 August 2012)

National order "Star of Romania" in the rank ofthe Grand Cross, Bucharest (25 April2013)

Honorary Citizenship, Olen, Belgium (3 October 2013)

Honorary Citizenship, Matsuyama, Japan (18 November 2013)

Ordre National du Benin, Cotonou (20 February 2014)

Willem van Oranje-Penning, Leiden (October 2014)

Order of the White Double Cross of Second Class, Bratislava (30 April 2014)

Honorary Citizenship, Kortessem, Belgium (16 May 2014)