Herman Van Rompuy
President of the European Council.
Herman Van Rompuy was designated the first permanent President of the European Council by the EU leaders meeting in Brussels in November 2009, and officially started his mandate on 1 January 2010.
Previously, Mr. Van Rompuy served as Prime Minister of Belgium between December 2008 and November 2009, after having been appointed first as "explorer", then as "conciliator" to form a government in 2007.
Mr.Van Rompuy has a long political career as a member of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party (CD&V) of which he was national chairman between 1988 and 1993. In 2007, he was elected President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, of which he has been a Member since 1995. He was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Budget from September 1993 to July 1999 in the two governments lead by Jean-Luc Dehaene. As budget minister, he helped drive down Belgium’s government deficit from a peak of 7.5 pct of GDP in 1993 to almost zero as part of his country's preparation for the adoption of the euro. In 2004 he was appointed Minister of State.
Mr. Van Rompuy started his professional career as attaché to the internal affairs department of the National Bank of Belgium. He then worked in the ministerial cabinets of Leo Tindemans and Gaston Geens between 1975 and 1980. Subsequently, he joined the academic environment as Director of the Centre for Political, Economic and Social Studies and as a university lecturer in Antwerp and Brussels. In 1988 he was elected to the Belgian Senate where he served until 1995.
Mr. Van Rompuy holds a master's degree in applied economics from the K.U. Leuven. He has written numerous articles and published several books, such as Dagboek van een vijftiger (2004), and De binnenkant op een kier. Avonden zonder politiek (2000).
- Herman Van Rompuy will deliver the opening address on 25 May.