H.A. (Herman) Van Rompuy

foto H.A. (Herman) Van Rompuy vergrootglas

From December 1st 2009 Herman Van Rompuy (1947) is president of the European Council. He officially started his term on January 1st 2010. On November 19th 2009 Van Rompuy was appointed by the European Council in this office for two-and-a-half years. On March 1st 2012 he got re-elected. From December 30th 2008 to November 2009, Van Rompuy was prime-minister of Belgium.

His career started at the National Bank of Belgium. Later a series of politial offices followed. Van Rompuy has been Deputy Minister, senator, chairman of the Christian Social Party (CVP), vice-prime-minister, minister of budget and chairman of the House of Representatives. Van Rompuy is a member of Flemish Christian-Democratic party CD&V. From 2008 to 2009 he led a coalition of Christian-Democrats, Liberals and Walloon Socialists.

1.

Personal data

Name and surname

Herman Achille (Herman)

Date of birth

October 31st 1947

Place of birth

Etterbeek, Belgium

Family

Vic van Rompuy (father)

Geertrui Windels (spouse)

Eric van Rompuy (brother, former minister, member of parliament)

Christine van Rompuy (sister, former candidate for the European Parliament)

Peter van Rompuy (son, member of the Flemisch parliament)

Religion

Roman Catholic

2.

Education

Secondary school

Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege

Academic

Philosophy (baccalaureate), Catholic University of Leuven from 1965 to 1968

Economic science (licentiate and doctorate), Catholic University of Leuven from 1968 to 1971

3.

Political affiliation

CVP (Christian Social Party) which existed until 2001 (name was changed to CD&V)

CD&V (Christian Democratic and Flemish, formerly known as CVP)

Party political functions

  • national chairman of the CVP-youth party from 1973 to 1977
  • chairman of the CVP in arrondissement Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde
  • chairman of CVP from 1988 to 1993

4.

Career

  • student-services attaché at the National Bank of Belgium
  • counsellor cabinet of prime minister Leo Tindemans, 1975 to 1978
  • counsellor cabinet of minister of fincance Gaston Geens, 1978 to 1980
  • lecturer, Artesis Universty College Antwerp, 1980 to 1987
  • head of Cepess (Centre for Political, Economic and Social studies, the scientific bureau of the CVP), 1980 to 1988
  • lecturer, Flemish Economic University of Applied Sciences Brussels, 1982 to 2008
  • junior minister of finance, May 9th 1988 to September 18th 1988
  • member of senate (co-opted senator), 1988 to 1993
  • vice prime-minister and minister for budgetary affairs, September 5th 1993 to July 12th 1999
  • member of the House of Representatives, June 13th 1999 to December 30th 2008
  • minister of state since January 26th 2004
  • chairman of the House of Representatives, july 11th 2007 to December 30th 2008
  • prime-minister of Belgium from December 30th 2008 to November 25th 2009
  • president of the European Council, from December 1st 2009

5.

Selected references and statements

Books and publications

  • "De kentering der tijden" (book, 1979)
  • "Hopen na 1984" (book, 1984)
  • "Het christendom. Een moderne gedachte" (book, 1990)
  • "Vernieuwing in hoofd en hart. Een tegendraadse visie" (book, 1998)
  • "De binnenkant op een kier. Avonden zonder politiek" (book, 2000)
  • "Dagboek van een vijftiger"(book, 2004)
  • "Op zoek naar wijsheid" (book, 2007)
  • "Haiku" (collected poetry, 2010)

Political achievements

  • Negotiated in behalf of CVP (and CD&V) during the formation of coalitions Martens III, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII, Dehaene I and II and Leterme
  • reduced the annual budget deficit considerably during his term as minister of budgetary affairs
  • royal Informateur in september 2007 and Royal Conciliator in november 2009. In 2007 he drafted the first "spooknota" (a policy paper setting out a plan to tackle particular issues)
  • re-elected as president of the European Council. To public knowledge, no other candidates were considered

Political comments

  • Has repeatedly been typecast as a bureaucrat without sense of humor, an intellectual and as a modest person. One of the more critical and outspoken comments was made by Nigel Farage, MEP, during a debate in the European Parliament

Pseudonyms, nick-names

"Haiku Herman", a reference to his love of the haiku, a particular form of Japanse poetry