Belgium and the EU bid farewell to Jean-Luc Dehaene


Representatives of the European Union will tomorrow attend the state funeral of Jean-Luc Dehaene, prime minister of Belgium in 1992-99 and an MEP since 2004, who died instantly final Thursday (15 Could).

Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, and in addition, like Dehaene, a firmer Flemish Christian Democrat prime minister, will attend. He was additionally deputy prime minister in each the governments that Dehaene led.

Man Verhofstadt, who, as chief of the Flemish liberals, succeeded Dehaene as prime minister in 1999, can even be within the congregation on the funeral, which is being held in Vilvoorde, a city to the north of Brussels the place Dehaene was mayor in 2000-07. The European Parliament can be represented by Isabelle Durant, a Belgian MEP and a vice-president of the Parliament.

When Dehaene succeeded Wilfried Martens as prime minister in 1992, on the head of a coalition led by the centre-right, the nation was within the midst of substantial reforms – social, constitutional and financial.

His  authorities improved the general public funds, while preserving Belgium’s social compact, which made him a believable candidate to succeed Jacques Delors as Fee president in 1994. Eleven out of twelve member states backed Dehaene, however John Main, the British prime minister, who was struggling to comprise Euroscepticism in his personal Conservative celebration, vetoed him.

Dehaene was re-elected in 1995 as prime minister of Belgium and continued to push by means of tough budgetary reforms that ready the nation for eurozone membership, which weakened the federal government’s reputation. The escape of Marc Dutroux, who was awaiting trial for little one kidnapping and homicide, mixed with a scandal about dioxin contamination of meals, condemned the CVP to defeat within the 1999 elections that introduced Verhofstadt to energy on the head of a liberal-led authorities.

In 2002 Dehaene was made a member of the praesidium – the internal core – in the conference on the way forward for Europe, that drafted the EU’s constitutional treaty. He had lengthy been a robust supporter of the EU. In 2004 he joined the European Parliament as a member of the EPP group and was re-elected in 2009. He drafted a report on the longer term financing of the EU, however was extra outstanding in Belgian company life than within the Parliament. He was a director of InBev, the brewing big created from the merger of InterBrew and AmBev. He was later chairman of Dexia, the Franco-Belgian financial institution that turned a sufferer of the eurozone’s banking disaster and was re-born as Belfius. Early in 2014 Dehaene was recognized with pancreatic most cancers. He was not in search of re-election as an MEP due to his well being issues.

Elio Di Rupo, Belgium’s present prime minister, stated that  Dehaene had “executed nice service to Belgium, each economically and institutionally”.

Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, described Dehaene as “a satisfied fanatic for Europe and Belgium”.

José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Fee, stated Dehaene had been a unifier: “His position as a mediator shone by means of in all of his work.”

British MEP Andrew Duff, who labored with Dehaene on the conference, paid tribute to his contribution and his “very clever grasp of the realities in addition to the probabilities of European integration”.

Marianne Thyssen, a Flemish Christian Democrat colleague, stated that for him, Europe was the longer term. “He was completely persuaded that extra European integration was wanted to safe our jobs and affect on the earth.” However, she stated, he was a pragmatist who superior step-by-step.


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