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Jean-Luc Dehaene

Jean-Luc Dehaene (born August 7 1940) is a Belgian politician.

He was born in Montpellier, France, when his parents were fleeing for the German troops. He got into politics through the Algemeen Christelijk Werknemersverbond (ACW), a trade union which was closely linked to the Christelijke Volkspartij. In 1981 he became Minister of Social Affairs and Institutional Reform, until 1988, when he became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Traffic and Institutional Reform.

Dehaene I (1992-1995)

In 1992, after both Guy Verhofstadt and Melchior Wathelet had failed, he managed to form a governing coalition of christian-democrats and social-democrats. This became one of Belgium's most important governments, because it successfully transformed Belgium into a federal state. In March 1993, Dehaene offered the King the resignation of his government, because of diverging views on how to handle the public finances. However, within a week the differences were put aside. After the death of King Baudouin, his government exerciced the royal function until Prince Albert was sworn in as King Albert II of the Belgians nine days later.

Dehaene II (1995-1999)

His second government was also composed of Christian-democrats and social-democrats. Despite the fact that the government was flooded with crises - notably the Dutroux scandal - it managed to serve the entire legislature. Some weeks before the 1999 elections a food scandal erupted, and both governing parties lost much of their support.

After the elections, Guy Verhofstadt formed the first Belgian government without the Christian-democrats since 1958. Dehaene remained senator until 2001, when he became burgemeester (mayor) of Vilvoorde, a town near Brussels. To the surprise of many, he was nominated by Verhofstadt to become Vice Chairman of the Convention on the Future of Europe. In order to offer support his part, the CD&V, he was once again a candidate during the 2003 elections, but this was clearly not with the intention of becoming Prime Minister, as he was put as last person on the party list.

Preceded by:
Wilfried Martens
Prime Minister of Belgium Succeeded by:
Guy Verhofstadt