External speakers

Herman Van Rompuy

Former President of the European Council and Prime Minister of Belgium

Herman Van Rompuy, in full Herman Achille Van Rompuy, (born October 31, 1947, Brussels, Belgium), Belgian politician who served as prime minister of Belgium (2008–09). He later was the first permanent president of the European Council (2010–14).

At the time of his first election to the Council, 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 movement. 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's degree in Philosophy, and a Master's degree in Applied Economics from the university K.U. Leuven. He was born in Etterbeek, Belgium, on 31 October 1947, and is married to Geertrui Windels; they have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.