Herman Van Rompuy is a Belgian and European politician, who served as Prime Minister of Belgium and then as the first President of the European Council. Since 2015 he has been the President of the European Policy Centre (EPC).
Herman Van Rompuy © MCI
His presidency of the EPC comes after an impressive career in national and European politics; a former economist at the National Bank of Belgium, he began his political career in 1973 as national vice-president of his party's youth council, before holding various responsibilities within his party and in the Belgian Parliament and government, serving in turn as Senator (1988-1995), Secretary of State for Finance and Small Businesses (1988), Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Budget (1993-1999), Member of Parliament (1995-2009), Minister of State (2004), and Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007-2008).
At the time of his first appointment as President of the European Council in 2009, he was Prime Minister of Belgium. He was the first full-time President of the European Council to take office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force.