Charles Yves Jean Guislain Michel - Belgian politician, representative of the French community, leader of the Reform Movement party (2011-2019), Prime Minister of Belgium (2014-2019), President of the European Council since December 1, 2019.
Place of Birth. Education. Charles Michel was born on December 21, 1975 in Namur, the capital of the province of Namur in the Wallonia region of Belgium. As a child, Charles put up political posters for his father, the mayor of Jodoyany, and at the age of 16 he joined the Young Liberal Reformers of Jodoyany. From 1992 to 1999, Charles was president of the organization, and in 1994, at the age of 18, he was elected councilor in the province of Walloon Brabant.
In 1998 he graduated in law from the Francophone Free University of Brussels and the University of Amsterdam, after which he became a lawyer.
Political career. In 1999, he was elected to the House of Representatives.
In 2000, Charles was appointed Minister of the Interior in the Walloon government, becoming at the age of 25 the youngest minister in Belgian history. In the same year he was elected to the city council of Wavre, in 2004 he was appointed councilor for urban planning, also becoming spokesman for the Reform Movement, and in 2006 he was mayor of the city.
According to the results of the parliamentary elections in 2007, Michel was re-elected to the House of Representatives from Walloon Brabant, and later in the elections of 2010.
On December 21, 2007, Charles Michel became Minister of Development and Cooperation, retaining this position in the third government of Verhofstadt, the first Leterme, Van Rompuy and the second Leterme, while simultaneously taking the place of Mayor of Wavre.
After the failure of the Reform Movement in the 2009 regional elections, he joined the intra-party group Renaissance, which demanded the resignation of party president Didier Reynders. After the failure in the 2010 parliamentary elections, Reynders resigned, and Michel became a candidate for the party president. On January 28, 2011, he won the internal elections, and on February 14, he resigned from his ministerial position.
After the parliamentary elections of 2014 and the impossibility of Bart De Wever and his New Flemish Alliance party to form a new government alone, on June 27, King Philippe of Belgium entrusted this task to Michel and the leader of the Christian Democrats and Flemings Chris Peters. On October 7, an agreement was signed between the parties "New Flemish Alliance", "Christian Democrats and Flemings", "Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats" and "Reform Movement" to establish a center-right coalition government headed by Michel. On October 11, Charles Michel was officially sworn in as Prime Minister of Belgium by King Philippe, along with fourteen ministers and four secretaries of state of the new government. Thus, at the age of 38, Michel became one of the youngest leaders in Europe, as well as the youngest prime minister of Belgium since 1840, and the second representative of the French-speaking liberals to hold this position, after Paul-Émile Janson since 1937.
On July 2, 2019, the leaders of the 28 EU countries at the summit in Brussels elected Charles Michel President of the European Council. On December 1, 2019, Charles Michel took up his duties for the next 5 years.
Awards. Order of Leopold I degree of a great officer (May 21, 2014).
Family. Charles's father Louis Michel was Belgian Foreign Minister and European Commissioner for Development (2004-2009).
Charles Michel's common-law wife is Amélie Derboudrenguien. The couple has two daughters, Jeanne and Lucy.