Alexander De Croo
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Alexander De Croo

Alexander De Croo
Informal meeting of ministers responsible for development (FAC). Arrivals Alexander De Croo (36766610160) (cropped2).jpg
De Croo in 2017
Prime Minister of Belgium

1 October 2020
MonarchPhilippe
DeputyVincent Van Peteghem
Georges Gilkinet
Petra De Sutter
Sophie Wilmès
Vincent Van Quickenborne
Pierre-Yves Dermagne
Frank Vandenbroucke
Sophie Wilmès
Minister of Finance

9 December 2018 - 1 October 2020
Charles Michel
Sophie Wilmès
Johan Van Overtveldt
Vincent Van Peteghem
Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium

22 October 2012 - 1 October 2020
Elio Di Rupo
Charles Michel
Sophie Wilmès
Vincent Van Quickenborne
Vincent Van Peteghem
Georges Gilkinet
Petra De Sutter
Sophie Wilmès
Vincent Van Quickenborne
Pierre-Yves Dermagne
Frank Vandenbroucke
Minister of Pensions

22 October 2012 - 11 October 2014
Elio Di Rupo
Vincent Van Quickenborne
Daniel Bacquelaine
Leader of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats

12 December 2009 - 22 October 2012
DeputyVincent Van Quickenborne
Patricia Ceysens
Guy Verhofstadt (Acting)
Guy Verhofstadt (Acting)
Minister of Development Cooperation

11 October 2014 - 1 October 2020
Charles Michel
Sophie Wilmès
Jean-Pascal Labille [fr]
Personal details
Born (1975-11-03) 3 November 1975 (age 45)
Vilvoorde, Belgium
Political partyOpen Flemish Liberals and Democrats
Spouse(s)Annik Penders
Children2
Alma mater
WebsitePersonal site

Alexander De Croo (born 3 November 1975) is a Belgian politician and businessman who has served as Prime Minister of Belgium since October 2020. De Croo was born in Vilvoorde, Flemish Brabant, and studied business engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel before attaining an MBA at Northwestern University. He worked for Boston Consulting Group before starting his own company, Darts-ip, in 2006. De Croo became involved with the Belgian political party Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (Open VLD), of which he was chairman from 2009 to 2012. From 2012 to 2020, De Croo served in the governments of Elio Di Rupo, Charles Michel, and Sophie Wilmès as a deputy prime minister of Belgium.

During his tenure as deputy prime minister he served as the Minister of Pensions from 2012 to 2014, as Minister of Development Cooperation from 2014 to 2020, and as Minister of Finance from 2018 to 2020. On 1 October 2020, over a year after the 2019 federal elections, the De Croo Government was formed to replace Wilmès' minority government, with De Croo as Prime Minister.

Early life and career

Alexander De Croo was born on 3 November 1975 in Vilvoorde in Flemish Brabant, Belgium[1] and was one of two children of the politician and Minister of State Herman De Croo and his wife Françoise Desguin.[2] In 1993, he attended the Vrije Universiteit Brussel where he graduated in 1998 in Business Engineering. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 2002, and completed an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management in 2004. Prior to his political career, De Croo became a project leader at Boston Consulting Group in 1999. In 2006 he founded a new company called Darts-ip which specialized in providing services to intellectual property professionals.[3]

Early political career

In 2009, De Croo participated for the first time in politics, standing in the 2009 European elections. He received more than 47,000 votes.[4] On 26 October, De Croo became a candidate for the presidency of his political party, Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD), to succeed the transitional party president, Guy Verhofstadt. He chose Vincent Van Quickenborne and Patricia Ceysens as his running mates to compete against Marino Keulen and Gwendolyn Rutten. On 12 December, he was elected president in the second round with 11,676 votes; Marino Keulen received 9,614 votes.[5] His election was considered remarkable as he had almost no previous experience as a politician.[6][7]

Political crisis

Five months after being elected party leader, De Croo threatened to withdraw the Open VLD from the governing coalition if there was no solution to the constitutional dispute in the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde voting issue. After Open VLD's deadline passed the party left the government and then Prime Minister Yves Leterme announced the government's resignation. This was accepted by King Albert II on 26 April 2010.[8] During the elections for the Senate in 2010, De Croo obtained more than 301,000 votes, the third most in the Dutch-speaking constituency[4] and served as a senator until 22 October 2012.[9]

Career in government

Part of the Di Rupo government

De Croo succeeded Van Quickenborne in the Di Rupo Government as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Pensions on 22 October 2012[10] after Van Quickenborne resigned to become mayor of Kortrijk.[11] In December Gwendolyn Rutten was elected as the new chairwoman of Open VLD.[12]

Part of the Michel I and II governments

After the 2014 Belgian federal election and its Federal Government formation, it was decided that he would remain Deputy Prime Minister in the newly formed Michel I Government. De Croo also became Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services[13][14] while Daniel Bacquelaine took over from him as Minister of Pensions.[14] This government took office on 11 October 2014.[15]

During De Croo's time in office, Belgium became the first country to suspend official development assistance to Burundi after the beginning of violent unrest in the African country from 2015.[16] In 2017, De Croo pledged EUR25 million ($26.81 million) through 2025 to eradicate African sleeping sickness.[17] He also was one of the founders of the She Decides movement, a reaction against the re-installation of the Mexico City Policy by President Donald Trump.[18]

After a disagreement within the government over the UN Global Compact for Migration, the N-VA left the governing coalition, causing the administration to become a minority government on 9 December 2018, known as Michel II.[19] De Croo became Minister of Finance, replacing Johan Van Overtveldt.[20]

In December 2018, De Croo took the stage during the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 concert in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was the final event of the international campaign #SheIsEqual for women's rights which attracted EUR780 million in commitments.[21]

Part of the Wilmès I and II governments

Under the caretaker administration of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, he oversaw a financial stimulus package to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and a deal to save Brussels Airlines in 2020.[22] He was elected joint deputy chairman of Open VLD, together with Egbert Lachaert.[23]

Prime Minister

On 23 September 2020, Alexander De Croo and Paul Magnette (PS) were appointed by the King to form a government.[24] On 30 September 2020, it was announced that De Croo would take over the position of Prime Minister of Belgium, succeeding Wilmès.[25] His government has a higher proportion of women ministers than any previous Belgium government: half of the ministers are women.[26]

Political views and ideology

Like the majority of party leaders in Belgium, De Croo is in favour of greater limits on the political power of the Belgian monarch. He is of the opinion that the monarch's power should be ceremonial, similar to that of other Western European monarchs.[27]

Personal life

De Croo is married to Annik Penders and they have two children.[28] He is a keen equestrian and takes part in a formal event each year together with his father; in 2010 he broke a foot and an elbow when he fell from his horse.[29] He is fluent in French, the mother tongue of his mother.[30]

Other activities

European Union organizations

International organizations

Non-profit organizations

References

  1. ^ "De Heer Alexander De Croo" [Mr. Alexander De Croo]. wwwpr.belgium.be (in Dutch). 11 June 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Biography". www.hermandecroo.be. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ "Wie is Alexander?" [Who is Alexander?]. www.alexanderdecroo.be (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Alexander De Croo is nieuwe premier: naast "zoon van" ook stemmentrekker en voorstander van gendergelijkheid" [Alexander De Croo is the new prime minister: in addition to being "son of", he is also a vote-puller and a supporter of gender equality] (in Dutch). VRT Nws. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "Alexander De Croo verrassend nieuwe voorzitter Open Vld" [Alexander De Croo Surprising New Chairman Open Vld] (in Dutch). De Morgen. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Open VLD kiest met Alexander De Croo voor avontuur" [Open VLD Opts for Adventure with Alexander De Croo] (in Dutch). De Standaard. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "Alexander De Croo". The Bulletin. 12 October 2009. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "Belgium's Five-Party Coalition Government Collapses". The Guardian. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "Opvolger Alexander De Croo legt de eed af in Senaat" [Successor Alexander De Croo takes the oath in the Senate] (in Dutch). Het Laatste Nieuws. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "Alexander De Croo is nieuwe premier: naast "zoon van" ook stemmentrekker en voorstander van gendergelijkheid" [Alexander De Croo is the New Prime Minister: in Addition to Being "son of", he is also a Vote-Puller and a Supporter of Gender Equality] (in Dutch). Radio 1. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "Vincent Van Quickenborne ruilt Kortrijk opnieuw in voor Brussel" [Vincent Van Quickenborne Exchanges Kortrijk for Brussels Again] (in Dutch). MSN. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ "Gwendolyn Rutten is nieuwe voorzitter Open VLD" [Gwendolyn Rutten is the New Chairwoman of Open VLD] (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ "Biografie" [Biography]. www.decroo.belgium.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Dit zijn de ministers van de regering-Michel I" [These are the Ministers of the Michel I Government] (in Dutch). Het Laatste Nieuws. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ "Van de regering-Michel naar de regering-Wilmès: een komen en gaan van ministers" [From the Michel Government to the Wilmès Government: A Coming and Going of Ministers] (in Dutch). VRT NWS. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ "Belgium Suspends Financial Aid for Burundi Elections". Al-Jazeera. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ Stephanie Nebehay (April 19, 2017), "Gates Backs Big Pharma Push to Wipe out Tropical Diseases". Reuters. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ "Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Belgium". www.shedecides.com. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "Belgium's Government Loses Majority over UN Migration Pact". The Guardian. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "De Block terug op Asiel & Migratie, De Crem en De Backer worden minister: zo ziet regering-Michel II eruit" [De Block Back at Asylum & Migration, De Crem and De Backer Become Ministers: This is What Michel II Government Looks Like] (in Dutch). VRT NWS. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "#SheIsEqual Campaign for Women's Rights Exceeds Wildest Expectations". www.diplomatie.belgium.be. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "Belgium Forms New Government after 16-Month Deadlock]". Reuters. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "Alexander De Croo eerste ondervoorzitter" [Alexander De Croo first vice-chairman] (in Dutch). Knack. 22 May 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "Koning stelt Paul Magnette (PS) en Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) aan als coformateurs: "Uitweg uit de crisis"". VRT (in Dutch). Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ "Flemish Liberal Alexander De Croo to be Appointed Belgium's Prime Minister". 30 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ "Regering-De Croo is meest vrouwelijke ooit: tien vrouwen en tien mannen" [De Croo Government is the Most Feminine Ever:Ten Women and Ten Men] (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ "Meerderheid wil macht koning inperken" [Majority Wants to Limit the Power of the King] (in Dutch). VRT NWS. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 2020.
  28. ^ "Wie is Alexander De Croo, Belgiës kersverse premier? "Hij kent niks van politiek", zei zijn moeder ooit. Ze kreeg ongelijk" [Who is Alexander De Croo, Belgium's Brand New Prime Minister? "He Doesn't Know Anything about Politics," His Mother Once Said. She was Proven Wrong] (in Dutch). Het Laatste Nieuws. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ "Alexander De Croo verlaat het ziekenhuis". Gazet van Antwerpen. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ http://www.popflock.com/video?id=qZfoPBpdlik
  31. ^ "Board of Governors". www.eib.org. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "Board of Governors: Alexander De Croo". www.esm.europa.eu. Retrieved 2020.
  33. ^ "AfDB Annual Report 2017" (PDF). www.afdb.org. Retrieved 2020.
  34. ^ "Board of Governors". Asian Development Bank. Retrieved 2020.
  35. ^ "Board of Governors". www.ebrd.com/. Retrieved 2020.
  36. ^ "Europe Policy Group" (PDF). www3.weforum.org. Retrieved 2020.

External link

Political offices
Preceded by
Vincent Van Quickenborne
Minister of Pensions
2012-2014
Succeeded by
Daniel Bacquelaine
Preceded by
Jean-Pascal Labille
Minister of Development Cooperation
2014-2020
Succeeded by
Meryame Kitir
Preceded by
Johan Van Overtveldt
Minister of Finance
2018-2020
Succeeded by
Vincent Van Peteghem
Preceded by
Sophie Wilmès
Prime Minister of Belgium
2020-present
Incumbent

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