Charles Michel

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Charles Michel
File:Charles Michel (politician).jpg
Prime Minister of Belgium
Assumed office
11 October 2014
Monarch Philippe
Preceded by Elio Di Rupo
Leader of the Reformist Movement
In office
14 February 2011 – 10 October 2014
Preceded by Didier Reynders
Succeeded by Olivier Chastel
Minister of Development Cooperation
In office
21 December 2007 – 14 February 2011
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt
Yves Leterme
Herman Van Rompuy
Yves Leterme
Preceded by Armand De Decker
Succeeded by Olivier Chastel
Personal details
Born (1975-12-21) 21 December 1975 (age 44)
Namur, Belgium
Political party Reformist Movement
Domestic partner Amélie Derbaudrenghien
Children Maximilien
Alma mater Free University
of Brussels

University of Amsterdam

Charles Michel (French: [ʃaʁl mi.ʃɛl]; born 21 December 1975) is the current Prime Minister of Belgium. He is the son of Louis Michel, also a prominent politician. Charles Michel was the leader of the francophone liberal party Mouvement Réformateur (MR) since February 2011 until becoming Prime Minister. Michel is the youngest Belgian Prime Minister since 1845.

Early career

Michel started his political career aged 16 when he joined the Young Liberals of Jodoigne (Jeunes Réformateurs Libéraux de Jodoigne); his father Louis Michel was mayor of Jodoigne since 1983. In 1994, at the age of 18, Charles Michel was elected provincial councillor in Walloon Brabant.

He graduated in law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the University of Amsterdam in 1998, after which he became lawyer at the Brussels Bar.

Having studied in Amsterdam, he is fluent in Dutch in addition to his native French.

Political career

Michel has been elected to the federal Chamber of Representatives since 1999, representing Walloon Brabant, a stronghold of the liberal MR.

In 2000, he became Minister of Home Affairs in the Walloon Government. Aged 25, he became the youngest minister in Belgium's history.[1]

At the local level, he was elected city councillor in Wavre in 2000. In 2006, he became mayor of the city.

In December 2007, Michel became the Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation in the Verhofstadt III Government and subsequently in the Leterme I, Van Rompuy I and Leterme II governments.[2]

In 2009, he declared himself to be shocked by statements of Pope Benedict XVI claiming that condoms promoted AIDS, calling the statements "astounding, scandalous and even irresponsible."[3]

After the June 2009 regional elections, Michel was part of a group demanding the MR leader Didier Reynders to step down. After the party suffered further losses in the June 2010 federal elections, Reynders eventually stepped down. Charles Michel then announced his candidacy for leader of MR. In January 2011 he was elected leader of the Mouvement Réformateur, for which he resigned as Minister for Development Cooperation. Charles Michel and Didier Reynders are longtime rivals within their party.[4]

Prime Minister of Belgium

After the 2014 federal elections, Michel became co-formateur in the 2014 Belgian government formation. When CD&V chose the position of European Commissioner for Marianne Thyssen over the position of Prime Minister for Kris Peeters, it became clear that Michel would become the next government leader. When on 7 October 2014 an overall agreement was reached between four parties to form a new government, Michel was formally proposed to lead the Michel Government with Kris Peeters as one of the four Deputy Prime Ministers. Michel is the youngest Belgian cabinet leader since 1841 and the youngest ever with the title of Prime Minister of Belgium. He is only the second Francophone liberal to become Prime Minister, the other being Paul-Émile Janson.[5][6]

Michel is the first French-speaking Prime Minister to succeed another French-speaking Prime Minister (Elio Di Rupo) in almost 50 years, when Pierre Harmel was succeeded by Paul Vanden Boeynants.

As of 2016, Michel is the only Western leader who has a beard.


  1. "Charles Michel officiellement candidat à la présidence du MR". Le Vif. 13 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "20 March 2008 – Royal Orders. Government – Dismissals – Appointments" (PDF) (in Dutch and French). The Belgian Official Journal. 21 March 2008. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 30 March 2008.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Les déclarations du pape sur le préservatif sous le feu du parlement". 25 March 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Michel vs. Reynders: waarom de MR elke keer wat anders zegt". De Morgen. 27 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Dit waren de jongste en de oudste eerste ministers van ons land". Het Belang van Limburg. 8 October 2014
  6. "BIOGRAFIE. Charles Michel wordt jongste premier uit Belgische geschiedenis". De Standaard. 7 October 2014

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Armand De Decker
Minister of Development Cooperation
Succeeded by
Olivier Chastel
Preceded by
Elio Di Rupo
Prime Minister of Belgium
Party political offices
Preceded by
Didier Reynders
Leader of the Reformist Movement
Succeeded by
Olivier Chastel