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A few words about Yves




Yves Leterme is a child of Westhoek – the Western part of Flanders right against the French border. He was born in Wervik (6 October 1960) and spent his childhood in Zillebeke – in the ‘Flanders fields’, a few hundred meters away from Hill 60 and other reminders of WWI. He went to school in Ypres, where he is living today with his wife Sofie Haesen and their three children Matthias, Thomas and Julie. In terms of his family background, Yves Leterme is as Belgian as one can be: his father is a French-speaking Walloon and his mother a Dutch-speaking Flemish person.

Yves Leterme read political sciences and law at the Kortrijk Campus of the University of Leuven and at the University of Ghent. The subjects he studied reflected his passion for politics and the good advice of his parents. It was  then that he caught the politics bug: as a result of his fierce opposition to  local youth policy in Ypres, the Christian-democratic party invited him to join their ranks, and in 1983 he became the chairman of the CVP Youth Section Ypres.

 Two years later Yves Leterme became an assistant to the MP Paul Breyne and the CVP secretary for the Ypres district. He then worked in the cabinet of the regional Minister Paul Deprez. In 1987 Leterme joined the Belgian Court of Auditors, and he worked there for two years. In the meantime he continued to be actively involved with the CVP Youth Section (in the national office and as national vice-chairman), and with the Ypres CVP, where he became chairman in 1988. He joined the national CVP secretariat in Brussels in 1989, first as national vice-secretary and in 1991 as national secretary.

Yves Leterme became an administrator with the European Union in 1992. He worked in the European Parliament for five years. Later, as Minister-President of Flanders, he remained closely connected with European affairs, inter alia as a regular participant in the Agriculture Council meetings. At the same time he remained politically active in Ypres, where he became municipal councillor in 1995 and an MP in 1997. He became CD&V group leader in the Chamber (House of Commons) in 2001 and party chairman in 2003.

Yves Leterme became Minister-President of the Flemish Government in 2004. Flanders fared well during his term of office. Yves Leterme adopted the pragmatic approach of seeking to increase the dynamic economic process and social welfare in Flanders. He steered the Flemish Government towards a policy of investments (the ‘investment government’), channelling resources into the infrastructure and logistics with an eye to both the business climate and social welfare (notably the Flanders Port Area, homes for the elderly, child care, immigrant integration). He successfully facilitated the use of the PPP structures in order to accelerate the pace of investment. Yves Leterme’s Government also followed a policy of tight budgetary discipline– Flanders' large implicit debt was reduced to zero as the result of his Government's policies.

Yves Leterme received 796,521 personal votes in the 10th June 2007 elections, thereby leading his party to a landslide victory. This was the second highest level of personal votes ever in Belgium’s national elections. He was appointed Vice-Prime Minister of Belgium and Minister for the Budget, Transport, Institutional Reform and the North Sea on 21th December 2007. Yves Leterme in his capacity as Prime Minister succeeded in winning the confidence of the chamber on 23rd March. Yves Leterme became a senator in December 2008. He was sworn in as Minister of Foreign Affairs on July 17th 2009. He was appointed Prime Minister on 25th November 2009. The King of Belgium accepted Leterme II's resignation on 26th April 2010. On 6th July 2010 he was elected to become a member of the House of Representatives.


Since 8th December 2011 he's appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD.




  • Latin-Greek humanities (Sint-Vincentius College Ypres – 1973-1979)

  • Bachelor of Science degree in law (Kulak – 1981)

  • Bachelor of Science degree in political sciences (RUG – 1983)

  • Master of Science degree  in law (RUG – 1984)

  • Master of Science degree in public administration (RUG – 1985)

  • Diploma from the Centre for International Federalism Studies (Nice – 1984)



  • Assistant to the MP Paul Breyne (1985)

  • CVP Secretary, Ypres district (1985-1987)

  • Advisor in the cabinet of the regional Minister Paul Deprez (1986)

  • Deputy Auditor with the Belgian Court of Auditors (January 1987 – January 1989)

  • Deputy Secretary of the CVP (February 1989 – January 1992)

  • Secretary of the CVP (February 1991 – December 1992)

  • Administrator with the European Union  (December 1992–May 1997)

  • Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD (8 December 2011 - )

  • Secretary-General of th International IDEA (4 June 2014 - )



  • President, CVP Youth, section Ypres (1983-1986)

  • District Secretary, CVP, Ypres district (1985-1987)

  • National Officer, CVP Youth (1986-1988)

  • National Vice-chairman, CVP Youth (1988-1989)

  • District chairman, CVP, Ypres district (1988-1991)

  • Municipal Councillor, municipality of Ypres (January 1995 – January 2001)

  • Member of the Community Council, municipality of Ypres (February 2001 – present)

  • MP, CVP, since June 1997 (succeeded P. Breyne)

  • Elected MP, CVP, 13 June 1999

  • Chairman, CD&V political group in the Chamber (January 2001 – May 2003)

  • Elected MP, CD&V (May 2003 – July 2004)

  • Chairman of the CD&V (June 2003 – July 2004)

  • Flemish MP, CD&V, elected 13 June 2004

  • Formateur in order to form a new Flemish Government

  • Minister-President, Flemish Government (July 2004 – June 2007)

  • Senator ( june 28 - december 2007)

  • Formateur in order to form a new federal government (15 July 2007 till 24 August 2007) and (29 September 2007 to 1 December 2007)

  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Budget, Institutional Reform, and Transport and the North Sea (12 December 2007 to 19 March 2008)

  • Prime Minister (20 March to December 2008)

  • Senator (December 2008 to 16 July 2009)

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs ( 17 July 2009 to 25 November 2009)

  • Prime Minister (25 November 2009 to 7 December 2011)

  • Elected MP, CD&V (06 July 2010 to 12 December 2011)










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