Van Rompuy, Herman Achille, 1947–, Belgian political leader, prime minister of Belgium (2008–9), b. Etterbeek. A Flemish Christian Democrat, he was president of the party from 1988 to 1993 and has been a member of parliament, serving in the senate (1988–95) and chamber of representatives (1995–2009). As budget minister (1993–99), Van Rompuy was responsible for swiftly reducing Belgium's crushing public debt. A moderate, known for his sharp intellect and respected by Belgium's linguistic communities, he was elected president of the lower house in 2007, and was named prime minister in 2008. His reputation as a low-key pragmatist and consensus builder contributed to his being chosen as European Council president in 2009, when the EU post first became a permanent one. He was reelected in 2012. Van Rompuy has written several books dealing with social, political, economic, and other issues.