Dehaene, Jean-Luc

Dehaene, Jean-Luc, 1940–2014, Belgian political leader, b. Montepellier, France. A member of the Flemish Christian People's (after 2001, Christian Democratic) party, he held numerous administrative posts before becoming social affairs minister (1981–88) and minister of communications and deputy prime minister (1988–92). Following a contentious period in Belgian politics when the country had an interim government for more than 100 days, Dehaene formed a center-left coalition and prime minister in 1992. A skilled negotiator known as “the Bulldozer,” he was instrumental in the adoption of the 1993 constitution revisions that stabilized the government and made Belgium a federal state. He resigned in 1999 following a food contamination scandal and his party national-election loss. Dehaene also served as mayor of Vilvoorde (2000–2007) and a member of the European Parliament (2004–14).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Benelux History: Biographies