Charles Michel is the incumbent Prime Minister of Belgium, officially assuming the office on 11 October 2014. Formerly, he was the Leader of the Reformist Movement (2011 – 2014) and Minister of Development Cooperation (2007 – 2011).
Early Life and Education
Charles Michel was born on 21 December 1975 to father Louis Michel in Namur, Belgium. Louis Michel was a Mayor of Jodoigne at that time.
Having completed formal early education, Michel went to the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the University of Amsterdam (1998) for a law degree. He took up his political path since the age of 16, when he joined the Jeunes Réformateurs Libéraux de Jodoigne.
Charles Michel is supposedly not married but has a partner named Amelie Derbaudrenghien. Michel and Derbaudrenghien have two children.
Charles Michel started off his political career by joining the Jodoigne Young Liberals in 1991. The following year, he was elected to the seat of Chairman of the youth association. To follow up, Michel quickly became a Member of the Walloon Brabant provincial council and subsequently got promoted to the office of vice-chairman in 1995. He held the offices at the Jodoigne Young Liberals and the Walloon Brabant provincial council until 1999.
Leaving the local offices, Michel rose nationally by being elected to the federal Chamber of Representatives in 1999. The following year, he assumed the office of the Walloon Minister for Interior Affairs and Civil Service until July 2004. Following the end of tenure, Charles joined Alderman and took municipal and town planning responsibilities. Alongside this, he was also appointed as the new MR Spokesman. On 1 December 2006, Michel rose to the office of Mayor of Wavre.
Starting on 21 December 2007, Michel became the Minister of Development Cooperation under the premiership of Verhofstadt III, Leterme I, Van Rompuy I and Leterme II. Having held the office for four years, he moved on to lead the Reformist Movement (MR). He stayed as the Leader of the Reformist Movement until 10 October 2014. The very next day, Michel was sworn into the office of Prime Minister of Belgium, as a successor of Elio Di Rupo.
As the required consensus couldn’t be reached to form a coalition government after the 2014 federal elections, Michel was proposed to take the office of Prime Minister. Alongside Michel, Kris Peeters took the position of Deputy Prime Minister. Just 39 at the time of taking office, Michel is the youngest ever Prime Minister in Belgium’s history.
- Grand Officer, Order of Leopold
Trump and Michel
US President Donald Trump and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel are strangers to each other yet. Anyway, they do clash on some things. While Trump repeatedly criticizes NATO, Michel is wholeheartedly welcoming all the member leaders to the NATO Summit 2017. The two leaders also differ significantly in terms of their views on Muslims. While Trump appeals for a Muslim ban, Michel believes in solving Islamic terrorism collectively.
On February 19, 2017 Charles Michele and US Vice President Mike Pence met in Brussels to talk about US-EU relationship.