Leo Tindemans

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Leo Tindemans
Leo Tindemans (2009).jpg
Prime Minister of Belgium
In office
25 April 1974 – 20 October 1978
Monarch Baudouin
Preceded by Edmond Leburton
Succeeded by Paul Vanden Boeynants
Foreign Minister of Belgium
In office
Preceded by Charles-Ferdinand Nothomb
Succeeded by Mark Eyskens
1st President of the European People's Party
In office
Succeeded by Piet Bukman
Personal details
Born (1922-04-16) 16 April 1922 (age 92)
Zwijndrecht, Belgium
Political party Christian Democratic and Flemish
Religion Roman Catholicism

Leonard Clemence "Leo" Tindemans (Dutch: [ˈleˑ(ɪ̯)oˑ ˈtɪndəmɑns] ( )) (born 16 April 1922) is a Belgian politician and the 43rd Prime Minister. He was born in Zwijndrecht.

Political career[edit]

Tindemans was affiliated with the CVP. At the time, the party was strong in the northern region of Flanders. Tindemans was elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 1961 and re-elected in 1965, 1968, 1971, 1974, 1977 and 1978. From 1965 to 1973 Tindemans also served as the mayor of Edegem.

In 1968 Tindemans became minister tasked with the relations between the communities (1968–1972) during which he prepared the first constitutional reform which saw Belgium start transforming into a federal state. In 1972 he became minister for agriculture (1972–1973). In 1973 he became deputy Prime Minister and minister for the budget (1973–1974). Tindemans served as Prime Minister of two Belgian governments, from 25 April 1974 to 20 October 1978. His first cabinet was a minority government formed by the Christian-democrats and liberals. When his first government fell in 1977, Tindemans won the snap general election which followed and formed his second cabinet with the Christian-democrats, socialists and Flemish nationalists. His second government (1977–1978) fell due to the controversy surrounding the Egmont pact.

In 1976, during the founding Congress of the European People's Party in Brussels, he was elected first President of the new party, a role which gave him the important tasks of harmonising and finding consensus between the different leaders and member parties of the EPP and of leading the party during the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979.

Tindemans was elected to the European Parliament with a record number of votes (983.000 votes, which is still a record for any election in Belgium) and was a member of that parliament from 1979–1981 (during which time he also was chairman of the CVP). With the general elections of 1981 Tindemans returned to the Belgian politics and became minister of foreign affairs (1981–1989). With the European elections in 1989 Tindemans went back to the European Parliament where he served two terms until he retired in 1999. During 1994–1995 he was chairman of the Tindemans group.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Edmond Leburton
Prime Minister of Belgium
Succeeded by
Paul Vanden Boeynants