Verhofstadt II Government

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The Verhofstadt II Government was the federal government of Belgium from 12 July 2003 to 21 December 2007.

It was the second government headed by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (VLD). It was formed after the 2003 general election. It consisted of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD), the French-speaking Liberal Reformist Party (MR), the Flemish Socialist Party (SP.a) and the French-speaking Socialist Party (PS). Because it comprised liberals and socialists it was also known as a "purple" coalition. It was a continuation of the Verhofstadt I Government but without the Green parties.

Original Composition 2003-2004[edit]

Minister Name Party
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt VLD
Deputy Prime Minister - Justice Laurette Onkelinx PS
Deputy Prime Minister - Foreign Affairs Louis Michel MR
Deputy Prime Minister – Budget and Public Enterprises Johan Vande Lanotte SP.a
Deputy Prime Minister - Interior Patrick Dewael VLD
Labour and Pensions Frank Vandenbroucke SP.a
Defence André Flahaut PS
Development Cooperation Marc Verwilghen VLD
Finance Didier Reynders MR
Economy, Energy, Foreign Trade and Scientific Research Fientje Moerman VLD
Social Affairs and Public Health Rudy Demotte PS
Mobility and Social Economy Bert Anciaux SP.a – Spirit
Civil Service, Integration and Large Cities Marie Arena PS
Middle Class and Agriculture Sabine Laruelle MR
Environment, Consumers protection and Sustainable Development Freya Van den Bossche SP.a
Secretary of State Name Party
Informatisation Peter Vanvelthoven SP.a
European Affairs Jacques Simonet MR
Modernization of Finance and the battle against Fiscal Fraud Hervé Jamar MR
Organization of Labour and Welfare on the workplace Anissa Temsamani SP.a
Family and Persons with a handicap Isabelle Simonis PS
Administrative simplification Vincent Van Quickenborne VLD

Reshuffles[edit]

  • On September 25, 2003 Temsamani had to resign because she had lied about a diploma she received
  • On February 12, 2004 Jacques Simonet resigned to become Minister-President of Brussels, he was replaced by Didier Donfut (PS).

Composition after the 2004 Regional elections[edit]

The 2004 Regional elections saw a fundamental reshuffle to the federal government as various federal ministers joined regional governments after these elections. The federal government after this date is often called Verhofstadt IIbis.

2004 Reshuffles[edit]

  • Louis Michel became European Commissioner and was replaced as Deputy Prime Minister by Didier Reynders and as Foreign Minister by Karel De Gucht (VLD).
  • Frank Vandenbroucke joined the Flemish Government and was replaced as minister of Labour by Freya Van den Bossche who kept Consumer Affairs. Bruno Tobback (SP.a) became minister taking over Environment from Freya Van den Bossche and Pensions from Vandenbroucke.
  • Fientje Moerman joined the Flemish Government and was replaced as minister for Economy, Energy, Foreign Trade and Scientific Research by Marc Verwilghen, who in turn was succeeded as minister of Development Cooperation by Armand De Decker (MR).
  • Bert Anciaux joined the Flemish Government and was succeeded as minister for Mobility by Renaat Landuyt (SP.a)
  • Marie Arena became Minister-President of the French Community government and was replaced as minister by Christian Dupont (PS)
  • Els Van Weert (Spirit) became state secretary for Sustainable Development
  • Isabelle Simonis was replaced by Gisèle Mandaila Malamba (MR) as state secretary for Family and Persons with a handicap

Later Reshuffles[edit]

  • On October 15, 2005 Johan Vande Lanotte resigned to become Chairman of the SP.a. He was replaced as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Budget by Freya Van den Bossche, who kept Consumer Affairs. Peter Vanvelthoven was promoted to Minister of Labour and Informatisation and Bruno Tuybens (SP.a) became state secretary for Public Enterprises.
  • After the 2007 general elections the Verhofstadt II Government functioned as a caretaker government until December 2007. During that periode the following reshuffling took place:
    • On July 15, 2007 Armand De Decker became Chairman of the Belgian Senate. His competence (Development Cooperation) was taken over by Sabine Laruelle and Hervé Jamar was promoted to minister.
    • On July 2007 Rudy Demotte became Minister-President of the Walloon Government. His competences were taken over by Didier Donfut, who was promoted to minister.