|European Commissioner for Justice|
|Assumed office |
1 December 2019
|President||Ursula von der Leyen|
|Preceded by||Věra Jourová|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
6 December 2011 – 30 November 2019
|Prime Minister||Elio Di Rupo|
|Preceded by||Steven Vanackere|
|Succeeded by||Philippe Goffin|
|Minister of Defence|
9 December 2018 – 30 November 2019
|Prime Minister||Charles Michel|
|Preceded by||Sander Loones|
|Succeeded by||Philippe Goffin|
|Minister of Finance|
12 July 1999 – 6 December 2011
|Prime Minister||Guy Verhofstadt|
Herman Van Rompuy
|Preceded by||Jean-Jacques Viseur|
|Succeeded by||Steven Vanackere|
|Born||6 August 1958|
|Political party||Reformist Movement|
|Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party|
|Education||University of Liège|
Didier Reynders (French pronunciation: [didje ʁɛndɛʁs]; born 6 August 1958) is a Belgian politician and a member of the Mouvement Réformateur (MR) serving as European Commissioner for Justice since 2019. He held various positions in public institutions before becoming a member of the House in 1992. He was a minister without interruption from 1999 to 2019, until resigning to become Belgian European Commissioner.
He served as Federal Minister of Finance until December 2011 in six different governments, then Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade Foreign Affairs and European Affairs in two governments. Following the government crisis of December 2018, he was also appointed to the post of Minister of Defense until November 2019.
Early life and education
Minister of Finance, 1999–2011
Reynders served as Minister of Finance from 1999 to 2011; in 2002, he chaired the G-10 which is the meeting of the main creditor states (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States).
Reynders led the MR to a victory in the 2007 general elections, with the MR becoming the largest Francophone party of Belgium. The King appointed Reynders as informateur, i.e. to start off the informal coalition talks for a new federal government.
Stalemate followed the 2010 general election. The King appointed a succession of people to negotiate a coalition from June 2010 onwards, but none succeeded in the task of forming a new government during the following seven months. Reynders was appointed informateur by the King on 2 February 2011. He reported on 16 February 2011, and his brief was extended through 1 March 2011.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2011–2019
Following the appointment of Elio Di Rupo as new Belgian Prime Minister in December 2011, Reynders became Minister of Foreign Affairs. During his tenure, Belgium was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (2019–2020), as well as of the United Nations Human Rights Council (2016–2018).
Minister of Defence, 2018–2019
After the ruling coalition collapsed in 2019, Reynders also held responsibility for the defense portfolio. Following an inconclusive election in May 2019, King Philippe asked Reynders and Johan Vande Lanotte to look into the conditions required for forming a coalition government.
European Commissioner for Justice, 2019–present
In the summer of 2019, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel put Reynders forward as the Belgian nominee for the incoming European Commission. President-elect Ursula von der Leyen nominated him for the Justice portfolio. Reynders' hearing at the European Parliament was held in September 2019 and his nomination was approved by a large majority. He took office on 1 December 2019.
In 2020 Reynders announced plans to develop a legislative proposal by 2021 requiring businesses to carry out due diligence in relation to the potential human rights and environmental impacts of their operations and supply chains.
- African Development Bank (AfDB), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (1999–2011)
- Asian Development Bank (ADB), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (1999–2011)
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (1999–2011)
In 2015, Reynders drew criticism for having his face painted black during a traditional festival in Brussels.
In April 2017, Belgium voted in favour of the entry of Saudi Arabia, yet considered one of the most retrograde countries on the issue of women's rights, in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. This decision raised controversy and questions about the role of Reynders.
In September 2019, Belgian police investigated allegations of corruption and money-laundering against Reynders, relating to the construction of the Belgian embassy building in Kinshasa, the lease of a federal police HQ and other matters. The investigation was dropped soon after.
- 2013: Commander in the Legion of Honour
- 2014: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 2016: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau
- 2016: Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Merit
- http://www.ejustice.just.fgov.be/mopdf/2008/03/21_2.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- "6 questions with Didier Reynders, Belgium's Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister - Affairs Today". 16 February 2015. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
- "Curriculum vitae of Minister Didier Reynders". Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- HEC Europe Symposium: Didier Reynders HEC Europe Institute, Paris.
- "King picks Mr Reynders as "informateur"". VRT Nieuws. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
- Simon Van Dorpe (24 August 2019), Belgium picks Foreign Minister Didier Reynders to be EU commissioner Politico Europe.
- Foo Yun Chee (30 May 2019), Belgian king appoints two advisers to find path toward coalition government Reuters.
- Norton Rose Fulbright, Proposal for an EU-wide mandatory human rights due diligence law, published May 2020, accessed 7 March 2021
- Satter, Raphael; Bing, Christopher (11 April 2022). "Exclusive: Senior EU officials were targeted with Israeli spyware". Reuters. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
- 2005 Annual Report Asian Development Bank (ADB).
- 2005 Annual Report European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
- Members European Council on Foreign Relations.
- Belgium's Reynders criticised for painting face black BBC News, 19 March 2015.
- "Arabie saoudite et droit des femmes à l'ONU: Charles Michel regrette le "oui" belge". Le Soir.
- Election of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe: Candidatures received Council of Europe, press release of 11 January 2019.
- Arthur Neslen (14 September 2019), Didier Reynders, Belgium’s Commission pick, under police investigation Politico Europe.
- Simon van Dorpe (27 September 2019), Belgian prosecutors drop investigation into Didier Reynders Politico Europe.
- arrêtés royaux du 21 mai 2014
- "Nicolas Sarkozy a remis la Légion d'honneur à Didier Reynders". 27 March 2013.
- "Belgieninfo – Didier Reynders mit Bundesverdienstkreuz ausgezeichnet". www.belgieninfo.net.
- "La Chambre des représentants de Belgique". www.dekamer.be. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016.
Media related to Didier Reynders at Wikimedia Commons