8 February 1942|
Hammersmith, United Kingdom
18 September 1995 (aged 53)|
Jean Gol (8 February 1942 – 18 September 1995) was a Belgian politician for the liberal Walloon party Parti Réformateur Libéral (PRL) and a freemason. He was a minister, on several occasions, in the Belgian government, including service as Deputy Prime Minister.
His Jewish parents were living in exile in England during the Second World War when he was born.
He started his political career within the ranks of the Rassemblement Wallon in 1971.
In 1974, he was Secrétariat d'État à l'Economie régionale wallonne in the government Tindemans II. In 1976, he was one of the co-founders of the Parti des Réformes et des Libertés de Wallonie (PRLW), a merger of the liberal Walloon PLP, and some dissidents of the Rassemblement Wallon. During the governments Martens V-VII, of 17 December 1981 up to 9 May 1988, he was: vice-premier, minister of justice and institutional reform. From 6 January 1985 up to 28 November 1985, Jean Gol replaced Willy De Clercq on the department of foreign trade.
In June 1994, he was elected a member of the European Parliament, and in addition was elected as a member of the Belgian Senate in 1995.
Leadership within Francophone circles
Over a long period he was noted for his ability to empathize with local Walloon and Liégeois leaders from diverse political backgrounds, including with veteran Walloon Socialist André Cools; out of these efforts emerged what became known as the 'Colonster' group, which partly proved to be the catalyst for a strengthening of collective Francophone responses by way of counterweight to the increasing influence of Flemish-based parties in Belgium.
In May 1992, he became president of the PRL, and in 1993 he was one of the architects of the PRL-FDF Federation, in collaboration with Antoinette Spaak.
Contribution to political theory
He re-defined the doctrine of social liberalism, which he had already worked on in 1976.
He received the following honorific distinctions
- Belgium: Grand Officier of the Order of Leopold
- France: Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour
- Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Spain: Grand Cross of Order of Isabella the Catholic
- Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Christ
- Mexico: Grand Cross of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- Rwanda: Umurinzi Medal
- "Jean Gol". Liberaalarchief.be. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Jean-François Furnemont, 'Jean Gol: le pirate devenu amiral', Bruxelles: Editions Luc Pire, 1997, pp. 123–131
- Jean-François Furnemont, 'Jean Gol: le pirate devenu amiral', Bruxelles: Editions Luc Pire, 1997, pp. 210-213
- ars-moriendi.be (French)