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
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
17 December 1981 – 19 June 1989
Prime Minister Wilfried Martens
Preceded by Charles-Ferdinand Nothomb
Succeeded by Mark Eyskens
President of the European People's Party
In office
8 July 1976 – 1985
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Piet Bukman
Personal details
Born Leonard Clemence Tindemans
(1922-04-16)16 April 1922
Zwijndrecht, Belgium
Died 26 December 2014(2014-12-26) (aged 92)
Edegem, Belgium
Political party CD&V
Spouse(s) Rosa Naesens
Children Thomas
Alma mater University of Antwerp
Ghent University
Catholic University of Leuven
Religion Roman Catholicism

Leonard Clemence "Leo" Tindemans (Dutch: [ˈleːjoː ˈtɪndəmɑns]; 16 April 1922 – 26 December 2014) was a Belgian politician. He served as the 43rd Prime Minister of Belgium serving from 25 April 1974 until he resigned as minister on 20 October 1978.[1] He was a member of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tindemans was born in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, to a Catholic family.

Political career[edit]

Early 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.[2]

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).[2]

Prime Minister (1974–1978)[edit]

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 with 983,000 votes, still a record for any election in Belgium.[3] This formed his second cabinet with the Christian-democrats, socialists and Flemish nationalists.[2] His second government (1977–1978) fell due to the controversy surrounding the Egmont pact.[2][1]

He was awarded the Charlemagne Prize 1976.

Later career[edit]

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.[2]

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 to 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).[4] 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.[1]


Tindemans died on 26 December 2014 in Edegem, Antwerp, Belgium, aged 92.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Belgium – eight months with no government". Independent.co. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Former Belgian premier Leo Tindemans dies at 92". Reuters.com. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Former Belgian premier Leo Tindemans dies at 92". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "ATTACK ON LIBYA: CHARTING A FUTURE COURSE; Libya Requested Help On Truce, Belgian Says". New York Times.com. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Torfs, Michael (26 December 2014). "The "man of a million votes" Leo Tindemans has passed away". Flanders News BE. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Belgian ex-Prime Minister Leo Tindemans dies at 92". BBC.com. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

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