Theo Francken

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Theo Francken
Theo Francken July 2016 (28093700016).jpg
Member of the Chamber of Representatives
Assumed office
6 July 2010
Prime MinisterCharles Michel
Preceded byNone
Secretary of State for Asylum, Migration and Administrative Simplification
In office
11 October 2014 – 9 December 2018
Succeeded byMaggie De Block
Personal details
Born (1978-02-07) 7 February 1978 (age 41)
Lubbeek, Flemish Brabant
Political partyNew Flemish Alliance (NVA)

Theo Francken (born 7 February 1978 in Lubbeek, Flemish Brabant) is a Belgian politician and is affiliated to N-VA. He was elected as a member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 2010.[1]

He is mayor of Lubbeek since January 2013.

He was Secretary of State for Asylum, Migration and Administrative Simplification in the Michel Government from October 2014 to December 2018.


Theo Francken has been the subject of numerous controversies during his tenure as Secretary of State.
In October 2014 several political parties demanded Francken's and Ben Weyts' resignation after the two were present at the birthday of Bob Maes, a former member of the Vlaams Nationaal Verbond, a party who collaborated with the Nazis in the Second World War.[2]

In the same month Theo Francken also came in stormy waters after the leaking of some old mails with allegedly homophobic statements and a Facebook post where he questioned the "added value" that immigrants from Morocco, Congo and Algeria bring to the Belgian economy. Subsequently, Theo Francken apologised in the federal parliament.[3]

In May 2017 Francken made several tweets accusing Médecins Sans Frontières of human trafficking in connection with their operation to provide aid to refugees sailing from the Libyan coast to Europe.[4]

In September 2017 a Sudanese delegation was invited to Brussels to identify illegal immigrants. Cooperation with the Sudanese regime was already an issue, but controversy spiked in December of that year after several migrants who had returned reported being tortured upon arrival in Sudan.[5][6]

Also in September, Francken had to apologise after using the hashtag #opkuisen, Dutch for "cleaning up", in a tweet about removing immigrants.[7]

After the Catalan independence referendum, 2017 Francken commented that Catalonians, including Carles Puigdemont, could ask for asylum in Belgium. The Prime Minister then asked the Secretary not to add fuel to the fire.[8]


  1. ^ Chamber of Representatives: cv Theo Francken (Dutch)
  2. ^ Belga), Rédaction en ligne (avec. "L'opposition veut expulser Théo Francken du gouvernement Michel".
  3. ^ Torfs, Michaël (2014-10-16). "Secretary of State for Asylum apologises in parliament". Flanders News. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  4. ^ CDC (2017-03-21). "Asylum secretary Francken accuses MSF of people-trafficking". Flanders News. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  5. ^ Touriel, Aubry (2017-09-23). "Sudanese refugee: "They offered me 1,000 euros to return to Sudan"". Flanders News. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  6. ^ MB (2017-12-20). "Deported Sudanese migrants say they were tortured". Flanders News. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  7. ^ Saerens, Zico (2017-09-15). "Premier Michel fluit Francken terug na "#opkuisen"-bericht". vrtnws. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  8. ^ Torfs, Michaël (2017-10-29). "Puigdemont can apply for political asylum in Belgium, Francken says, but PM reacts". Flanders News. Retrieved 2017-12-22.

External links[edit]

Media related to Theo Francken at Wikimedia Commons