Caroline Gennez

Caroline Gennez (Dutch pronunciation: [kɑroːˈlin ʒəˈneː]; 21 August 1975) is a Belgian socialist politician and a former chairwoman of the Socialist Party – Different (SP.A) in Flanders.

Caroline Gennez
Caroline Gennez 675.jpg
Chairwoman of SP.A
In office
21 October 2007 – 18 September 2011
Preceded byJohan Vande Lanotte
Succeeded byBruno Tobback
Member of the Belgian Parliament
(Chamber of Representatives)
In office
July 2004 – December 2007
Member of the Belgian Parliament
In office
19 June 2003 – 6 July 2004
Personal details
Born (1975-08-21) 21 August 1975 (age 46)
Sint-Truiden, Belgium
Political partySP.A
Alma materUniversity of Leuven
WebsiteOfficial website


Gennez was born in Sint-Truiden. From the age of 5 until she was 14, she was a talented tennis player. A hernia ended this career. She got a Master in Political and Sociological Sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven. After her studies, she joined the Young Socialists, and became their chairperson in 1998.

While working as an advisor to Johan Vande Lanotte, she became a city councillor (2001–2003) and an alderman (2003) in Sint-Truiden. In 2003, her party appointed her to the Belgian Senate and made her move to Mechelen. In 2004 she became fraction leader in the Flemish Parliament (2004–2007). Since October 2006, she is first alderman in Mechelen, responsible for education, youth, employment and social economy.

After the electoral defeat in June 2007 at the federal elections, she was elected the successor of Johan Vande Lanotte as chairperson of the SP.A, the party of which she has been vice-president since 2003. Between May and October 2005, she was already chairperson ad interim of the SP.A. After her announcement in June 2011 to not run for a second term as chairwoman, she was succeeded by Bruno Tobback on 18 September 2011.

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