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Didier J.L. Reynders (born 6 August 1958) is a Belgian politician and a member of the Mouvement Réformateur (MR). He held various positions in public institutions before becoming a member of the House in 1992. He has been a minister without interruption since 1999: 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 inherited in addition to the post of Minister of Defense.[1][2]

Didier Reynders
Didier Reynders in Iranian Parliament 02.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
6 December 2011
Prime MinisterElio Di Rupo
Charles Michel
Preceded bySteven Vanackere
Minister of Defence
Assumed office
9 December 2018
Prime MinisterCharles Michel
Preceded bySander Loones
Minister of Finance
In office
12 July 1999 – 6 December 2011
Prime MinisterGuy Verhofstadt
Yves Leterme
Herman Van Rompuy
Yves Leterme
Preceded byJean-Jacques Viseur
Succeeded bySteven Vanackere
Personal details
Born (1958-08-06) 6 August 1958 (age 61)
Liège, Belgium
Political partyReformist Movement
Alma materUniversity of Liège


Early life and educationEdit

Reynders meeting with Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, February 21, 2019

Reynders was born in Liège as the youngest in a family of three children. He studied law at the University of Liège.


Reynders served as Chairman of the NMBS / SNCB from 1986 to 1991. He 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, Great-Britain, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States).[3]

Reynders became Deputy Prime Minister in 2004. He was the chairman of the Mouvement Réformateur from 2004 to 2011.

Reynders led the MR to a victory in the 2007 national elections, with the MR becoming the largest Francophone party of Belgium. The Belgian King appointed Reynders as informateur, i.e. to start off the informal coalition talks for a new federal government.[4]

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.

In 2019, Reynders announced his candidacy to succeed Thorbjørn Jagland as Secretary General of the Council of Europe;[5] the position instead went to Marija Pejčinović Burić.

Other activitiesEdit


In 2011, while he was Minister of Finance, Didier Reynders failed to block the payment of interest from the sovereign fund of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya managed by Euroclear in Brussels. Funds representing several hundred million euros were thus diverted.[7]

In 2012 Didier Didier Reynders visited Saudi Prince Nayef Al-Shaalan, a notorious drug trafficker, who had daily satellite contacts with armed groups in Syria. Didier Reynders refused to answer questions from RTBF journalists about this case.[8]

In 2013, mentioning the young Belgians who had left to become involved in the Syrian civil war, Didier Reynders declares that people fighting alongside the Syrian government will have to « be sent to the International Criminal Court », but does not mention the advisability of this procedure against those who have fought alongside jihadists, who must only be « tracked ».[9]

In April 2017, Belgium votes in favor 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 Women's Rights. This decision raises controversy and questions about the role of Didier Reynders.[10]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "6 questions with Didier Reynders, Belgium's Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister - Affairs Today". 16 February 2015.
  3. ^ HEC Europe Symposium: Didier Reynders HEC Europe Institute, Paris.
  4. ^ "King picks Mr Reynders as "informateur"". VRT Nieuws. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  5. ^ Election of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe: Candidatures received Council of Europe, press release of January 11, 2019.
  6. ^ Members European Council on Foreign Relations.
  7. ^ "Fonds libyens : la Belgique au cœur d'un scandale ?". TV5MONDE. 31 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Didier Reynders rencontre un prince saoudien condamné pour trafic de drogue". RTBF Info. 19 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Didier Reynders veut "suivre à la trace" les Belges revenus de Syrie". RTBF Info. 26 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Arabie saoudite et droit des femmes à l'ONU: Charles Michel regrette le «oui» belge". Le Soir.
  11. ^ "Nicolas Sarkozy a remis la Légion d'honneur à Didier Reynders". 27 March 2013.
  12. ^ arrêtés royaux du 21 mai 2014
  13. ^ "Belgieninfo – Didier Reynders mit Bundesverdienstkreuz ausgezeichnet".
  14. ^ "La Chambre des représentants de Belgique". Archived from the original on 1 December 2016.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Didier Reynders at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Jean-Jacques Viseur
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Steven Vanackere
Preceded by
Steven Vanackere
Minister of Foreign Affairs