Verhofstadt I Government

The Verhofstadt I Government was the federal government of Belgium from 12 July 1999 to 12 July 2003.

Verhofstadt I Government
Flag of Belgium.svg
Cabinet of Belgium (since 1830)
Guy Verhofstadt in 2005.jpg
Date formed12 July 1999
Date dissolved12 July 2003
People and organisations
Head of stateAlbert II of Belgium
Head of governmentGuy Verhofstadt
Member partyOpen Vld
Status in legislaturePurple-green coalition
PredecessorDehaene II
SuccessorVerhofstadt II
Parliamentary support of the government

It was the first government headed by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (VLD). It consisted of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD), the French-speaking Liberal Reformist Party (PRL), the Flemish Socialist Party (SP), the French-speaking Socialist Party (PS), the Flemish green party Agalev and the French-speaking green party Ecolo. Because it comprised liberals, socialists and greens it was also known as a "purple-green" coalition.

It was the first liberal-led coalition in Belgium since 1938, as well as the first since 1958 that did not include a Christian Democratic party. It was also the only coalition in Belgian history to have included green parties.


Minister Name Party
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt VLD
Deputy Prime Minister - Employment Laurette Onkelinx PS
Deputy Prime Minister - Foreign Affairs Louis Michel PRL
Deputy Prime Minister - Budget, Social Integration and Social Economy Johan Vande Lanotte SP
Deputy Prime Minister - Mobility and Transport Isabelle Durant Ecolo
Deputy Prime Minister - Consumer Affairs, Public Health and Environment Magda Aelvoet Agalev
Interior Antoine Duquesne PRL
Social Affairs and Pensions Frank Vandenbroucke SP
Civil Service and Modernisation of the Public Authorities Luc Van den Bossche SP
Defence André Flahaut PS
Agriculture and Middle Classes Jaak Gabriëls VLD
Justice Marc Verwilghen VLD
Finance Didier Reynders PRL
Telecommunications and Public Enterprises and Participations Rik Daems VLD
Economy and Scientific Research Rudy Demotte PS
Secretary of State Name Party
Foreign Trade Pierre Chevalier VLD
Development Cooperation Eddy Boutmans Agalev
Energy and Sustainable Development Olivier Deleuze Ecolo

The Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and the Secretary of State for Development Cooperation were attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Secretary of State for Energy and Sustainable Development was attached to the Minister of Mobility and Transport.


  • 8 April 2000: Rudy Demotte resigns as Minister of Economy and Scientific Research and is replaced by Charles Picqué, who also becomes responsible for urban policy.
  • 11 October 2000: Pierre Chevalier resigns as Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and is replaced by Annemie Neyts.
  • 10 July 2001: Jaak Gabriëls resigns as Minister of Agriculture and Middle Classes. Rik Daems is charged with Middle Classes, Annemie Neyts is appointed as Minister attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and is charged with Agriculture.
  • 28 August 2002: Magda Aelvoet resigns as Minister of Consumer Affairs, Public Health and Environment and is replaced by Jef Tavernier.
  • 5 May 2003: Isabelle Durant and Olivier Deleuze resign, respectively, as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility and Transport and as Secretary of State for Energy and Sustainable Development. Laurette Onkelinx is charged with Mobility and Transport, Yvan Ylieff (PS) is appointed as Minister attached to the Minister of Scientific Research and Alain Zenner (PRL) is appointed as Secretary of State for Energy and Sustainable Development, attached to the Minister of Finance.


Some of the notable actions under this government include: