Willy De Clercq

Willy Clarisse Elvire Hector, Viscount De Clercq (8 July 1927 – 28 October 2011) was a Belgian liberal politician.

The Viscount De Clercq
Ministers Belgische Kabinet. Vice Eerste Minister W. De Clercq (PVV).jpg
European Commissioner for External Relations and Trade
In office
7 January 1985 – 6 January 1989
PresidentJacques Delors
Preceded byWilhelm Haferkamp (External Relations, Nuclear Affairs and Trade)
Succeeded byFrans Andriessen
Personal details
Born(1927-07-08)8 July 1927
Ghent, Belgium
Died28 October 2011(2011-10-28) (aged 84)
Ghent, Belgium
Political partyParty for Freedom and Progress
Alma materGhent University
Syracuse University

De Clercq was born in Ghent, son of Frans de Clercq.[1] After his law and notariat studies at the University of Ghent and a scholarship at Syracuse University (Syracuse, United States), De Clerq became a lawyer at the Court of appeal in Ghent and a professor at Ghent University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Although he could have had a successful career in law, he got into politics. He was member of the Liberal youth and was elected municipal councillor and member of parliament.

De Clercq served in various coalition governments. He was secretary of state for the budget (1960–1961), deputy prime minister and minister of the budget from 1966 to 1968, deputy prime minister and Minister of Finance in 1973–1974, Minister of Finance in 1974–1977 and deputy prime minister in 1980.

De Clercq served as president of various international monetary instances and as president of the then liberal party PVV. He served for a term as a member of the European Commission (1985–1989). Moreover, he became Minister of State in 1985. From 1989 to 2004, he was a member of the European Parliament.

In 2003, he created together with other prominent European personalities the Medbridge Strategy Center, whose goal is to promote dialogue and mutual understanding between Europe and the Middle-East.[2]

He died on 28 October 2011.[3]



He was the father of jonkheer Yannick De Clercq[5] and grandfather of jonkheer Mathias De Clercq.


  1. ^ a b c d e Etat présent de la noblesse belge 2015, p. 62
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Willy De Clercq dies at 84". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "DE CLERCQ". www.ars-moriendi.be. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)


  • W. Prevenier, C. Ysebaert, L. Pareyn (Ed.), Vijftig jaar liberale praxis. Willy De Clercq vijfenzeventig jaar, 2002.
  • T. Goorden, Willy De Clercq, een biografie, Lannoo, 2004, ISBN 90-209-5750-3

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Belgian European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Preceded byas European Commissioner for External Relations, Nuclear Affairs and Trade European Commissioner for External Relations and Trade
Succeeded by