Belgian mayors
Research by Brian Baker and Guy Kervella

ON THIS PAGE: Belgian local government ||| Mayors of largest Belgian cities |||



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Yvan Mayeur, Mayor of Brussels


Daniël Termont, Mayor of Ghent


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Willy Deymeyer, Mayor of Liège


Bernard Clerfayt, Mayor of Schaerbeek




WORLD MAYOR
PRIZE 2018

Nominate exceptional women mayors for the World Mayor Prize


The 2018 World Mayor Project is dedicated to women in local government. It features the achievements of women mayors from across the world and will honour the best of them.

Please nominate your candidate now

Women have fought prejudice and struggled for equal rights and opportunities for hundreds of years. They did it with courage and resolve. In the 20th and early 21st centuries, women have achieved success in many spheres previously reserved to or monopolised by men, but their contributions are still often undervalued and their potential not recognised enough. Only some 20 per cent of the world’s mayors are women.

The 2018 World Mayor Project aims to encourage more women to consider a career in local government and stand for political office.

Please nominate
exceptional women
mayors for the 2018
World Mayor Prize
and honours
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Belgian local government
April 2018: In addition to three regions and three cultural communities, Belgium is also divided into 10 provinces and 589 municipalities. The provincial governments are primarily administrative units and are politically weak. A governor appointed by the King presides over each province. Each governor is supported by an elected Provincial Council of 47 to 84 members (depending on the size of the province), which sits only four weeks a year.

Municipal governments, on the other hand, are vigorous political entities with significant powers and a history of independence dating from medieval times. Many national politicians originate from municipal political bases; and many often double as mayor or alderman in their hometowns in addition to their federal and regional political positions. The last nation-wide municipal elections were held in October 2012, the next elections are due in 2018.

Mayors of Belgium's largest cities

City, size
and internet
Mayor
(Mr, Ms)
Elections**
Profile
& politics
Aalst
Popl: 85,000
www.aalst.be/
Christophe D'Haese; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1967
Lawyer
Party NVA*
Anderlecht
Popl: 118,000
www.anderlecht.be/
Eric Thomas; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1948
Member of the Brussels Region 2004 – 2009. Member of the Belgian Parliament 1995 -2014.
Party: Parti Socialiste
Antwerp
Pop: 520,000
www.antwerpen.be/
Bart De Wever; (Mr) Elected 2012, Born 1970; President of the NVA* party; Member of the Flemish parliament from 2004-2007
Bruges
Popl: 118,000
www.brugge.be/
Renaat Landuyt; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1959; Attorney
Party: sp.a*
Bruxelles-Ville (Brussels)
Popl: 177,000
www.brucity.be/
Philippe Closer; (Mr) Became mayor in July 2017 following the resignation of Yvan Mayeur over the Samusocial scandal. Born 1971. Lawyer. Member of the Council since 2006.President of Brussels Region Office of Tourism 2006 – 2012.
Party: PS
Charleroi
Popl: 202,000
www.charleroi.be
Paul Magnette; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1971
Former Professor of Political Science;
Current ( 2016) Minister-President of Government of Wallonie Region;
Former Minister in Federal Government from which he resigned in 2013 to become Mayor of Charleroi and Chair of PS
Courtrai/Kortrik
Popl: 76,000
www.kortrik.be
Vincent Van Quickenborne (Mr) Elected 2012 Member of Belgian government (2003 - 2012)
Party: Open VLD
Genk
Popl: 66,000
www.genk.be
Wim Dries (Mr) Elected 2009, re-elected 2013 Born 1972
Engineer; Member of City Council (1995-2014)
Party: CD&V
Ghent
Popl: 260,000
www.gent.be/
Daniël Termont; (Mr) 2006-present Born 1953; Winner of the 2014 World Mayor Commendation
Party: sp.a*
Hasselt
Popl: 77,000
www.hasselt.be
Nadja Vananroye (Ms) Became mayor in September 2016 after former Socialist mayor Hilda Claes was forced to resign by the other parties amidst allegations of conflicts of interest. Born 1973. Manager in the Social Enterprises sector from
1998 – 2016.
Member of the Council since 2007.
Party. CD & V
Ixelles
Popl: 86,000
www.ixelles.irisnet.be/
Dominique Dufourney (Mr) Replaced Willy Decourty in January 2016 as part of an agreement made following the last elections. Born 1971.
Party. Reform Movement.
La Louviere
Popl: 81,000
www.lalouviere.be
Jacques Gobert (Mr) Elected 2013 President of the Union of Towns and Cities in Wallonia
Party: PS
Leuven
Popl: 100,000
www.leuven.be/
Louis Marie Joseph Tobback; (Mr) 1998-present Born 1938
Minister of Interior 1992-9; Party: sp.a
Liège
Popl: 198,000
www.liege.be/
Willy Demeyer; (Mr) Elected 1999; Re-elected in 2006 and 2013 Born 1959
Lawyer
Former member of Wallonia Regional Parliament;
Member of Federal Parliament since 2010;
Member of City Council since 1999;
Vice President of PS since 2011
Party: PS*
Mechelen
Popl: 86,000
http://toerisme.mechelen.be/
Bart Somers; (Mr) Elected 2001; Re-elected 2012 Born 1964
Former Minister-President of Flanders Regional Government;
Chair of Flemish Liberal Democrats 2004-2009;
Current ( 2016) member of EU Committee of the Regions for which he
was lead author in June 2016 of a report on combating radicalisation.
Won the 2016 World Mayor Prize
Party: Open VLD*
Molenbeek-Saint-Jean
Popl: 97,000
www.molenbeek.irisnet.be/
Francoise Schepmans; (Ms) Elected 2012 Born 1960; Currently also Law degree and former civil servant;
Current member of the Federal Parliament;
Vice President of the House of Representatives;
First elected to the City Council in 1989. First female mayor of
Molenbeek-Saint Jean.
Former member of the Brussels-Capital Region Parliament
Came to international prominence during the investigations into
the November 2015 Paris atrocities which centred on Molenbeek-Saint Jean.
Longlisted for the 2018 World Mayor Prize
Party: MR*
Mons
Popl: 95,000
www.mons.be
Elio Di Rupo; (Mr) Elected 2000; Re-elected twice Born 1951
Served as Prime Minister of Belgium from December 2011 until
October 2014;
Former Minister-President of the Government of Wallonie;
Minister of State in Federal Government 1994-1999;
Member of European Parliament 1989-1991
Party: PS*
Mouscron
Popl: 58,000
www.mouscron.be
Brigitte Aubert (Ms) Became mayor on October 2nd 2017 following the murder of Alfred Gadenne on September 11th 2017 by a teenager whose father, a council employee, committed suicide in 2015. Member of City Council since 2005.
First female mayor of Mouscron.
Party. CDH
Namur
Popl: 111,000
www.ville.namur.be
Maxime Prévot; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1978; Member of Parliament 2007-2009;
Party: CDH*
Oostende / Ostende
Popl: 71,000
www.oostende.be
Johan Vande Lanotte (Mr) Elected 2015 Born 1955
Lawyer and lecturer
Belgium Deputy Prime Minister 2011 - 2014
Former President of SP.A
Rooselare / Roylers
Popl: 62,000
www.rooselare.be
Kris Declercq Appointed 2012 succeeding Luc Martens Born 1972. Law lecturer. Former political advisor. Member of Council since 2006.
Party: CD&V
Saint-Gilles
Popl: 50,500
www.stgilles.irisnet.be
Charles Picque (Mr) Elected 1985, re-elected several times most recently in 2012 Born 1948
Member of Belgian Parliament; Minister-President of Brussels Region 2004 - 2013
Schaerbeek
Popl: 124,000
www.schaerbeek.be/
Bernard Clerfayt (Mr) 2001-present Born 1961
Secretary of State Finance 2008-2011; Currently also Member of Parliament
Party: FDF*
Sint-Niklaus
Popl: 76,000
www.sint-niklaus.be
Lieven Dehandschutter (Mr) Elected 2010, re-elected 2012 Born 1958
Member of Flemish Parliament since 2010
Party: N-VA
Tournai
Popl: 69,500
www.tournai.be
Rudy Demotte (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1963
Current Minister-President of French Community
Former Minister-President of Wallonia Region
Former minister in Belgian government
Party: PS
Uccle
Popl: 82,300
www.uccle.be
Boris Dillies (Mr) Became mayor in September 2017. On the day he took office he set out a plan for modernising the council. Alderman for Finance on the Council.
Member of Parliament.
Vice President of MR in the Brussels region.
Party. MR
Verviers
Popl: 55,000
www.verviers.be
Muriel Targnion Elected 2015 Member of Belgian Parliament; Member of Wallonia Parliament
Party: PS
Wolvwe - Saint Pierre
Popl: 41,000
www.wolvwe-Saint
Benoit Cerexhe (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1961
Lawyer
Minister in Brussels Capital Region government; First elected to City Council aged 21
Party: CHR

* NVA = Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (New Flemish Alliance) , Flemish nationalist and conservative party
sp.a = Socialistische Partij Anders (Different Socialist Party) . Flemish Social-Democratic Party
PS 
= Parti Socialiste, Francophone social-democratic party.
CD&V 
= Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (Christian Democratic and Flemish). Centre right.
CDH 
= Centre Démocrate Humaniste (Humanist Democratic Centre)
Open VLD 
= Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats)
FDF 
= Fédéralistes Démocrates Francophones; part of MR
MR 
= Mouvement Réformateur: centre right

**Next municipal elections in Belgium: 2018. Every 6 years.