Regent’s University London was delighted to welcome Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, last night as the key speaker at Regent’s Europe in the World Lecture 2013.
Professor John Drew, Chancellor of Regent’s University London and Director of the Institute of Contemporary European Studies at the University, chaired the event along with the Q&A session.
Herman Van Rompuy reflected on the role of Europe in the wider world as it has developed during his first five years in the newly created office of President of the European Council. The lecture was followed by a reception which allowed distinguished friends of the University from business, government and academia to network with alumni and current students.
Herman Van Rompuy is a principal representative of the European Union (EU) on the world stage, and the person presiding over and driving forward the work of the European Council, defining the general political direction and priorities of the European Union. He will reflect on the role of Europe in the wider world as it has developed during his five years in the newly created office of President of the European Council.
Elected as the first full-time President of the European Council in November 2009, Herman Van Rompuy took office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009. In 2012, he was re-elected for a second term starting on 1 June 2012 and running until 30 November 2014.
At the time of his first election, Herman Van Rompuy was Prime Minister of Belgium. Prior to that he had served in Belgium as Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007-2008) and in several government positions, including as Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Budget (1993-1999), Minister of State (2004) and Secretary of State for Finance and Small Businesses (1988).
A former economist at the National Bank of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy began his political career in 1973 as national vice-president of his party’s youth council. He has held various responsibilities within his party and in the Belgian Parliament, serving in turn as Senator (1988-1995) and Member of Parliament (1995-2009).
The event was supported by the European Commission.