Jean-Luc Dehaene, former Belgian Prime Minister and prominent Member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, has passed away today at the age of 73. The EPP and the EPP Group in the European Parliament wish to express their great sadness at his passing and extend their sincerest condolences to his wife, Celie Dehaene, children and relatives.

Joseph Daul, President of the European People's Party and the EPP Group in the European Parliament, said:

“It is with disbelief and profound sadness that we have learned of the passing of Jean-Luc Dehaene. He was a man with great vision, who worked tirelessly to make that vision come true, first in his own country and later on in Europe. He was a strong promoter of European integration who, in his in very own style, helped build the European Union. He will be much missed by everyone who worked with him. This is a day of great sadness for Belgium and for Europe. In the span of only half a year, the EPP family has lost two great statesmen."

He was a man with great vision, who worked tirelessly to make that vision come true, first in his own country and later on in Europe Joseph Daul

Jean-Claude Juncker, EPP Candidate for President of the European Commission, said:

“I am greatly saddened to learn of Jean-Luc Dehaene’s passing. He was a real Statesman, my neighbour, a close ally and a true friend. I will forever remember and cherish him, particularly for all his work in the Presidium of the European Constitutional Convention. Though he is no longer with us, his vision for a united Europe, for a brave Europe, will live on.”

I will forever remember and cherish him, particularly for all his work in the Presidium of the European Constitutional Convention Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Luc Dehaene was Prime Minister from 1992 until 1999. Under his lead Belgium joined the Eurozone and he continued the work of his predecessor, late EPP President Wilfried Martens, to transform Belgium into a federal state. He was known and liked for his pragmatism and no-nonsense style and admired for his capacity to reconcile across parties and linguistic barriers. Jean-Luc Dehaene was Vice-Chairman of the European Convention, which made the blueprint of the Lisbon Treaty and of Europe as we know it today. He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 onwards on behalf of the CD&V party.

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