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Marianne Thyssen

Marianne Thyssen
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
Assumed office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker
Preceded by László Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion)
Leader of Christian Democratic and Flemish
In office
15 May 2008 – 23 June 2010
Preceded by Wouter Beke (Acting)
Succeeded by Wouter Beke
Personal details
Born Marianne Leonie Petrus

(1956-07-24) 24 July 1956
Sint-Gillis-Waas, Belgium
Political party Christian Democratic and
Residence Oud-Heverlee, Belgium
Alma mater Catholic University of Leuven

Marianne Leonie Petrus Thyssen (Dutch pronunciation: ; born 24 July 1956 ) is a Belgian politician for the Christian Democratic and Flemish Party (CD&V). In 2014 she became the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.


  • Early life 1
  • Political activity 2
  • Early Career 3
  • Career 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Born in Unizo and the women’s network Markant, becoming Director then acting Secretary-General at Unizo in 1991. From 1986-1988 she acted as legal adviser to the state secretary for public health and disability policy.

Political activity

In 1991, Thyssen was elected as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Flanders with the CD&V, the Flemish Christian Democrats in Belgium. From 1995-2008 she served as municipal Councillor for Oud-Heverlee, a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant and in 2001 she became First Alderman for Oud-Heverlee. In 2008 Thyssen was elected leader of CD&V party.

During her almost 23 years as a member of the European Parliament she was re-elected 5 times. She has sat on the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, has substituted for the Committee on International Trade, was a member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and a substitute for the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee. From 1999-2014 she served as leader of the European People's Party's (EPP) Belgian delegation and from 2004-2009 was elected first vice-president of the EPP.

In 2014 she was appointed to the European Commission as Commissioner in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility for the European Union (EU).

Early Career

  • 1979: Degree in law at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL)
  • Assistant in the faculty of law, Catholic University of Leuven
  • Legal assistant in the office of the State Secretary for Health
  • Successively legal adviser, head of a research department and acting Secretary-General at Unizo (organisation for the self-employed and small and medium-sized businesses)


See also: European Parliament election, 2004 (Belgium)

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Wouter Beke
Leader of Christian Democratic and Flemish
Succeeded by
Wouter Beke
Political offices
Preceded by
Karel De Gucht
Belgian European Commissioner
Preceded by
László Andor
as European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
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