European Union


President of the European Council’s Biography

Herman Van Rompuy was born in Etterbeek,Belgium, on October 31, 1947. He has degrees in philosophy and economics from the Catholic University of Leuven.

He worked as an economist inBelgium’s central bank before entering federal politics in 1975. Mr. Van Rompuy has held a variety of positions within his party (the Flemish Christian Democratics) and in Parliament, where he served in both the Senate (1988-1995) and the Chamber of Representatives (1995-2009). Mr. Van Rompuy was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Budget from 1993 to 1999, and served as President (Speaker) of the Chamber of Representatives from 2007 until he became Prime Minister in December 2008.

Mr. Van Rompuy officially took office as President of the European Council in January 2010 and is its first full-time president.

President of the European Commission’s Biography

José Manuel Barroso was born in Lisbon,Portugal, onMarch 3, 1956. He holds a law degree from the University of Lisbon and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Geneva.

Mr. Barroso served as head of the International Relations Department of Lusiada University in Portugal from 1995 to 1999 and was a visiting professor at Georgetown Universityin the United States from 1996 to 1998.

Mr. Barroso was first elected to the Portuguese Parliament in 1985. In 1987, he became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. In 1992, Mr. Barroso was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, and he served in this capacity until 1995. In 1999, he was elected President of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and became the Leader of the Opposition. Mr. Barroso led thePSDto a coalition government in 2002 and served as Prime Minister until 2004.

Mr. Barroso took office as President of the European Commission in November 2004. He was re-elected for another five-year term by the European Parliament in September 2009.