Kingdom of Belgium grants Jan Peter Balkenende with Order of Leopold honour
Jan Peter Balkenende has received the Commander in the Order of Leopold honour by the Kingdom of Belgium. In the presence of former Belgian Prime Ministers Herman Earl Van Rompuy and Mark Eyskens, Jan Peter Balkenende was granted this most important and highest Belgian distinction on the recommendation of Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter de Crem, who was on hand to pin the decoration to his lapel in Brussels on Tuesday 5 July 2016.
Both men worked closely together in the past: Balkenende was Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Pieter de Crem was the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. In his speech Pieter De Crem emphasized that both still attach a great deal of importance to the historical and economic cooperation between both countries. ‘The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium share a common vision of the future and collaborate in many domains. Jan Peter Balkenende receives this Belgian honour as an expression of our country’s recognition of his very impressive career, and in particular for his efforts promoting collaboration between the countries. In presenting this honour, the Kingdom of Belgium acknowledges a great Prime Minister and a close friend of Belgium and Europe’, according to De Crem.
Since December 2010 Jan Peter Balkenende is Governance, Institutions and Internationalisation professor at Erasmus School of Law and Erasmus School of Economics. He was the prime minister of the Netherlands from 2002 to 2010, and during the four preceding years, he served as chairman of the CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) parliamentary party in the Dutch House of Representatives, from October 2001.