I was very sad to learn of the death of Jean Luc Dehaene today.
He is a great loss to Europe, and to Belgium.
We served together on the European Council in the 1990s , during the time when we were each heads of the governments of our respective countries.
During that time I found him to be a practical, direct and unpretentious leader of his country who was committed to his country and to making the European Union works well for every country.
We gain served together again, in 2002 to 2003, as members of the Praesidium of the Convention on the Future of Europe, which drew up what became the Lisbon Treaty.
As vice President of the Convention, he was able to command the respect and cooperation of all of its very diverse membership.
He had the task of drawing up the Treaty articles governing European Foreign Policy. He could be described as the father of the European Union’s External Action Service.
As someone born in 1940 in enforced exile during the Second World War, he understood the importance of the European Union to peace and security of the world.