Caroline GennezMinister for Development cooperation and City Policy of the Kingdom of Belgium
Caroline Gennez (°Sint-Truiden, 1975) is the Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation and Major Cities. She is responsible for Belgium’s development cooperation policy, humanitarian aid, and implements projects to improve the living, working and housing conditions in Belgium’s big cities. Before that, she was a Senator, member of the Belgian Parliament and member of the Flemish Parliament. She was also deputy mayor of Mechelen between 2007 and 2012. At the same time, in 2007, she became the first female chairwomen of the Flemish social-democratic party sp.a (now Vooruit). She studied political sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven and did volunteer work in several organisations for many years. Both experiences inspired her to go into politics. She joined the Young Socialists and became their president in 1998.
Her political passions are education, work, and economic affairs. Since 2013, until becoming a minister, she was the chairwoman of the University Association Brussels. She also sat on the executive board of Erasmus University College and the Free University of Brussels. As a member of the executive board of the Party of European Socialists (PES), Caroline is a firm believer in bringing together the different socialist, social-democratic and labour parties in the EU to push for more progressive policies in Europe.