Charles Michel (born 21 December 1975) is a Belgian politician who is the current interim Prime Minister of Belgium and President-elect of the European Council. Charles Michel was the leader of the francophone liberal party Mouvement Réformateur (MR) from February 2011 until becoming Prime Minister in 2014. Michel is the youngest Belgian Prime Minister since 1845. Since December 2018, he heads a caretaker government following his resignation after the fall of the government.
In 2000, he became Minister of Home Affairs in the Walloon Government. Aged 25, he became the youngest minister in Belgium's history. In December 2007, Michel was appointed Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation in the Verhofstadt III Government and subsequently in the Leterme I, Van Rompuy I and Leterme II governments.
Michel's track record on SRHR
During his term as Minister of Development Cooperation (2007 – 2011), SRHR and gender equality were his top priorities and several SRHR/HIV organisations, such as UNFPA, UNAIDS and the GFTAM, received funding as did bilateral SRHR/health programmes in Belgian partner countries. Under his leadership, Belgium played a pioneering role in the fight against sexual violence. In 2008, he approved the ‘The right to health and healthcare’ policy note, reaffirming it is key to take gender aspects into account when supporting international health policies and programmes and the importance of promoting a multi-sectoral approach to health. In 2009, he said he was shocked by Pope Benedict XVI’s statements claiming that condoms promoted AIDS, calling the statements "astounding, scandalous and even irresponsible." In 2015, Charles Michel held his maiden speech as Belgian PM at the United Nations' General Assembly in which he highlighted the rights of sexual minorities and women. In later UN speeches he advocated sexual and reproductive rights and gender equality. With his strong political support, in 2017 his deputy prime-minister, co-organised the international She Decides conference in response to US president Trump's decision to halt all financial support to foreign organisations in the south which support safe abortion, contracteption or family planning services.
Mr Potato Head
Charles Michel is fluent in Dutch and English in addition to his native language French. He is father of three children. He is often compared to Toy Story character Mr Potato Head by diplomats and officials because of his bald head and glasses, a nickname he apparently finds quite amusing himself.