Henri Simonet

Henri François Simonet (10 May 1931 – 15 February 1996) was a Belgian politician.

Henri Simonet
European Commissioner for Taxation and Energy
In office
6 January 1973  6 January 1977
PresidentFrançois-Xavier Ortoli
Preceded byPosition established
Wilhelm Haferkamp (Internal Market and Energy)
Succeeded byRichard Burke (Taxation, Consumer Affairs and Transport)
Guido Brunner (Energy, the Science and Research)
Personal details
Born(1931-05-10)10 May 1931
Brussels, Belgium
Died15 February 1996(1996-02-15) (aged 64)
Political partySocialist Party

Born in Brussels, Henri Simonet studied law and economics at the ULB and then went to Columbia University as CRB Graduate Fellow. Simonet began his political life as a member of the Socialist Party (PS). He served as mayor of Anderlecht between 1966 and 1984, succeeding the long-serving Joseph Bracops. Like Bracops, Simonet dominated the local political scene to such an extent that the ambitious Philippe Moureaux moved to neighbouring Molenbeek-Saint-Jean to pursue a career there. In 1985 Simonet left the Socialists to join the Liberal Reformist Party (PRL) where he espoused increasingly atlanticist positions.

As mayor of Anderlecht, Simonet presided over considerable changes to what had been a largely industrial and working class community, attracting new development in the form of the Erasmus Hospital, a teaching hospital tied to the ULB on whose administrative council Simonet served.

Christian D'Hoogh succeeded Simonet as mayor of Anderlecht.

Simonet served as Vice-Chairman of the European Commission from 1973 to 1977 and as Minister for Regional Economic Development in 1978 and 1979. On the national plan, Simonet served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and before as Minister of Economics Affairs.

His son Jacques Simonet, who made his political career in the liberal Liberal Reformist Party, served twice as Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region (1999-2000; 2004) and as mayor of Anderlecht from 2000 until his death in 2007. They are buried together in the cemetery of Anderlecht

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Bracops
Mayor of Anderlecht
Succeeded by
Christian D'Hoogh
Preceded by
Edmond Leburton
Minister of Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Willy Claes
Preceded by
Albert Coppé
Belgian European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Étienne Davignon
New office European Commissioner for Taxation and Energy
Succeeded by
Richard Burke
as European Commissioner for Taxation, Consumer Affairs and Transport
Preceded by
Wilhelm Haferkamp
as European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Energy
Succeeded by
Guido Brunner
as European Commissioner for Energy, the Science and Research
Preceded by
Renaat Van Elslande
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Charles-Ferdinand Nothomb