Sophie Wilmès

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Sophie Wilmès
Sophie Wilmès.jpg
52nd Prime Minister of Belgium
Assumed office
27 October 2019
DeputyKoen Geens
Alexander De Croo
David Clarinval
Preceded byCharles Michel
Minister of Budget
In office
1 October 2015 – 27 October 2019
Prime MinisterCharles Michel
Preceded byHervé Jamar
Succeeded byDavid Clarinval
Personal details
Born (1975-01-15) 15 January 1975 (age 45)
Brussels, Belgium
Political partyReformist Movement
Spouse(s)Chris Stone
RelationsPhilippe Wilmès (father)
EducationSaint-Louis University, Brussels

Sophie Wilmès (French: [wilmɛːs]; born 15 January 1975) is a Belgian politician who serves as Prime Minister of Belgium.[1] She is the first female head of government of Belgium[2] and previously held office as the head of a caretaker government until forming a permanent government in March 2020.

Early life

Wilmès was born on 15 January 1975[3] in the Ixelles municipality of the Brussels Capital Region.[4] Her father Philippe Wilmès (d. 2010) was a banker and professor of business who served as chief of staff to Jean Gol of the Liberal Reformist Party. Her paternal grandparents were killed in the bombing of Limal during World War II.[5] Her mother is Jewish.[6] She grew up in the town of Grez-Doiceau in Wallonia and studied at university in Brussels, moving to the Flemish suburb Sint-Genesius-Rode as an adult. She has a degree in applied communication and a degree in financial management (Saint-Louis University, Brussels). She worked as an economic and financial adviser in a law firm.[3]

Political career

In 2000, she became a councillor in Uccle.[7] From 2007 to 2014 Wilmès was First Alderman in charge of Finance, Budget, Francophone Education, Communication and Local Businesses for the town of Sint-Genesius-Rode. From 2014 to 2015 she was a provincial councillor for the province of Flemish Brabant. In October 2014 she was elected to the Chamber of Representatives.[3]

In September 2015, Hervé Jamar announced that he would resign on 1 October 2015 because he was selected as the governor of the province of Liège. Sophie Wilmès was selected to succeed him as minister of the budget in the Michel I Government.[8] In December 2018 she became Minister of Budget, Civil Service, National Lottery and Scientific Policy in the Michel II Government. On 27 October 2019 she became the first female Prime Minister of Belgium, succeeding Charles Michel. She leads a caretaker government while negotiations continue to form a new coalition government.[8] On 16 March 2020, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, she was nominated by the King to form a permanent minority government.[9] The day after that she was sworn in.

Personal life

In May 2009 Wilmès married Australian Chris Stone and they have three daughters Victoria, Charlotte, and Elizabeth. Stone has a son, Jonathan, from a previous relationship.[10]


  1. ^ "Prime Minister of Belgium". Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  2. ^ "De eerste vrouwelijke premier van België staat voor een ondankbare taak". (in Dutch).
  3. ^ a b c "Who Am I?". Sophie Wilmes. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Sophie Wilmès | MR | News". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Décès de Philippe Wilmès". L'Echo (in French). 25 May 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Belgium names first ever Jewish, female prime minister".
  7. ^ "UK immigration officials sent to Zeebrugge in crackdown against organised smuggling". The Brussels Times. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b Rankin, Jennifer (28 October 2019). "Belgium gets first female PM as Sophie Wilmès takes office". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Belgium hands powers to caretaker PM to fight Covid-19 after 15-month stalemate". The Guardian. 16 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  10. ^ Nizet, Pierre (28 October 2019). "Qui est vraiment Sophie Wilmès, notre nouvelle Première ministre" (in French). Sud Info. Retrieved 4 December 2019.

External link

Media related to Sophie Wilmès at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Michel
Prime Minister of Belgium
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