European Commissioner for Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen, (CD & V) will end her political career upon completing the current mandate in Brussels, after 28 years of involvement in European politics.
“There’s life besides politics,” Thyssen declared on Thursday morning (12 June) on Belgian Radio 1. “After this mandate, I turn the page and I will no longer take up a new mandate.”
She will officially leave at the end of 2019, after starting her mandate in the Juncker Commission on 1 November 2014 as the first Belgian woman to hold this office.
“I am now focusing on the last fifteen months of my mandate, there are still a lot of dossiers pending and I want to commit myself fully to getting them through,” she said.
To CD & V (Christian Democratic and Flemish party) chairman Wouter Beke, Thyssen’s departure is “a big loss”. He told the Belga news agency via his spokesman that “she’s the great lady of European politics in our country. As the European Commissioner, she has become the face of social Europe and she has made important changes.”
Thyssen’s main achievements remain an agreement she managed to secure on the controversial legislation on the posting of workers, her fight against social dumping and the implementation of European common social rights. She has also made several proposals to allow fathers 10 days of parental leave, as a new gender equality tool.
After the 2009 European elections, Thyssen joined the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, where she played an important role in the negotiations on the banking union.
Thyssen will probably take part in the 2019 European elections but will not take her place in Parliament if elected.