Marc De Mesmaeker was named the new commissioner-general of the federal police on Thursday. Prime Minister Charles Michel, Minister of the Interior Jan Jambon and Minister of Justice Koen Geens made the announcement. The 57-year-old De Mesmaeker succeeds Catherine De Bolle, who the head of Europol at the beginning of May.
De Mesmaeker will take the oath on 15 June, replacing Claude Fontaine, who will continue as Commissioner General until the new chief takes over next Friday.
After studying at the Royal Military School and majoring in criminology at the University of Ghent between 1979 and 1983, he started his professional career in the mid-80s as commander of the gendarmerie in Wilrijk, which was his only field experience.
De Mesmaeker later had a tour of duty with several administrative departments (personnel, training and legal) in the gendarmerie in Brussels. As head of the legal service, he was in charge of Catherine de Bolle, whom he now succeeds.
In the second half of the 1990s, De Mesmaeker played a major role, behind the scenes, in police reform. Ten years ago he took on a position within the government. De Mesmaeker worked as a liaison officer between the Interior ministry and the police, working with six ministers, including Patrick Dewael, Annemie Turtelboom, Joëlle Milquet and Jan Jambon.
Concurrently, the government also appointed federal prosecutor Frédéric Van Leeuw as chairman of the Coordination Committee for information and security, a position that was previously filled by De Bolle. This Committee plays an important role in the preparation and implementation of decisions on intelligence and security. In addition to his new role, Van Leeuw will remain a federal prosecutor.
The Brussels Times