Belgium’s member of the EU Commission, Marianne Thyssen, is to step out of politics in 2019, when her term in office ends, she announced on VRT radio. Thyssen has long been a vote-grabber in the CD&V party to which she belongs, and was a clear contender for the EU commission post when it because available when Kris Peeters, now a federal minister, was still minister-president of Flanders.
However Thyssen now has no intention of taking a leading role in the 2019 elections. “I will take part in the European elections,” she said. “But I will not be seeking office again.”
Thyssen is currently commissioner for labour and social affairs in the Juncker commission. Her term ends in November next year.
“I’ve spent 28 years of my life on Europe,” she told the radio. “I wanted to do it, but there’s also a life outside of politics.”
Thyssen was party chair from 2008 to 2010, and a member of the European Parliament from 1991 to 2014. She became the first woman ever to be proposed as Belgium’s EU commissioner in 2014.
“For five years I was abroad, and the rest of the time I was never home,” she said. “I was happy to do it, and I’m grateful to my voters, my party and my family that they always supported me. After this term I’ll be turning a new page, and I won’t be seeking office any more.”
CD&V chair Wouter Beke described her decision as “a great loss”.