Wilfried Martens (1936-2013) was the Prime Minister of Belgium for more than 12 years and was EPP President from 1990 to 2013. He started his career in politics as the President of the Flemish Christian Democratic Youth from 1967-71, then the President of the Flemish Christian Democrats from 1972-79, during which he sat as a Deputy in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives from 1974-91, and then he served as a Senator from 1991-94. He co-founded the EPP in 1976. In 1979, Martens became Belgian Prime Minister for the first time. From 1979-92, with an exception of 8 months, he led nine governments and became a Belgian Minister of State in 1992. From 1994-99 he also chaired the EPP Group in the European Parliament whilst a Member of the European Parliament. Since its establishment in October 2007 and until 2013, Martens was also the President of the EPP’s think-tank foundation, the Centre for European Studies. President Martens held a doctorate in law, a degree in notarial studies, and a baccalaureus in thomistic philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain. He practiced law at the Ghent Court of Appeal. Among his numerous national and international distinctions, in 1998 he was honoured with the Charles V Prize for his contribution to the European Union.