Maggie De Block

Maggie Celine Louise De Block (born 28 April 1962) is a Belgian politician and member of the Flemish liberal party Open VLD.[1] In 2013 and 2014, she was voted the most popular politician in Flanders. In February 2015, she was voted the most popular politician in Belgium, being the most popular in all three regions. She held the portfolio of Minister of Social Affairs and Health in the Michel Government, but following a reshuffle on 9 December 2018 to prevent the government's collapse, she additionally resumed responsibility for Asylum and Migration.[2]

Maggie De Block
Minister of Health
Assumed office
11 October 2014
Prime MinisterCharles Michel
Sophie Wilmès
Preceded byLaurette Onkelinx
Minister of Justice
In office
25 July 2014  11 October 2014
Prime MinisterElio Di Rupo
Preceded byAnnemie Turtelboom
Succeeded byKoen Geens
State Secretary of Asylum, Migration, Social Integration, and Poverty Reduction
In office
6 December 2011  11 October 2014
Prime MinisterElio Di Rupo
Preceded byMelchior Wathelet (Asylum and Migration)
Philippe Courard (Social Integration and Poverty Reduction)
Succeeded byTheo Francken (Asylum, Migration, and Reduction of Administrative Burden)
Elke Sleurs (Poverty Reduction, Fraud Combat, and Science Policy)
Personal details
Born (1962-04-28) 28 April 1962
Merchtem, Belgium
Political partyOpen Flemish Liberals and Democrats


De Block was born in Merchtem. She studied medicine at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) after which she became a general practitioner for 25 years. Her brother, Eddie De Block, is the mayor of Merchtem.

Political career

From 1999 to 2011 Maggie De Block was a Member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives for the electoral district Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde.

She became the Secretary of State for Asylum, Immigration, and Social Integration in the Di Rupo Government in December 2011.[3] In December 2012, she became the vice-chair of the Open Vld party. She later became Minister of Justice charged with Asylum, Immigration, Social Integration, and Poverty Reduction in the Di Rupo Government in July 2014.[4]

In March 2013, she was voted woman of the year by readers of the francophone newspaper La Libre Belgique.[5] In 2013 and 2014 polls, she became the most popular Flemish politician, ahead of the Minister-President of Flanders Kris Peeters.[6]

In the Michel Government formed in October 2014, she became Minister of Social Affairs and Health. When taking the oath, she described the portfolio as "her dream".[7] Critics have said that she does not set the right example as Health Minister due to her obesity, and she has answered that "I know I'm not a model but you have to see what's inside, not the packaging." [8] In the position, she was involved in coordinating the Belgian response to the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

In 2015, she became the most popular politician in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels - making her the most popular politician in Belgium.[9]

In September 2018 she decided to introduce plain packaging for all tobacco products in Belgium.

On 9 December 2018, it was announced that de Block would be responsible again for Asylum and Migration, replacing Theo Francken.[2] She held the post in a previous government.[10]

Her official title since then is Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health, and Asylum Policy and Migration.[11]



  1. "Madame Maggie De Block". Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  2. "Belgium sets up minority government after migration dispute breaks coalition". POLITICO. 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  3. "Maggie De Block populairste Vlaamse politica". Knack. 24 Mar 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  4. Maggie De Block CV. Retrieved on 2014-09-15.
  5. "Maggie De Block, Femme de l'année de". La Libre. 8 Mar 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  6. "Maggie De Block is populairste politicus". 12 November 2013.
  7. "Maggie De Block: "Dit is een droom die uitkomt"". Het Laatste Nieuws. 11 October 2014.
  8. "Is she too fat to be a Health Minister?". Mirror.
  9. lbo. "Maggie De Block nu ook populairste in Wallonië en Brussel". De Standaard (in Dutch).
  10. "Belgium's PM reshuffles cabinet after N-VA quits in migration row". dpa International. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  11. Belgian Federal Government. Retrieved on 2019-06-12.
  12. arrêtés royaux du 21 mai 2014

Media related to Maggie De Block at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Annemie Turtelboom
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Koen Geens
Preceded by
Laurette Onkelinx
Minister of Social Affairs and Health
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