Peter Carmeliet is bestowed the title of baron

22 July 2015
With the appointment of seven barons, three baronesses, three knights and an earl, King Philip has raised fourteen people into peerage. Most striking are the title of count for the former European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the baron title for former minister Karel Pinxten.

(c) This translation is based on an original text in Dutch of Redactie.be.


Herman Van Rompuy (67) receives the highest aristocratic distinction, that of Count. It is a "personal title", which is not hereditary. In addition, the writer Amélie Nothomb (Baroness) and comic writer Jean Van Hamme (knight) are also bestowed with nobility.
The most surprising seems the baron title for former minister Karel Pinxten (72) who resigned as Minister of Agriculture in the spring of 1999, after the outbreak of the dioxin crisis.
The reasons why people receive an honorary title are not disclosed.

Who was raised to the peerage?

-Earl - personal title
Herman Van Rompuy (ex- prime minister and former President of the European Council

-Lady - personal title
Fabienne Claire, better known as Amélie Nothomb (writer)
Bénédicte Frankinet (permanent delegate from Belgium to the United Nations)
Hilde Laga (lawyer, board member at Barco, Greenyard Foods, Aedifica, Gimv and Agfa-Gevaert)

-Baron - personal title
Jean Bourgain (internationally renowned mathematician)
Peter Carmeliet (doctor of medicine, conducts groundbreaking research in angiogenesis, research in the growth and functioning of blood vessels)
François Cornelis (former top manager  in the industry)
Koenraad Debackere (professor economy at KU Leuven)
Pierre-Alain De Smedt (president of Verbond van Belgische Ondernemingen/VBO)
Marc Henneaux (internationally renowned physicist at the  ULB)
Karel Pinxten (former minister of Agriculture and former mayor of  Overpelt)

-Knight - personal
François Glorieux (composer, pianist, conductor and professor in music)
Albert Vandervelden (gallery owner in Liège)
Jean Van Hamme (comics writer)

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