Former Belgian PM Yves Leterme quits OECD post


Yves Leterme (CD&V) is leaving the Paris-based OECD for the Stockholm-based Institute for Democracy

“Choice from my heart”

Former Belgian prime minister Yves Leterme will leave his post as Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for a top job at Stockholm-based IDEA, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

Leterme (CD&V) was appointed to the Paris-based OECD in 2011, where he was given charge of a broad portfolio that included social affairs, education, health, regional development and entrepreneurship. His contract, initially for two years, was extended a further two years in 2013.  

Before joining the OECD, Leterme held a number of political posts in Belgium at every level of government. He started out with a seat on the council of his home town Ypres before becoming an MP in the House of Representatives. He then went on to serve as minister-president of Flanders, federal minister of foreign affairs and finally prime minister in 2008 and again from 2009-2011.

IDEA monitors elections and issues advice on drafting constitutions. “We mostly work in former conflict areas in order to set up a democratic system,” Leterme explained. “The function of Secretary-General at IDEA is a choice from my heart, not a career move. I have chosen a job that I would like to do; I don’t want to wait for that until I’m 60 or 65.”

Leterme plans to move to the IDEA headquarters in Stockholm before his second term in Paris comes to an end.