Former EU commissioner Van Miert dies in accident
Former European Union (EU) commissioner and Belgian politician Karel van Miert, has died after falling off a garden ladder, local media reported Tuesday.
The 67-year-old Flemish socialist was EU commissioner between 1989 and 1999, first for mobility and environment and later for the competition portfolio.
He became co-leader of the Belgian Socialist Party in 1976. Two years later, he became leader of the Flemish Socialist Party after the socialists split into separate Flemish and Francophone parties. He was a member of the European Parliament between 1979 and 1985.
Van Miert was no longer active in politics after his commissionership. He lived with his long-standing girlfriend in Beersel southwest of Brussels.
"His work and his example continues to inspire the work of the European Commission," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement.