Étienne Davignon

European Commissioner for Energy European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship
Advertisement - You can get this game from STEAM

The Count Davignon
Etienne Davignon.jpg
European Commissioner for Industrial Affairs and Energy
In office
6 January 1981 – 6 January 1985
PresidentGaston Thorn
Preceded byHimself (Internal Market, Customs Union and Industrial Affairs)
Guido Brunner (Energy, the Science and Research)
Succeeded byKarl-Heinz Narjes (Industry, Information Technology, Science and Research)
Nicolas Mosar (Energy)
European Commissioner for the Internal Market, the Customs Union and Industrial Affairs
In office
6 January 1977 – 6 January 1981
PresidentRoy Jenkins
Preceded byFinn Olav Gundelach (Internal Market and the Customs Union)
Cesidio Guazzaroni (Industry and Technology)
Succeeded byKarl-Heinz Narjes (Internal Market, Industrial Innovation, the Customs Union, the Environment, Consumer Protection and Nuclear Safety)
Himself (Industrial Affairs and Energy)
Personal details
Born (1932-10-04) 4 October 1932 (age 87)
Budapest, Hungary
Political partyHumanist Democratic Centre
Alma materCatholic University of Louvain

Étienne, Count Davignon (born 4 October 1932 in Budapest, Hungary) is a Belgian politician, businessman, and former vice-president of the European Commission.


After receiving a Doctorate of Law from the Catholic University of Louvain, Davignon joined the Belgian Foreign Ministry, in 1959, and within two years had become an attaché under Paul-Henri Spaak, then Minister of Foreign Affairs.[1] He remained in Belgian government until 1965. In 1970, he chaired the committee of experts which produced the Davignon report on foreign policy for Europe.[2]

Davignon later became the first head of the International Energy Agency,[1] from 1974 to 1977, before becoming a member of the European Commission, of which he was vice-president from 1981 till 1985. From 1989 to 2001, he was chairman of the Belgian bank Société Générale de Belgique, which is now part of the French supplier Suez and was not an arm of the French bank Société Générale, but a Belgian institution. He is now Vice Chairman of Suez subsidiary, Suez-Tractebel.[3]

As chairman of Société Générale de Belgique, he was a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists.[1] He is the current co-chairman of the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table, chairman of the Paul-Henri Spaak Foundation, president of the EGMONT – Royal Institute for International Relations, chairman of CSR Europe, chairman of the European Academy of Business in Society and was chairman of the annual Bilderberg conference from 1998 to 2001.[4] He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[5]

Davignon is the chairman of the board of directors of Brussels Airlines,[6] which he co-founded after the bankruptcy of Sabena. He is also a member of the board of numerous Belgian companies, and is the chairman of the board of directors and of the General Assembly of the ICHEC Brussels Management School.[7]

On 26 January 2004, Davignon was given the honorary title of Minister of State, giving him a seat on the Crown Council of Belgium.

Davignon is a crucial member of the Strategic Advisory Panel of The European Business Awards. He is a member of the Cercle Gaulois and a member of the Advisory Board of the Itinera Institute think tank. He is also President of the Brussels-based think tank Friends of Europe.[2]


Étienne's grandfather, Julien Davignon, also served in the government of Belgium, being Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1914, at the outbreak of World War I.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b c "Etienne Davignon, President of CSR Europe". CSR Europe. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Friends of Europe – President". Friends of Europe. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Etienne F. Davignon". Forbes. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group". BBC News. 29 September 2005.
  5. ^ "Steering Committee". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Brussels Airlines – Organisation". Brussels Airlines. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Assemblée générale et conseil d'administration". ICHEC. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Les Grand'Croix de la légion d'Honneur". GénéaPrime.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Etienne Davignon 1932– – Généalogie de la famille de Prelle de la Nieppe". genealogie.deprelledelanieppe.be.