The Count Davignon
|European Commissioner for Industrial Affairs and Energy|
6 January 1981 – 6 January 1985
|Preceded by||Himself (Internal Market, Customs Union and Industrial Affairs)|
Guido Brunner (Energy, the Science and Research)
|Succeeded by||Karl-Heinz Narjes (Industry, Information Technology, Science and Research)|
Nicolas Mosar (Energy)
|European Commissioner for the Internal Market, the Customs Union and Industrial Affairs|
6 January 1977 – 6 January 1981
|Preceded by||Finn Olav Gundelach (Internal Market and the Customs Union)|
Cesidio Guazzaroni (Industry and Technology)
|Succeeded by||Karl-Heinz Narjes (Internal Market, Industrial Innovation, the Customs Union, the Environment, Consumer Protection and Nuclear Safety)|
Himself (Industrial Affairs and Energy)
|Born||4 October 1932|
|Political party||Humanist Democratic Centre|
|Alma mater||Catholic University of Louvain|
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. 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.
Davignon later became the first head of the International Energy Agency, 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.
As chairman of Société Générale de Belgique, he was a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists. 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. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.
Davignon is the chairman of the board of directors of Brussels Airlines, 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.
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.
- Minister of State, by Royal Decree.
- Knight Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour.
- Officer in the Order of the Crown.
- Grand Officer of the Order of the Republic.
- Grand Officer of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great.
- Grand Officer of the Order of the Oak Crown.
- Grand Officer of the Order of the Dannebrog.
- Grand Officer of the Order of the Aztec Eagle.
- Knight Commander of the Order of the Crown of Thailand.
- Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Olav.
- Knight Commander of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- Knight Commander of the Order of the Polar Star.
- Knight Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau.
- Officer of the Order of the Phoenix.
- Officer of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
- "Etienne Davignon, President of CSR Europe". CSR Europe. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- "Friends of Europe – President". Friends of Europe. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- "Etienne F. Davignon". Forbes. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- "Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group". BBC News. 29 September 2005.
- "Steering Committee". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "Brussels Airlines – Organisation". Brussels Airlines. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- "Assemblée générale et conseil d'administration". ICHEC. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
- "Les Grand'Croix de la légion d'Honneur". GénéaPrime.
- "Etienne Davignon 1932– – Généalogie de la famille de Prelle de la Nieppe". genealogie.deprelledelanieppe.be.