“My role as mayor has so far enabled me to meet a lot of people from all Kraainem’s neighborhoods, and I’m already looking forward to meeting even more of them during this legislature!

You learn a lot from talking to people, and their suggestions are always worth listening to. The many encounters with the residents always give me the energy to continue working for the beautiful municipality of Kraainem.”

 

Mayor of the municipality of Kraainem

In charge of public order, security, population, civil status, public health, cemeteries and finance

President of the Police College of the WOKRA zone, of the College of Burgomasters and Aldermen

Vice-President of UBCNA (Union Belge Contre les Nuisances Aériennes)

Director (and former CEO) of B Plus ASBL.

Who is Bertrand?

Born in Brussels in 1960, Bertrand Waucquez spent his youth in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, with his parents, sister and brother. Since 2000, he has lived in Kraainem.

As a child, he was very active in scouting and was always interested in technology (dismantling cars, etc.).

  • Diplomas: mechanical civil engineer at Louvain-la-Neuve and Master of Engineering at the University of Tokyo.
  • Military service in Zeebrugge
  • Professional assignment in Tokyo for several years
  • 15 years with a port company in Antwerp (logistics and IT)
  • 10 years as an independent consultant (energy sector)
  • From 2016, energy advisor for the Confédération de la Construction (with a focus on energy transition, geothermal energy and indoor air quality).
  • Since 2019: Mayor of Kraainem

Mayor’s agenda

1x per week: College of burgomasters and aldermen

1x a month: Town Council (open to the public)

1x a month: CPAS Council (open to the public)

Ad hoc: crisis management meetings (Corona, Ukraine, etc.)

 

1x a month: various commissions open to the public
(administrative management, mobility, finance, assets,
well-being, etc.)

1x a month: fire department zone council

2x a month: police college

1x a month: Mobility Committee

Ad hoc: communal consultation committee / CPAS.

Ad hoc: regular consultation with the mayors of other municipalities with facilities.

Not forgetting: conversations with citizens and departments, follow-up on files, preparation of meetings, visits to worksites in the commune…

The first steps in politics …

Bertrand Waucquez has always been a fervent supporter of Belgium. He is the former Chairman of the Executive Committee of B-Plus, a lobby group against the break-up of Belgium, whose slogan is: “Alone we go faster, together we go further”.

Link to B-Plus

“Rudy Aernoudt’s pragmatic approach and the Belgian list perfectly matched his state of mind.”

When Rudy Aernoudt, professor at Ghent University and well-known liberal politician active in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia, asked Bertrand Waucquez in 2010 – as co-chairman of the newly-founded People’s Party – to take part in the federal elections on a list that would be active in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia (as the only list in the whole of Belgium), Bertrand agreed. Both Rudy Aernoudt’s pragmatic approach and the Belgian list corresponded perfectly to his mentality: a party present throughout Belgium, what a fine signal. However, it soon became apparent that this initiative had its shortcomings: in the end, only the electoral lists for Brussels and Wallonia were submitted, Rudy Aernoudt was dismissed by the other chairman as co-chairman, and the remaining chairman wanted to turn the Parti Populaire into the equivalent of the N-VA but in Wallonia and Brussels.

Bertrand Waucquez quickly distanced himself from the Parti Populaire (which had begun to deviate completely from its initial objectives) and returned his party card. This very short period of just a few months gave him a taste for politics.

UBCNA (Union Belge Contre les Nuisances Aériennes)

Since 2014, Bertrand Waucquez has been vice-president of UBCNA (Union Belge Contre les Nuisances Aériennes) and actively participates in debates and forums aimed at reducing aircraft noise around Zaventem.

LINK to UBCNA – BUTV

Involvement at local level: Kraainem-unie, a citizens’ movement

  • After regular meetings in 2011-2012 with retired general José MichauxIn 2010, Bertrand Waucquez, who created a facebook group called “José Michaux Citoyens” to denounce the fact that politics in Kraainem was mainly focused on the language issue rather than on good management of the municipality (with all its consequences), Bertrand Waucquez, along with 4 other citizens, took the bull by the horns and decided that it was time for him to take an active part in politics.

 

  • Posting and denouncing political problems on Facebook is one thing, but if you want to change things in politics, you have to get involved in politics yourself. This was Bertrand’s state of mind at the time, and with a group of enthusiastic Kraainemois citizens,the independent bilingual citizen movement Kraainem-Unie was created in June 2012, with no ties to any political party (founders: José Michaux, Marie-France Constant, Carel Edwards, Peggy Cortois, Bertrand Waucquez).

 

  • In the October 2012 elections, 20% of Kraainem’s inhabitants gave their vote to Kraainem-Unie (which brought 4 local councillors: Bertrand Waucquez, Marie-France Constant, Johan Forton and Carel Edwards). From 2012 to 2018, a constructive opposition was led by these 4 councillors, and transparently communicated to citizens through the Kraainem-Unie newspaper ‘den Tournesol Déchainé’ later renamed ‘Kraainem-Unie News’.

 

  • In the 2018 elections, Kraainem-Unie won 32.5% of the vote, making it the largest party on the local council (8 elected to the local council and 3 elected to the CPAS).

A close-knit team

 

  • Together with the bilingual “burgomaster’s list”, now called “Pro-Kraainem”, Kraainem-Unie has formed the majority on Kraainem’s town council since 2019, and Bertrand Waucquez has been appointed burgomaster.

 

  • The majority team
    Kraainem Unie
    is made up of mayor Bertrand Waucquez, alderman Marie-France Constant, alderman Johan Forton, Carel Edwards, Vinciane De Meutter-Cardinael, André Ivanszky, Nathalie Woitrin, Anja Vermeulen (8 Kraainem-Unie); and also 4 Pro-Kraainem local councillors: Olivier Joris, local council president Luc Timmermans, Guillaume von Wintersdorff and Carine Pin. At the CPAS, Kraainem-Unie has 3 of the 9 seats (permanent board members Damien Filippi, Ingrid Leyman, Colette Storms), Pro-Kraainem 1 (Gilbert Theunis).

 

  • And let’s not forget the many active members of Kraainem-Unie, without whom this citizens’ movement would not exist!

LINK to our team

  • Bertrand Waucquez holds 1 paid office as Mayor. He also sits on a number of boards of directors, again on a pro bono basis.

LINK to Cumuleo

He’s also an avid sailor, plays tennis with his friends and enjoys a good chat…

 

Languages

Bertrand Waucquez was raised in French, worked for many years in Flanders and is perfectly bilingual. He is also fluent in English, Spanish, German, Japanese, basic Chinese and has some notions of Arabic. And that’s handy in a town with so many nationalities! Right from the start of the war in Ukraine, he began learning the rudiments of Ukrainian.

What does Bertrand do outside politics?

In addition to local politics, it is active in the field of energy transition, in cooperation with, for example, Ghent University.

LINK to www.myclimatecontribution.org

He’s also an avid sailor, plays tennis with friends and enjoys a good chat, for example, about singularity with his brother-in-law Frank Verstraete (professor of quantum physics and winner of the Francqui Prize in 2018).