Annelies Verlinden

Minister of the Interior (Belgium)

Annelies Verlinden (1978) studied Latin and sciences at the Vita et Pax school in Schoten. She then got her bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Anvers in 1998, followed by a Master’s in law from KU Leuven in 2001.

In 2002, she obtained a Diploma of Specialized Studies (DES) in European Law from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve. In 2002, she joined the law firm DLA Piper, where she became a partner in 2011 and co-chair of the Belgian branch from 2014.

On the 1st October 2020, she was named Minister of the Interior, of Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal in the De Croo government.

While respecting the prerogatives of the competent authorities, it is responsible for coordinating general police policy, as well as coordinating the management of federal and local police forces. It is also responsible for managing major national incidents, such as the floods in Wallonia in the summer of 2021.

Its home affairs policy includes civil protection, support for municipal prevention and safety policies, private security, and the registration and updating of the national register of Belgian nationals.

As Minister, Verlinden has been responsible for the adoption of ministerial (and, later on royal under the “pandemic law”) decrees, carrying out necessary measures in view of limiting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health. She has drafted and proposed a specific law, as a permanent legal basis for taking such restrictive measures in the event of a pandemic. This "pandemic law" was adopted by Parliament in 2021.

Verlinden also works in the legal framework aiming to strengthen local authorities' jurisdiction to fight against crime. These measures will allow legal authorities to close down dishonest companies following an integrity investigation. The legal framework of administrative sanctions has also been modified to enable local authorities to tackle local problems better.

Verlinden’s expertise also includes the organisation of European elections, federal and regional in Belgium. For the European elections, she has lowered the voting age to 16 years old.

The state council, the highest national administrative jurisdiction, has been thoroughly reformed and modernised during her mandate. On her request, the state council has undergone a considerable workforce expansion and has been provided with the necessary resources.

With Minister Clarinval, Minister Verlinden is in charge of Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal. In the framework of this latter responsibility, she organised a process of citizen participation in State structure and democracy.

    Go to main content