Remembering Jacques Vandamme, former Chairman of TEPSA

It is with great sadness that we announce that one of TEPSA’s first members and former Chairman, Jacques Vandamme, passed away on Tuesday morning 21 January at the age of 97.

Jacques Vandamme’s contribution to the European project has been enormous, both as a practitioner in his institutional roles as Head of Division in the Commission of the European Communities (1960-73) and Adviser of the Belgian Prime Minister Leo Tindemans (1974-77), and as a scholar and bright thinker in the years when he was lecturing in several European universities (Université Catholique de Louvain, Centre Européen Universitaire in Nancy, René Descartes University in Paris). In particular, he contributed to the preparation of the so-called “Tindemans report” on the European Union (1975), which advocated for the consolidation of community institutions and the development of common European policies, and set the basis for the European Union as it was developed in the following decades.

In the framework of Tindemans’ consultations during the preparation of the report, Jacques Vandamme suggested that also scholars and researchers be consulted, and TEPSA was selected for this purpose as a trans-European network of research institutes. TEPSA representatives thus had the chance to meet the Prime Minister and present their views on the Future of Europe. After this experience, Jacques Vandamme took upon himself the task to create a Belgian member of TEPSA, the Groupe d’Etudes Politiques Européennes (GEPE), and became fully involved in the Association, becoming the Chairman of the Association in 1982.

The TEPSA Board, Secretariat and Member Institutes would like to express their deepest condolences to Jacques Vandamme’s wife, children and other family members for their loss. We will remember Jacques Vandamme as an inspiring and committed European, and we are grateful for his invaluable contribution to our Association.

Watch an interview with Jacques Vandamme here.