John Bruton: “Martens was a master of creative compromise”

As Prime Minister, Mr Martens presided over coalitions that spanned right and left almost continuously between 1979 and 1992. PM Bruton worked with him over a period of 14 years in the bureau of the European Peoples Party where and got to know Martens’s profound understanding of leadership and compromise. This is his tribute to a key figure in Belgium and Europe. 

“I was really sorry when I heard of the death of my friend, Wilfried Martens. I extend sympathy to his wife, Miet, and to his children.

Wilfried was the longest serving Prime Minister of Belgium. He was master of creative compromise, immensely patient but with a clear and unshakeable value system.

I worked with him over a period of 14 years in the bureau of the European Peoples Party. He brought the skills he had honed in Belgian politics to the service of the European Union and won the confidence of people of widely differing linguistic, cultural and political backgrounds  in the service of a great cause.


He will be missed, and very hard to replace”

John Bruton

Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland and Club de Madrid Member