Herman Van Rompuy to leave politics after 2014

BRUSSELS Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:01am EDT

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy holds a news conference during a European Union leaders meeting in Brussels March 14, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy holds a news conference during a European Union leaders meeting in Brussels March 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Vidal

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Herman Van Rompuy will retire from politics when his mandate as European Council President expires in 2014, the 65-year old Belgian said on Sunday.

Van Rompuy was re-appointed as Council President in June 2012 and his term will end in late November 2014, according to the European Council's website. He has held the post since its creation in late 2009.

"2014 is the end of my political career path," Van Rompuy told Dutch-language state broadcaster VRT on Sunday when asked whether he would play a role in Belgium's federal elections that year.

Van Rompuy has had a long career in Belgian politics, previously serving as the country's prime minister and budget minister.

"I still have family members who are running for office. Those who want to vote for a Van Rompuy can do so," he said.

The European Council brings together the EU's leaders and is meant to hammer out agreements and set the strategic direction of the union.

The role of European Council president was created by the Lisbon Treaty which entered into force in late 2009 to streamline decision-making in the 27-member bloc.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Alison Birrane)

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