Herman De Croo Center

The “Herman De Croo Center” was founded by a number of close friends in 1988; as part of the celebration of my twenty-year parliamentary mandate and my ten-year ministry.

The aim of this non-profit organization was to organize and/or support projects in the South East Flanders region.  The principles could be summarized as follows: “promoting scientific, social, economic and cultural works and studies related to the South East Flanders region. The operation of the Center annually includes the organization of school competitions for secondary education, the support of projects of the Vlerick College and the organization of colloquia. In addition, there are our own publications, including a quarterly newsletter.

The chairman of the Center is Prof. Dr. Andreas baron De Leenheer, honorary rector of Ghent University.

Secondary School Competitions

School competitions started to be organized in 1989, shortly after the birth of the Herman De Croo Center.  For these competitions, a varying theme -led by a prominent chairman with specific expertise and an adapted jury were set up for evaluation. 

The origins of the participating school (community or private education) were never known beforehand to the jury members, which fully guaranteed the pluralistic character of our Center.  From 2016 onwards, a second format of “multimedia” has been organized in addition to the regular “essay” form; that’s how we want to keep up with the trends of the present time. Every competition is concluded with a festive proclamation.  This takes place in a varying locations (usually the town or city hall) in South East Flanders.

Vlerick Awards

Due to our special attention to ‘entrepreneurschip’ we started working with Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in 2011. From then on, the HDC Center awards at the Graduation Ceremony in the  Capitole in Ghent, in this case to graduates for the ‘Best Business Plan’ and ‘Master in General Management’ (MGM). Judging for this is left to the examination committee of the Vlerick School itself.


Our Herman De Croo center is responsible for organizing colloquia as well, the themes of which seamlessly connect with immediate social, economic and political current events.  In recent years, the repurposing of heritage and the problems of spatial planning have been discussed and have been, consequently, extended in an exquisite publication. In 2019 the theme was “Our Agriculture: Performant?! Which place in a prosperous society?”. This seminar, which took place in the Provincial Test Center for Vegetable Cultivation in East Flanders brought top experts from the academic world, the business community and the agricultural sector together.

Collaboration with the King Boudewijn Foundation

It was decided to set up a ‘Friends of the Herman De Croo Center’ fund under the wings of the King Boudewijn Foundation in 2016. In addition to the inherent prestige associated with the King Boudewijn Foundation, we are hoping to  accomplish even larger projects in the future by promoting the tax deductibility of donations for sponsors.

Info: kurt@hermandecroocentrum.be