Successively provincial councillor of Hainaut, member of the House of Representatives, Belgian Senator and Member of the European Parliament (2004-2009) (President of STOA, scientific evaluation body of the European Parliament).
At the executive level, he has successively served as Minister of the French Community, of the Walloon Region and as Federal Minister with portfolios such as National Education (1980), Interior (1981), Budget and Energy (1982-85), Economy (1988), Social Affairs (1988-1992) and then as European Commissioner (1999 to 2004) in charge of European Scientific Research. Minister of State (since 1992).
Twice Mayor of the commune of Seneffe. At the academic level, Doctor Honoris Causa of the Universities of Lumière Lyon 2 and Wroclau. To date, President of the Institute of Radioelements in Fleurus and of the National Geographic Institute, member of the Council of the Von Karman Institute and the Solvay Institutes. In the field of arts, President of the Castle of Seneffe, Charleroi Danse, and member of the Board of Directors of the Jean Vilar Theatre. Finally, he is a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium (Technology and Innovation Class) and a member of the French Academy of Technologies.