Guy Verhofstadt who pleads on a very fanatic way for weapon deliveries to the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’ and calls for a NATO intervention in Syria, is since 2012 a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms). He can look forward to a fee which is in line with that of the other directors, who last year received an amount between 42.000 134.000 euros. The Belgian industrialist Viscount Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.
Photo: Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and President of ALDE Group; Mr Jacques Delors, Founding President of ‘Notre Europe’ and Etienne Davignon.
Viscount Etienne Davignon
1959: Joins the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
1961 – 1965: Attache and then head of the cabinet of the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Paul-Henri Spaak.
This was at the time that Belgium was backing the secession movement in Katanga and the rise to power of the future dictator of Zaire Mubutu. In 1961, the Belgian intelligence services assassinated independence leader Patrice Lumumba.
Davignon played an important and active role in the Belgian campaign against Lumumba, a 2001 parliamentary enquiry concluded (“Parliamentary Committee of enquiry in charge of determining the exact circumstances of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba and the possible involvement of Belgian politicians”).
1974 – 1977: President of the International Energy Agency.
1977 – 1984: Vice President of the European Economic Community’s Commission and Commissioner for Industry.
From this post Davignon played an indispensable role in the formation of the European Round Table of Industrialist (ERT), a highly influential group composed of the leaders of 40+ multinational companies. Together with Volvo’s Pehr Gyllenhammar, Davignon drew up the first list of potential members, inside the Berlaymont building. Davignon personally recruited most of the members of the original group of ERT. The first associates of ERT developed the organisation’s agenda from inside Berlaymont, in the presence of Mr. Davignon.
1985: Joins Societe Generale de Belgique (which is not a part of the French Societe Generale).
1989 – 2001: After the take-over of Societe Generale by the Suez group, Davignon became the President of Societe Generale de Belgique.
1986 – 2001: Prominent member of the ERT representing the Suez-owned Societe Generale de Belgique.
2001 – 2003: Vice Chairman of Societe Generale de Belgique.
2003: Suez, the sole shareholder of Societe Generale de Belgique, decides to merge the company with Tractebel and form Suez-Tractebel. Davignon becomes Vice President of the new Suez subsidiary.
Current directorships and offices held : Chairman of Compagnie Maritime Belge, Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, Recticel, Sibeka, SN Airholding and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Belgium), Vice-Chairman of SUEZ-TRACTEBEL (Belgium), Director of Accor (France), Cumerio, Real Software, Sofina SA, SN Brussels Airlines (Belgium), and Gilead (United States).
Listed companies. Source: CV on Suez website, accessed 29 March 2007.
Chairman of Bilderberg Group.
Chairman of CSR Europe.
Member of the board of Suez. According to the Suez website, Davignon holds 11,111 Suez shares, which are currently worth more than 350,000 euro.
Special adviser to the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel who was Minister of Foreign Affairs during the period that Verhofstadt was Belgian Prime Minister (12 July 1999 – 18 July 2004). Michel is a prominent member of the French-speaking liberal party.
 Belgium has officially apologised for this assassination: see for instance “Lumumba apology: Congo’s mixed feelings”, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1805546.stm
Parliamentary Committee of enquiry in charge of determining the exact circumstances of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba and the possible involvement of Belgian politicians.http://www.africawithin.com/lumumba/conclusions.htm
 Maria Green Cowles: “Setting the Agenda for a New Europe: The ERT and EC 1992″, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol.33, No. 4; December 1995, p.504-505 and Justin Greenwood, “Interest Representation in the European Union”, Palgrave – Macmillan, Hampshire and New York 2003, page 80.
Holding Sofina: Verhofstadt and Davignon
Board & Management
Board of directors:
Chairman Count Goblet d’Alviella (2014)
Vice Chairman Dominique Lancksweert (2015)
Chief Executive Officer Harold Boël (2013)
Nicolas Boël (2015)
Jacques Emsens (2014)
Robert Peugeot (2015)
Hélène Ploix (2014)
Analjit Singh (2014)
Michel Tilmant (2013)
David Verey (2013)
Guy Verhofstadt (2015)
Honorary Director Viscount Etienne Davignon
EXMAR Group: petroleum gas and oil platforms
One of the groups participating in Sofina is EXMAR Group. This group specialises in the transport of liquefied gas and was created following its breakaway from the maritime transport company CMB in 2003. The company owns a fleet of ships that are able to transport both liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), including propane, butane and ammonia, for which it is also the world leader in the midsize segment, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). As part of the transport of LNG, EXMAR has developed, in partnership with its American partner Excelerate Energy, a technology that makes it possible to regasify the gas on board the ships (LNG RV, Liquefied Natural Gas Regasification Vessel). More recently, EXMAR has developed an offshore activity, which also offers services for oil platforms, such as storage, handling and unloading of oil and gas products. In addition, EXMAR also designs and installs new offshore structures, such as OPTI-EX, a semi-submersible platform designed to exploit oil and gas fields in deep waters. Based on its expertise in the field of maritime fleet management, EXMAR offers technical assistance and insurance services to maritime transport companies.