Louis Michel was born on 2 September 1947 in Tirlemont, Belgium. In 1978 he was elected in the Federal Parliament of Belgium where he sat as a Representative until 1999 when he became Senator and Minister for Foreign Affairs until 2004. In 2004 he was appointed European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid. He held the position until 2009 when he resigned in order to run in the European elections. He has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) ever since.
He is a leading member of the French-speaking liberal party, the Mouvement Réformateur. He is a recipient of the Belgian recognition of the Order of Leopold. He is the father of Charles Michel, the current Prime Minister of Belgium.
Louis Michel is a strong supporter of the United Nations moratorium on the death penalty. In 2014, as Rapporteur for the European Parliament on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (EU), he envisaged the set-up of a mechanism composed of a group of “wise men” charged of reviewing and evaluating the enforcement of the rule of law and the respect of human rights in each of all EU members states.