Luxembourg politician, who was prime minister of his country (1984–95) before becoming president of the European Commission (1995–1999).
Born in Wasserbillig, Luxembourg, Santer studied at the universities of Strasbourg and Paris, graduating in law. After serving in the Luxembourg army (1961–62), he entered the civil service before turning to politics. Specializing in finance and social security issues, Santer became chairman of Luxembourg's Christian Social Party in 1972 and from 1975 to 1977 served as vice-president of the European Parliament. In 1984 Santer became prime minister of Luxembourg and also a governor of the International Monetary Fund. He ceased to be prime minister of Luxembourg in 1995 when he was appointed president of the European Commission in succession to Jacques Delors.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).