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Belgian European commissioner to leave politics

Belgian European commissioner Marianne Thyssen has announced she is quitting politics.  With a year to go before the European elections and a fresh team in Brussels in November Ms Thyssen says this will be her last job in the European forum.

"By then I will have devoted 28 years of my life to Europe.  Five years I worked abroad and the rest of the time I was never home. I loved it and I am grateful to my voters, party and family who always supported me.  But I realise there is life outside politics.  When my term is concluded I will turn a page and not seek a new political mandate."

The Flemish Christian democrat is expected to feature on the slate in the European elections, but if elected will not take up her seat in the European Parliament.

"I'm focused on the last 15 months of my term.  Many dossiers are still ongoing and I want to give my all to get them through.  I wish to remain in the commission until 1 November next year and cannot take up a seat in parliament".