? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Wilfried Martens is one of the most distinguished politicians to come from Belgium in the last ffty years. In his long poli- cal career, he has always fought for the implementation of his goals with passion and deep conviction. What has to be mentioned frst in this context is his s- cessful advocacy of federalism in his home country, Belgium. Already in his time as chair of the CVP youth league from 1967 to 1972, groundbreaking manifestos on Belgium's federali- tion were written under his auspices. Later on, as President of the CVP, he succeeded in negotiating the Egmont Pact, whose essential elements form part of today's federal Belgian C- stitution. He served as Prime Minister for more than a decade, and in this role he convinced the regions and linguistic groups of his country, which were often at odds with each other, of the necessity for cooperation and solidarity.