Assistant General Secretary
Born on September 1945 in Antwerp, Belgium, Eddy Laurijssen joined the youth section of the Belgian trade union federation FGTB at the age of 16. He received a college diploma in Commerce and Business Administration and graduated from the "Higher School for Social Studies" in Antwerp. He also obtained a certificate in Basic Economics at the Emile Vandervelde foundation, which is sponsored by the Belgian Socialist Party. His mother tongue is Dutch and his working languages are English, French, and German with a basic knowledge of Spanish.
After his studies, Eddy Laurijssen worked in a research project of the FGTBs National Clothing Federation in Antwerp. He joined the ICFTU in 1964. Following his military service in 1965, he became an assistant in the Economic, Social and Political Department of the ICFTU.
In 1972, Eddy Laurijssen was entrusted with the reactivation of the ICFTU youth work, and subsequently was elected Secretary of the ICFTU Youth Committee. In this capacity, he organised numerous seminars, training courses, study sessions and other meetings in both industrial and developing countries. At the same time he was also assistant in the department that dealt with the ICFTUs regional work and relations with the International Trade Secretariats.
In 1981, Eddy Laurijssen was appointed Assistant Director of the ICFTU Geneva Office. In 1988, he became Director of the same office, and was elected Secretary of the Workers Group of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization.
In 1993, he was appointed Assistant General Secretary by the ICFTU Executive Board and moved back to the ICFTU Headquarters in Brussels to take up his position.