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Berend "Bert" de Vries (born 29 March 1938) is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and economist.

Bert de Vries
Bert de Vries 1984 (1).jpg
Bert de Vries in 1984
Chairman of the Christian
Democratic Appeal
In office
10 October 2001 – 2 November 2002
LeaderJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byMarnix van Rij
Succeeded byMarja van Bijsterveldt
Member of the Social
and Economic Council
In office
1 January 1995 – 1 September 2001
Chairman
Minister of Agriculture,
Nature and Fisheries
In office
18 September 1990 – 28 September 1990
Ad interim
Prime MinisterRuud Lubbers
Preceded byGerrit Braks
Succeeded byPiet Bukman
Minister of Social Affairs
and Employment
In office
7 November 1989 – 22 August 1994
Prime MinisterRuud Lubbers
Preceded byJan de Koning
Succeeded byAd Melkert
Parliamentary leader in the
House of Representatives
In office
14 July 1986 – 14 September 1989
Preceded byRuud Lubbers
Succeeded byRuud Lubbers
In office
4 November 1982 – 3 June 1986
Preceded byRuud Lubbers
Succeeded byRuud Lubbers
Parliamentary groupChristian Democratic Appeal
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
21 November 1978 – 7 November 1989
Parliamentary groupChristian Democratic Appeal
(1980–1989)
Anti-Revolutionary Party
(1978–1980)
Personal details
Born
Berend de Vries

(1938-03-29) 29 March 1938 (age 81)
Groningen, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal
(1980–2010)
Other political
affiliations
Anti-Revolutionary Party
(until 1980)
Spouse(s)
Dieuwke van der Helm (m. 1969)
ResidenceBennekom, Netherlands
Alma materUniversity of Groningen
(Bachelor of Economics, Master of Economics)
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
(Doctor of Philosophy)
OccupationPolitician · Civil servant · Economist · Tax collector · Financial analyst · Researcher · Nonprofit director · Trade association executive · Lobbyist · Activist · Professor

De Vries worked as a tax collector in Groningen from 1958 until 1960 and as a financial analyst for Philips from 1960 until 1968. De Vries worked as a researcher at the University of Groningen from 1968 until 1978. De Vries became a Member of the House of Representatives after the resignation of Willem Aantjes, taking office on 21 November 1978. After the election of 1982 the new Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal and Parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives Ruud Lubbers became Prime Minister in the Cabinet Lubbers I and endorsed De Vries as his successor as his Parliamentary leader and naming him as his Deputy, taking office on 4 November 1982. Following the election of 1986 Lubbers returned as Parliamentary leader on 3 June 1986 but resigned after the installation of the Cabinet Lubbers II on 14 July 1986 and De Vries resumed the position. After the election of 1989 De Vries was appointed as Minister of Social Affairs and Employment in the Cabinet Lubbers III, taking office on 7 November 1989. De Vries served as acting Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries from 18 September 1990 until 28 September 1990 following the resignation of Gerrit Braks. In January 1994 De Vries announced his retirement from national politics and that he would not stand for the election of 1994. The Cabinet Lubbers III was replaced by the Cabinet Kok I on 22 August 1994.

De Vries semi-retired from active politics and served as a distinguished professor of Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, serving from 1 December 1994 until 1 December 1998 and served as chairman of the state-owned National Insurance Bank and Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP. In October 2001 De Vries was appointed as Chairman of the Christian Democratic Appeal following the resignation of Marnix van Rij, serving from 10 October 2001 until 2 November 2002. Following the end of his active political career, De Vries worked as an trade association executive for the Hospitals association and as an advocate, lobbyist and activist for the Anti-war movement, human rights and the Two-state solution for the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

De Vries is known for his abilities as a manager and negotiator. De Vries continues to comment on political affairs. He holds the distinction as the second longest-serving Parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives with 7 years after Sybrand van Haersma Buma.[1]

Contents

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Berend de Vries was born in Groningen. His father had a detective agency. As a student, he was employed to assist in observation work, for collecting evidence of adultery. After the Mulo he was an official of the IRS. In the evening he attended the HBS. As a working student, he attended the study economics at the University of Groningen and he received a Master of Economics degree. Through the work at Groningen, he joined Philips, where he worked in the finance department. Thereafter (from 1968 to 1978) he worked at the Erasmus University. At the same time he received his PhD in Economic Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit.

PoliticsEdit

In 1978 he was elected as a member of the Anti-Revolutionary Party as a Member of the House of Representatives. In 1982 he became leader of the CDA. He ruled the fraction with an iron fist and did not allow dissidents. Group Members Jan Nico Scholten and Stef Dijkman had to leave in 1983. As minister he steered the Arbeidsvoorzieningswet and Jeugdwerkgarantiewet by the First and Second Chamber. He was also the architect of the so-called Bami agreement on adaptation of the WAO. The name Bami agreement refers to the fact that during the consultations in the home of Bert de Vries, a meal of Chinese take-away food was consumed. With this agreement, the fall of the third Lubbers cabinet prevented.

After his departure from active politics until 1998 he was part-time professor of financial and economic policy at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. After the forced resignation of Marnix van Rij in 2001, De Vries took over as chairman of the Christian Democratic Appeal for a year.

DecorationsEdit

Honours
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
  Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown Belgium 10 December 1990
  Commander of the Legion of Honour France 1 October 1991
  Knight Commander of the Order of Merit Germany 21 March 1993
  Grand Officer of the Order of Bernardo O'Higgins Chile 5 August 1993
  Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 8 October 1994
  Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 30 April 1999

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Official
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ruud Lubbers
Parliamentary leader of the
Christian Democratic Appeal
in the House of Representatives

1982–1986
1986–1989
Succeeded by
Ruud Lubbers
Preceded by
Marnix van Rij
Chairman of the Christian
Democratic Appeal

2001–2002
Succeeded by
Marja van Bijsterveldt
Political offices
Preceded by
Jan de Koning
Minister of Social Affairs
and Employment

1989–1994
Succeeded by
Ad Melkert
Preceded by
Gerrit Braks
Minister of Agriculture,
Nature and Fisheries

Ad interim

1990
Succeeded by
Piet Bukman
Civic offices
Preceded by
Wil Albeda
Chairman of the
Supervisory board of
National Insurance Bank

1994–2001
Succeeded by
Bram Peper
Preceded by
Gijs van Aardenne
Chairman of the
Supervisory board of
Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP

1995–2001
Succeeded by
Elco Brinkman
Business positions
Preceded by
Unknown
Chairman of the
Hospitals association

1995–2001
Succeeded by
Unknown