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Johannes Cornelis "Hans" van Baalen (born 17 June 1960) is a Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) who has served as a Member of the European Parliament and Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy in the European Parliament from 2009 until 2019. He also is President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party since 21 November 2015.

Hans van Baalen

Johannes Cornelis van Baalen MEP 1 - Diliff.jpg
President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
Assumed office
21 November 2015
LeaderGuy Verhofstadt
Dacian Cioloș
Preceded byGraham Watson
Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy in the European Parliament
Assumed office
14 July 2009
Preceded byJules Maaten
Member of the European Parliament
for the Netherlands
In office
14 July 2009 – 2019
President of the Liberal International
In office
20 April 2009 – 26 April 2014
Preceded byJohn Alderdice
Succeeded byJuli Minoves
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
30 January 2003 – 14 July 2009
In office
28 September 1999 – 23 May 2002
Personal details
Born
Johannes Cornelis van Baalen

(1960-06-17) 17 June 1960 (age 59)
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Political partyPeople's Party for Freedom and Democracy (1986–present)
Spouse(s)
Ineke Sybesma (m. 2006)
Children1 son
EducationLeiden University (LLB, LLM, MSc)
Website(in Dutch) Official website
Military service
Allegiance Netherlands
Branch/serviceRoyal Netherlands Army
Years of service1986–present (Reserve)
RankColonel Colonel
UnitNational Reserve Corps

Van Baalen, a jurist and management consultant by occupation, worked for Deloitte as Director of Public relations from his graduation in 1988 until 1999. He became a Member of the House of Representatives on 28 September 1999 serving until 23 May 2002. After the Dutch general election of 2003 he was re-elected as Member of the House of Representatives serving from 30 January 2003 until 14 July 2009 when he became Member of the European Parliament. Van Baalen served as President of the Liberal International from 20 April 2009 until 26 April 2014.

Early life and educationEdit

Johannes Cornelis van Baalen was born on 17 June 1960 in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.[1]

He went to a public primary school in Krimpen aan den IJssel and to the high school Krimpenerwaard College in the same town, where he followed the havo (1973–1977) and atheneum (1977–1979) programs.[1]

He studied Dutch law (1979–1986) and international law (1986–1988) at Leiden University. During these student years, he was a member of the Minerva fraternity and the 'Pro Patria' student guard.[1]

Political careerEdit

Van Baalen has been a member of the VVD since 1986. He was international secretary for the VVD party bureau from 1993 to 1998 and was an MP from 1999 until 2002. He was again made an MP in 2003. Before his political career he worked as a journalist and also with the public relations department of Deloitte Consulting. In the Dutch House of Representatives, Van Baalen was a member of the Foreign Affairs commission, European Affairs commission and the Defense commission.

Beginning with the 2009 European elections, van Baalen was a member of European Parliament and faction leader of the Dutch VVD Delegation, and was generally seen as one of the most influential figures within the party. He served as a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and its Subcommittee on Security and Defence from 2009. On both committees, he was his parliamentary group’s coordinator. As substitute, he also served on the Committee on International Trade from 2014.

In addition to his committee assignments, van Baalen served as chairman of the parliament’s delegation relations with South Africa. He was previously a member of the delegations with Afghanistan (2010-2014), the United States (2010-2014) and Japan (2009-2014).

In July 2018, van Baalen announced that he would not stand in the 2019 European elections but instead resign by the end of the parliamentary term.[2]

Political positionsEdit

Relations with Russia and UkraineEdit

Van Baalen was a member of the European Parliament’s monitoring mission during the Ukrainian parliamentary elections in 2014, led by Andrej Plenković.[3] With regard to the conflict with Russia over Ukraine, he argued for higher military spending and NATO involvement, and improved prospects for Ukraine to join the EU if its population so decided.[4]

In 2015, news media reported that van Baalen was included in a Russian blacklist of prominent people from the European Union who are not allowed to enter the country.[5][6]

In 2016 he received the Ukrainian Order of Merit Third Class, bestowed upon him by president Petro Poroshenko.[7]

Car industryEdit

Van Baalen worked until September 2015 as a lobbyist for the motoring organisation RAI and was on the supervisory board of Mercedes-Benz. Van Baalen reported those position to the European Parliament and indicated he refrained from involvement in car-related parliamentary business. In 2014 however, Van Baalen, in his capacity as member of European parliament called for standardized rules for the car industry in the European Union and the United States.[8][9]

DistinctionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Mr.Drs. J.C. (Hans) van Baalen, Parlement & Politiek. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  2. ^ ’Eurexit’: Van Baalen stopt ermee De Telegraaf, July 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Jeanette Minns (October 9, 2014), Parliament’s mission to Ukrainian elections European Voice.
  4. ^ Cynthia Kroet (April 9, 2014), Dutch candidates say change needed to counter growing distrust of Europe European Voice.
  5. ^ Laurence Norman (May 30, 2015), Russia Produces Blacklist of EU People Banned From Entering Country Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ European Union anger at Russian travel blacklist BBC News, May 31, 2015.
  7. ^ Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 340/2016
  8. ^ "VVD leader in Europe is paid RAI advisor, lobbies for car industry". Dutch News. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Euro-parlementarier Van Baalen op loonlijst auto-industrie". F-Site (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  10. ^ "УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ №340/2016". Office of the President. August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016.

External linksEdit

Official
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jules Maaten
Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy in the European Parliament
2009–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
John Alderdice
President of the Liberal International
2009–2014
Succeeded by
Juli Minoves
Preceded by
Sir Graham Watson
President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
2015–present
Incumbent