Martinus Josephus Maria "Tiny" Kox (Dutch: [ˈtini ˈkɔks]; born 6 May 1953 in Zeelst) is a Dutch politician. As a member of the Socialist Party (SP) he has been serving as Senator since 10 June 2003, as well as being the longest-serving incumbent Senator in the Dutch Senate. On 24 January 2022 he was elected the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), initially for a one-year term.[1] Prior to this, he was for several years the President of the Unified European Left Group in the Assembly, where he has been a member since 2003.[2]

Tiny Kox
Leader of the Socialist Party in the Senate
Assumed office
10 June 2003
Member of the Senate
Assumed office
10 June 2003
Personal details
Martinus Josephus Maria Kox

(1953-05-06) 6 May 1953 (age 69)
Zeelst, Netherlands
Political partySocialist Party
Residence(s)Tilburg, Netherlands
Alma materTilburg University (LLB)
Website(in Dutch) Socialist Party website


Early careerEdit

In 1973 Kox finished an economical-judicial study programme at the School for Higher Economics & Administrative Sciences in Eindhoven. After which, in 1975, he got his bachelor of law-degree at Tilburg University, which ended his law study. From 1975 to 1982 he worked at the Tilburg law centre, at which point in time he was already an active member of the SP.

Party activitiesEdit

In 1981 he became editor-in-chief of Tribune, SP's member party magazine, while in the same year he was also appointed to the executive committee of the party. In 1982, he was elected to the Tilburg municipal council, where he served as the head of the local SP-group until 1999.[1]

In 1993, he became the General Secretary of the SP, the highest position in the executive branch of the party. Together with Jan Marijnissen, Kox lead the party. With Marijnissen focusing on the 1994 Dutch general election, and Kox focusing on daily party-business, the duo transformed the party from a minor left-wing political group to a modern socialist party.[2][3]

On top of being the General Secretary, Kox was also the face of the party during the 1994 European Parliament Election, and the campaign manager during the Dutch general elections from 1994 to 2003.

Member of the Dutch senateEdit

During the 2003 Dutch Senate elections, Kox was elected to become a Senator. He stepped down as General Secretary of the SP and became head of the SP-faction in the Senate. In 2006, the SP was one of the big winners in the General Election of that year. Kox was initially elected, but decided to stay in the Senate instead.[4]

During his career as a senator, Kox has put through some notable initiatives. Together with senators from the PvdA and the ChristenUnie, he put forward a proposal for the first parliamentary study initiated by the Senate, which resulted in the publication of 'Verbinding verbroken' (Disconnected), a paper on the privatization of government services in the Netherlands.[5] In 2018, Kox put through a proposal that focused on categorically beating back child poverty in the Netherlands.[6]

Furthermore, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Senate accepted Kox's proposal to call on the Dutch government to structurally increase the pay of Dutch healthcare workers.[7] In the same year, the Senate accepted a motion of no-confidence on Kox's initiative. Something that is noteworthy, as the Senate up until that point had not accepted a motion of no-confidence in 145 years. The motion was aimed at the Dutch government's policy on rent, and nine months after Kox's motion, the government decided to put a stop to rent increase on all social housing in the Netherlands.[8]

Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)Edit

Since 2003, Kox has also been a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He is currently the head of the Unified European Left Group, an alliance consisting of European green and left-wing parties. As the head of this group, he participated in the Presidential Committee, the Bureau and the Standing Committee of the assembly. On behalf of the Assembly he also wrote multiple reports on Europe's oldest and biggest treaty-organization.[9][10][11] Kox also led multiple missions as an international election-supervisor in Bosnia (2010, 2014), Russia (2011, 2012), Turkey (2015) and Georgia (2020).[12] In 2021, his proposals on strategic priorities for the Council of Europe, were endorsed by the Assembly and presented to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.

In 2011, the Assembly accepted Kox's proposal granting the Palestinian Legislative Council the status of 'partner of democracy', as well as granting them a delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.[13]

On 28 September 2021 Kox was nominated by the UEL-group as President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for 2022 and 2023, on the basis of the 2008 rotation-agreement between the five political groups in PACE. He was elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly on January 24, 2022. This made him the 34th President since 1949 and the third Dutch national to hold this office. [3]


  1. ^ "Senate biography M.J.M. Kox".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ van Raak, Ronald (2021). Stel een daag, een kleine geschiedenis van de SP. Van Gennep.
  3. ^ Wielenga, Friso; van Baalen; Wilp (2018). Een versplinterd landschap. Amsterdam University Press.
  4. ^ Tiny Kox blijft SP in Senaat leiden, Website SP, 24 November 2006.
  5. ^ "Verbinding verbroken? Onderzoek naar de parlementaire besluitvorming over de privatisering en verzelfstandiging van overheidsdiensten". Retrieved 7 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Motie-Kox (SP) c.s. over armoede onder kinderen". 30 October 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Ook Eerste Kamer stemt voor eerlijke beloning voor de zorg".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Van Den Eerenbeemt, Marc (17 February 2021). "Huur van alle 2,3 miljoen sociale huurwoningen bevroren - ook die van 'rijke' huurders". Volkskrant.
  9. ^ "Defending the acquis of the Council of Europe; preserving 65 years of successful intergovernmental cooperation". Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly: main challenges for the future". Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Combating international terrorism while protecting Council of Europe standards and values". Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Kox's PACE biography". Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Europese Erkenning voor Palestijns parlement". Volkskrant. 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit