Jan Peter Balkenende
|Prime Minister of the Netherlands|
22 July 2002 - 14 October 2010
|Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal|
1 October 2001 - 9 June 2010
|Jaap de Hoop Scheffer|
|Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives|
30 November 2006 - 21 February 2007
|Pieter van Geel|
30 January 2003 - 21 May 2003
1 October 2001 - 11 July 2002
|Jaap de Hoop Scheffer|
|Member of the House of Representatives|
30 November 2006 - 22 February 2007
30 January 2003 - 27 May 2003
19 May 1998 - 22 July 2002
Jan Pieter Balkenende Jr.
7 May 1956
|Political party||Christian Democratic Appeal|
Bianca Hoogendijk (m. 1996)
|Education||Free University Amsterdam (BA, MA, LLM, PhD)|
Jan Pieter "Jan Peter" Balkenende Jr. (Dutch pronunciation: ['j?n 'pe:t?r 'b?lk?nnd?] ; born 7 May 1956) is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and jurist who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 22 July 2002 to 14 October 2010.
Balkenende started his career as a legal counsel at the Academic Council of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam from 1982 until 1984, and as a researcher at the Christian Democratic Appeal think tank from 1984 until 1998. He worked as a professor of Christian theology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam from 1993 until 2002. Balkenende was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives after the election of 1998, and served in the House of Representatives from 19 May 1998 until 22 July 2002. After the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal and Parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives Jaap de Hoop Scheffer stepped down following an internal power struggle between him and Chairman of the Christian Democratic Appeal Marnix van Rij for the leadership, De Hoop Scheffer endorsed Balkenende as his successor. After De Hoop Scheffer stood down on 1 October 2001, Balkenende was chosen to succeed him en became the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal and Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives and the lijsttrekker (top candidate) of the party for the election of 2002. The Christian Democratic Appeal became the surprising winner of the election, gaining 14 seats and becoming the largest party, now having 43 seats in House of Representatives. This success was in part owed to Balkenende's neutral attitude in the debates with Pim Fortuyn, the eponymous leader of the Pim Fortuyn List party who was assassinated days before the election on 6 May 2002. The following cabinet formation resulted in a coalition agreement between the Christian Democratic Appeal, the Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), which formed the first Balkenende cabinet with Balkenende becoming Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Minister of General Affairs on 22 July 2002.
However, the first Balkenende cabinet fell after only 87 days in office on 16 October 2002 following internal conflicts within the Pim Fortuyn List leadership that destabilised the coalition agreement on 16 October 2002. For the election of 2003, Balkenende served again as lijsttrekker. The Christian Democratic Appeal remained the largest party, gaining one seat and now totalling 44 seats in the House of Representatives. The following cabinet formation resulted in a coalition agreement between the Christian Democratic Appeal, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and the Democrats 66 (D66), which formed the second Balkenende cabinet, with Balkenende continuing as Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs, taking office on 27 May 2003. This second cabinet fell on 30 June 2006 after the Democrats 66 retracted their support following there dissatisfaction with the way Minister for Integration and Asylum Affairs Rita Verdonk had handled the crisis around the naturalisation of Member of the House of Representatives Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Democrats 66 cabinet members resigned on 3 July 2006. A caretaker government was made by the Christian Democratic Appeal and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy that formed the third Balkenende cabinet on 7 July 2006. For the election of 2006 Balkenende served again as lijsttrekker. The election resulted in a small loss of three seats for the Christian Democratic Appeal, but it remained the largest party and now had 41 seats in the House of Representatives. The following cabinet formation resulted in a coalition agreement between the Christian Democratic Appeal, the Labour Party (PvdA) and the Christian Union (CU), which formed the centre-left fourth Balkenende cabinet, with Balkenende continuing as Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs, taking office on 22 February 2007. The fourth Balkenende cabinet fell on 20 February 2010 after the Labour Party retracted their support following a disagreement over the extension of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, the Labour Party cabinet members resigned on 23 February 2010. The cabinet remained in office in a demissionary capacity. For the election of 2010 Balkenende served as lijsttrekker for a fourth and final time. The Christian Democratic Appeal suffered a large defeat in the election, losing 20 seats and falling back as the fourth party, now having 21 seats in the House of Representatives. Balkenende accepted responsibility for the defeat and sequentially announced his resignation as party leader and his retirement from national politics. He was succeeded as Leader by his long serving Deputy Maxime Verhagen that same day on 9 June 2010. He remained Prime Minister until the first Rutte cabinet was installed on 14 October 2010.
After his premiership, Balkenende retired from active politics and became a professor of Governance, Institutions and Internationalization at the Erasmus University Rotterdam on 1 December 2010, and worked as a Partner of Corporate Responsibility at Ernst & Young from 1 April 2011 until 1 July 2017. Following his retirement Balkenende occupies numerous seats as a corporate director and nonprofit director for supervisory boards in the business and industry world and several international non-governmental organisations (ING Group, Goldschmeding Foundation and the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition).
Jan Pieter Balkenende Jr. was born on 7 May 1956 in Biezelinge in the province of Zeeland in a family belonging to the Reformed faith, the son of Jan Pieter Balkenende Sr. a cereal grains merchant and Thona Johanna Sandee, a teacher. During his childhood, Balkenende was an active supporter of the Dutch football team PSV Eindhoven, along with his father he frequented many matches. He also regularly visited the local music school and theatre. Balkenende went to a Reformed Protestant primary school in Kapelle. He attended secondary school at the "Christian Lyceum for Zeeland" in Goes, graduating in 1974. He studied at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he received a Master of Arts degree in history in 1980, a Master of Laws degree in Law in 1982, and finally a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Law in 1992.
Balkenende resides with his wife, Bianca Hoogendijk, and his daughter, Amelie, in Capelle aan den IJssel, a suburb of Rotterdam. During his tenure as Prime Minister, he did not use the Catshuis, the formal residency of the Prime Minister.
He began his career on the staff of the research institute of the CDA and as a city councilman in Amstelveen. In 1992 he received his PhD with a thesis on "Governance regulation and social organisations" (Overheidsregelgeving en maatschappelijke organisaties), a strongly inspired by the Communitarian ideas of Amitai Etzioni. One year later in 1993, he became an extraordinary professor of Christian-Social Thought at the Free University of Amsterdam.
Balkenende first entered the House of Representatives on 19 May 1998 while the CDA was in opposition. He became the CDA's financial spokesman and was also involved with social affairs, justice, and domestic affairs. In this role he advocated a substantial reduction of the national debt and sound public finances.
He was elected Chairman of the CDA parliamentary fraction on 1 October 2001, succeeding Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. On 3 November 2001, he was appointed lijsttrekker for the CDA in the tumultuous May 2002 parliamentary elections. These elections restored the CDA's former position as the largest political party in the House of Representatives.
On 4 July 2002 Queen Beatrix asked Balkenende to form a new government after the general elections following the resignation of Prime Minister Wim Kok. The coalition cabinet included the Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) party, whose leader (Pim Fortuyn) was assassinated just days before the election. It collapsed after just 87 days in office because of internal conflicts within the LPF that destabilised the government.
After early elections in 2003 Balkenende formed his second government with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), the liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the progressive liberal D66. Once again leader of a centre-right coalition, Balkenende's policies centred on reform of the Dutch public services, social security, pre-pension facilities, public health, reducing crime, a tough immigration policy and historically large cuts in public spending. The measures gave rise to large public anger and bad results in opinion polls for his CDA party. While his party remained the largest Dutch delegation in the European Parliament after the European elections, beating the general expectation of a huge loss in parliamentary seats, the party suffered strong losses during Dutch municipal elections of 2006, losing their position as the largest party in many municipalities. Despite his unpopularity among Dutch voters (polls in 2006 showed that only 26-33% of the voters had confidence in him as prime minister), his position as leader of the CDA remained stable. In the beginning of 2006, some CDA members tried to replace Balkenende as leader with Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman. Veerman did not accept the proposition and offered his support to Balkenende. Balkenende's popularity recovered since then, surpassing that of his main competitor Wouter Bos in the autumn of 2006. By then, 53% preferred Balkenende as Prime Minister of the Netherlands while 40% preferred Bos. The switch in public opinion is sometimes explained by the steady recovery of the Dutch economy during the last year of his administration and the positive effects of the reformed policy of the Balkenende cabinet, combined with declining confidence in Bos as a good alternative for the position of Prime Minister.
On 1 July 2004 Balkenende took up the rotating presidency of the European Union.
On 30 June 2006, the Democrats 66, the smallest coalition party, withdrew its support of the government over the way Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk had handled the crisis around the naturalisation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the House of Representatives. Balkenende resigned for the second time as Prime Minister of the Netherlands, announced early elections and presented his third government a week later. This rump cabinet, formed of a minority coalition of CDA and VVD, stayed in office until the elections of 22 November 2006.
Though his old coalition partners VVD and D66 fared badly in the parliamentary elections of 2006, Balkenende managed to defend the dominant position of his CDA. Needing alternative coalition partners to form a new majority government, he formed a social-Christian coalition with the Labour Party (PvdA) and the orthodox-Protestant Christian Union. The Fourth Balkenende cabinet was formed after Balkenende was appointed formateur by Queen Beatrix on 9 February 2007. His cabinet was announced on 13 February and was scheduled to be in office until 2011, but it fell in the early morning of 20 February 2010 as the result of disagreement between the majority of the parliament and the coalition partners CDA and PvdA over the extension of the Dutch ISAF-mission in Afghanistan. In contrast to the formation of a new caretaker cabinet with full responsibility (Balkenende III after the fall of Balkenende II), Balkenende IV continued as a demissionary cabinet, a caretaker cabinet with limited responsibility.
Despite serious criticism by former prime ministers from the CDA, Balkenende was the Christian Democratic Appeal lijsttrekker for the Dutch general election of 2010. Balkenende raised mild controversy during his campaign for the 2010 Dutch elections. While appearing in a television show, Balkenende was asked by a female presenter what parties he would most likely form a coalition with. Balkenende first gave evasive answers, then when asked again by the presenter, responded saying "U kijkt zo lief" (English: "You look so cute"). The comment was regarded as sexist and criticised by several people, including Opzij chief-editor Margriet van der Linden and GroenLinks leader Femke Halsema (who stated that "[the prime minister] deserves a knee to the groin" (in Dutch: "een knietje verdient")). Balkenende apologised for the comment later.
On 9 June 2010, Balkenende resigned his position as leader of the CDA as well as his seat in the newly elected parliament, taking political responsibility for the CDA's disappointing election results in the 2010 general election.
On 4 June 2005, the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht said in the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (The Latest News) that "Balkenende is a mix of Harry Potter and a petty rigid bourgeois mentality". This comparison caused a small diplomatic controversy, and the Belgian ambassador had to apologise to Ben Bot, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs. Retired deputy prime minister Hans Wiegel commented he preferred Harry Potter to the Manneken Pis.
|Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross of Brazil|
|Grand Cross of the Order of Bernardo O'Higgins of Chile|
|Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg|
|Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany|
|Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland||29 August 2012|
|Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Polar Star of Sweden|
|Grand Cordon of the Order of Independence of Jordan|
|Companion of the Order of the Star of Ghana|
|Commander of the Order of Leopold of Belgium||8 July 2016|
|Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau||23 November 2010|
|Party political offices|
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
| Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal
| Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives|
| Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives|
| Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives
Pieter van Geel
| Prime Minister of the Netherlands
| Minister of General Affairs|