Hans van Mierlo


Henricus Antonius Franciscus Maria Oliva "Hans" van Mierlo (Dutch pronunciation: ['hans fan 'mirlo];[1] 18 August 1931 – 11 March 2010) was a Dutch politician and co-founder of the Democrats 66 (D66) party and journalist.


Hans van Mierlo
Hans van Mierlo in 1981
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
22 August 1994  3 August 1998
Serving with Hans Dijkstal
Prime MinisterWim Kok
Preceded byWim Kok
Succeeded byAnnemarie Jorritsma
Els Borst
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 August 1994  3 August 1998
Prime MinisterWim Kok
Preceded byPieter Kooijmans
Succeeded byJozias van Aartsen
Member of the Senate
In office
13 September 1983  4 June 1986
Parliamentary groupDemocrats 66
Minister of Defence
In office
11 September 1981  4 November 1982
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Preceded byPieter de Geus
Succeeded byJob de Ruiter
Parliamentary leader in the
House of Representatives
In office
3 June 1986  22 August 1994
Preceded byMaarten Engwirda
Succeeded byGerrit-Jan Wolffensperger
In office
23 February 1967  1 September 1973
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJan Terlouw
Parliamentary groupDemocrats 66
Member of the House
of Representatives
In office
19 May 1998  18 August 1998
In office
3 June 1986  22 August 1994
In office
23 February 1967  8 June 1977
Parliamentary groupDemocrats 66
Leader of the Democrats 66
In office
25 January 1986  15 February 1998
Preceded byMaarten Engwirda
Succeeded byEls Borst
In office
14 October 1966  1 September 1973
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJan Terlouw
Chairman of the
Democrats 66
In office
14 October 1966  16 February 1967
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byGerben Ringnalda
Personal details
Born
Henricus Antonius Franciscus Maria Oliva van Mierlo

(1931-08-18)18 August 1931
Breda, Netherlands
Died11 March 2010(2010-03-11) (aged 78)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cause of deathHepatitis C
NationalityDutch
Political partyDemocrats 66 (from 1966)
Spouse(s)
Anna Los
(m. 1961; div. 1963)

Olla van Maasdijk
(m. 1964; div. 1984)

(m. 2009)
Domestic partnerGretta Nieuwenhuizen
(1985–1986)
Aafke van der Made
(1987–1997)
Connie Palmen
(1999–2009)
Children2 daughters and 1 son
Alma materRadboud University Nijmegen
(LL.B., LL.M.)
OccupationPolitician · Journalist · Editor · Author · Political pundit · Nonprofit director · Television producer
Signature
Military service
Allegiance Netherlands
Branch/serviceRoyal Netherlands Army
Years of service1952–1954 (Conscription)
1954–1961 (Reserve)
Rank Sergeant
UnitRegiment van Heutsz
Battles/warsCold War

Van Mierlo studied Law at the Radboud University Nijmegen obtaining a Master of Laws degree and worked as a journalist and editor for the Algemeen Handelsblad from August 1960 until January 1967. In October 1966 Van Mierlo was one of the co-founders of the Democrats 66 (D'66) party and became its first Leader and Lijsttrekker (top candidate) for the election of 1967. Van Mierlo was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives and became Parliamentary leader after the election on 23 February 1967. For the elections of 1971 and 1972 Van Mierlo served again as Lijsttrekker. On 1 September 1973 Van Mierlo unexpectedly announced he was stepping down as Leader and Parliamentary leader and that he wouldn't stand for the election of 1977 but would continue to serve in the House of Representatives as a frontbencher until the end of the parliamentary term.

Van Mierlo semi-retired from active politics and became active in the public sector as a non-profit director, and worked as a television producer for the VARA from January 1980 until September 1981. After the election of 1981 Van Mierlo was appointed as Minister of Defence in the Cabinet Van Agt II taking office on 11 September 1981. The Cabinet Van Agt II fell just seven months into its term on 12 May 1982 and was replaced by the caretaker Cabinet Van Agt III with Van Mierlo continuing his position and shortly thereafter announced that he wouldn't not stand for the election of 1982. Van Mierlo continued to be active in politics and was elected as a Member of the Senate after the Senate election of 1983 on 13 September 1983 serving as a frontbencher and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. For the election of 1986 Van Mierlo again served as Lijsttrekker and returned as a Member of the House of Representatives and Parliamentary leader on 3 June 1986. For the elections of 1989 and 1994 Van Mierlo once again served as Lijsttrekker and following a successful cabinet formation with Labour Leader Wim Kok and Liberal Leader Frits Bolkestein formed the Cabinet Kok I with Van Mierlo appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs taking office on 22 August 1994. In March 1997 Van Mierlo announced that he was stepping down as Leader a second time but that he would stand for the election of 1998. After a cabinet formation Van Mierlo was asked to continue to serve in the new cabinet in a different function but declined and returned to the House of Representatives on 19 May 1998. Shortly after the installation of the Cabinet Kok II Van Mierlo announced his retirement and resigned from the House of Representatives on 18 August 1998.

Van Mierlo retired from active politics at 67 and again became active in the public sector as a non-profit director and served as a diplomat for several economic and diplomatic delegations on behalf of the government, and continued to be active as a advocate and lobbyist for more European integration, republican issues and government reforms. Van Mierlo was known for his abilities as a skillful debater and effective negotiator. Van Mierlo was granted the honorary title of Minister of State on 24 October 1998 and continued to comment on political affairs as a statesman until his death in March 2010 from the complications of a Hepatitis C infection at the age of 78.

Early life


Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Luns and Hans van Mierlo at his inauguration in the Ridderzaal on 23 February 1967.
Hans van Mierlo and Labour Leader Joop den Uyl at a press conference in The Hague on 18 November 1972.
Hans van Mierlo and Labour Leader Wim Kok during a debate in the House of Representatives on 13 September 1989.
Hans van Mierlo, Els Borst and Party Leader Alexander Pechtold during party conference in Breda on 7 November 2009.

Henricus Antonius Franciscus Maria Oliva van Mierlo was born on 18 August 1931 in Breda in the province of North Brabant in a Roman Catholic family as the second child of eight children of Anthonius Alphonsus Marie van Mierlo (born 9 May 1902) and Adriana Maria Francisca van der Schrieck (born 3 April 1905). After receiving his diploma Gymnasium-A at the Canisius College in Nijmegen he studied at the Radboud University Nijmegen, where he received a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degree in 1960. After graduating, he became a journalist for the NRC Handelsblad and worked as a managing editor from 1960 until 1967, first as an editor Home Affairs, later as the opinion page's chief editor.

Politics


Party foundation

In 1966 Van Mierlo together with Hans Gruijters founded the Democrats 66 party after continuing frustrations with The Establishment parties. Van Mierlo was selected as Leader and Chairman of the Democrats 66 on 14 October 1966. For the Dutch general election of 1967 Van Mierlo was the lijsttrekker (top candidate) and won seven seats in the House of Representatives, the first time the Democrats 66 won representation in the States General of the Netherlands.

Van Mierlo was elected as a member of the House of Representatives and the parliamentary leader of the Democrats 66 in the House on 23 February 1967. For the Dutch general elections of 1971 Van Mierlo again as lijsttrekker won eleven seats. For the Dutch general election of 1972 Van Mierlo for the third time as lijsttrekker won only six seats but after a long formation period a coalition agreement with the Labour Party (PvdA), Catholic People's Party (KVP), Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) and the Political Party of Radicals (PPR) was made which formed the Cabinet Den Uyl.

Hans Gruijters became Minister of Housing and Spatial Planning. Because of the disappointing election results Van Mierlo resigned as parliamentary leader of the Democrats 66 in the House of Representatives and Leader of the Democrats 66 on 1 September 1973. Van Mierlo remained a member of the House until after the Dutch general election of 1977 on 8 June 1977.

Cabinet of Dries van Agt

After the Dutch general election of 1981 Van Mierlo was asked by Jan Terlouw to become Minister of Defence in the Second Van Agt cabinet under Prime Minister Dries van Agt of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and served from 11 September 1981 until 4 November 1982. After the Dutch Senate election of 1983 Van Mierlo was elected as a Senator serving from 13 September 1983 until 4 June 1986.

In 1986 Van Mierlo staged a political comeback and was reelected as Leader of the Democrats 66 on 25 January 1986. For the Dutch general election of 1986 Van Mierlo back as lijsttrekker won nine seats. For the Dutch general election of 1989 Van Mierlo again as lijsttrekker won twelve seats. For the Dutch general election of 1994 Van Mierlo for the sixth time as Lijsttrekker won twenty four seats and the Democrats 66 became major-party in the House of Representatives.

Cabinet of Wim Kok

After an arduous cabinet formation with the Labour Party and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) a deal was struck that resulted in the First Kok cabinet with Van Mierlo becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs serving from 22 August 1994 until 3 August 1998.

The First Kok cabinet was considered groundbreaking in Dutch politics because it was the first Cabinet of the Netherlands since 1908 without a Christian democratic party. On 7 March 1997 Van Mierlo announced his retirement as Leader of the Democrats 66. Van Mierlo remained Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs until the Second Kok cabinet was installed on 3 August 1998. For the Dutch general election of 1998 Van Mierlo was reelected to the House of Representatives on 19 May 1998 but resigned on 18 August 1998.

Convention on the Future of Europe

Van Mierlo semi-retired from active politics on his sixty-seventh birthday. He served as the first Dutch representative to the Convention on the Future of Europe from 1 March 2002 until 26 September 2002. Following the end of his active political career, Van Mierlo occupied numerous seats on supervisory boards on cultural organizations.

Personal


He was appointed Minister of State on October 24, 1998, a mainly honorary title for politicians with an extensive history of government service. Hans van Mierlo has been married three times. He has a son from his first marriage and two daughters from the second. Since 1999 Van Mierlo had a relationship with the Dutch writer Connie Palmen; they got married on 11 November 2009, in Amsterdam.[2]

Death


Hans van Mierlo died on 11 March 2010 at the age of 78;[3][4] he had been living with a transplanted liver since 2000[5] which was required after liver failure as a consequence of a hepatitis C contamination contracted from a blood transfusion in 1982.[6]

Decorations


Honours
Ribbon barHonourCountryDateComment
Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 10 December 1982
Commander of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 30 December 1982
Commander of the Legion of Honour France 12 February 1999
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit Germany 30 May 2003
Honorific Titles
Ribbon barHonourCountryDateComment
Minister of State Netherlands 24 October 1998 Style of Excellency

References


  1. Van in isolation: [v?n].
  2. (in Dutch) Connie Palmen en Hans van Mierlo getrouwd
  3. "Hans van Mierlo, changer of Dutch politics, dies at 78". nrc.nl. Archived from the original on 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  4. (in Dutch) "'Van Mierlo tot laatst betrokken bij D66'" Archived 2010-03-13 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Hans van Mierlo is overleden". nrcnext.nl.
  6. Voor Mr D66 was politic een passie (in Dutch), de Stentor.