Wim van Eekelen


Willem Frederik "Wim" van Eekelen (born 5 February 1931) is a retired Dutch politician, diplomat, and political scientist.[1]

Wim van Eekelen
Wim van Eekelen in 1986
Member of the Senate
In office
13 June 1995  10 June 2003
Parliamentary groupPeople's Party for
Freedom and Democracy
Secretary General of the
Western European Union
In office
15 May 1989  15 November 1994
Preceded byAlfred Cahen
Succeeded byJosé Cutileiro
Minister of Defence
In office
14 July 1986  6 September 1988
Prime MinisterRuud Lubbers
Preceded byJob de Ruiter
Succeeded byPiet Bukman (Ad interim)
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
In office
5 November 1982  14 July 1986
Prime MinisterRuud Lubbers
Preceded byHans van den Broek
Succeeded byRené van der Linden
State Secretary for Defence
In office
20 January 1978  11 September 1981
Serving with Cees van Lent
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Preceded byCees van Lent
Succeeded byBram Stemerdink
Jan van Houwelingen
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
3 June 1986  14 July 1986
In office
25 August 1981  5 November 1982
In office
8 June 1977  20 January 1978
Parliamentary groupPeople's Party for
Freedom and Democracy
Personal details
Born
Willem Frederik van Eekelen

(1931-02-05) 5 February 1931 (age 90)
Utrecht, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Political partyPeople's Party for
Freedom and Democracy

(from 1955)
ResidenceThe Hague, Netherlands
Alma materUtrecht University
(Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws, Doctor of Philosophy)
Princeton University
(A.B.)
OccupationPolitician · Diplomat · Civil servant · Jurist · Political scientist · Researcher · Political consultant · Corporate director · Nonprofit director · Lobbyist · Author
Military service
Allegiance Netherlands
Branch/serviceRoyal Netherlands Army
Years of service1956–1957 (Conscription)
1957–1961 (Reserve)
Rank Lieutenant
UnitRegiment Huzaren van Boreel
Battles/warsCold War

Early life and education


Van Eekelen attended a Gymnasium in Utrecht from June 1943 until June 1949 and applied at the Utrecht University in June 1949 majoring in Law and obtaining a Bachelor of Laws degree in July 1951. Van Eekelen attended Princeton University and graduated in 1952 with an A.B. in politics after completing a senior thesis titled "The Marshall Plan and Its Significance for the Netherlands."[2] Van Eekelen graduated with an Master of Laws degree from the University of Utrecht in November 1954. Van Eekelen was conscripted in the Royal Netherlands Army serving in the cavalry Regiment Huzaren van Boreel as a Lieutenant from July 1956 until August 1957. Van Eekelen worked as a civil servant for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from September 1957 until June 1977 for the Diplomatic service from September 1957 until May 1974 as an Attaché in New Delhi, India from September 1957 until January 1960 in London, England from January 1960 until February 1964. Van Eekelen later returned to the Utrecht University in February 1964 for another postgraduate education where he worked as a researcher and got an doctorate as an Doctor of Philosophy in Political science on 18 November 1964.

Career


Van Eekelen worked as Attaché in Accra, Ghana from November 1964 until October 1966 and as a senior attaché for the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the European Union from October 1966 until May 1971 and as a Consul for the European Economic Community from May 1971 until August 1974. Van Eekelen worked as Director-General for the department of Atlantic Cooperation and Security Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from August 1974 until June 1977.

Van Eekelen was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives after the election of 1977, taking office on 8 June 1977. Following the cabinet formation of 1977 Van Eekelen was appointed as State Secretary for Defence in the Cabinet Van Agt–Wiegel, taking office on 20 January 1978. After the election of 1981 Van Eekelen returned as a Member of the House of Representatives, taking office on 25 August 1981. The Cabinet Van Agt–Wiegel was replaced by the Cabinet Van Agt II following the cabinet formation of 1981 on 11 September 1981. After the election of 1982 Van Eekelen was appointed State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet Lubbers I, taking office on 5 November 1982. After the election of 1986 Van Eekelen once again returned as a Member of the House of Representatives, taking office on 3 June 1986. Following the cabinet formation of 1986 Van Eekelen was appointed as Minister of Defence in the Cabinet Lubbers II, taking office on 14 July 1986. On 6 September 1988 Van Eekelen resigned following the conclusions of a parliamentary inquiry report into a passport fraud investigation that was mishandled by him during the time he serves as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the previous cabinet, his successor as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs René van der Linden subsequently resigned on 9 September 1988.

Minister of Defence Wim van Eekelen and Minister of Defence of France André Giraud at the Ministry of Defence on 13 April 1987.

Van Eekelen remained active in national politics, in April 1989 he was nominated as Secretary General of the Western European Union, serving from 15 May 1989 until 15 November 1994. Van Eekelen was elected as a Member of the Senate after the Senate election of 1995, taking office on 13 June 1995 serving as a frontbencher chairing several parliamentary committees. In January 2003 Van Eekelen announced his retirement from national politics and that he wouldn't stand for the Senate election of 2003 and continued to serve until the end of the parliamentary term on 10 June 2003.

After retirement


Van Eekelen retired after spending 26 years in national politics and became active in the private sector and public sector and occupied numerous seats as a corporate director and nonprofit director on several boards of directors and supervisory boards (Institute for Multiparty Democracy, Achmea, Netherlands Atlantic Association, Transnational Institute, Carnegie Foundation and the Institute of International Relations Clingendael) and served as an diplomat and lobbyist for several economic delegations on behalf of the government and as an advocate and lobbyist for Democracy, NATO and European integration.[3]

Van Eekelen is known for his abilities as a negotiator and consensus builder. Van Eekelen continues to comment on political affairs as of 2021 and holds the distinction as the only Dutchman that served as Secretary General of the Western European Union.[4]

Decorations


Honours
Ribbon barHonourCountryDateComment
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit Germany 12 October 1984
Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold II Belgium 15 September 1986
Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour France 17 February 1987
Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 10 December 1988
Commander of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 20 November 1994 Elevated from Knight (26 October 1981)
Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit Poland 6 May 1998
Commander of the Order of the Star Romania 13 June 2018 [5]

References


  1. "Van Eekelens visie op paspoortaffaire" (in Dutch). Volkskrant. 9 March 2001. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  2. Eekelenm, Willem Frederik Van (1952). "The Marshall Plan and Its Significance for the Netherlands". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. "Wim Van Eekelen: 'bedrijfsleven moet pro-Europees geluid laten horen'" (in Dutch). NPO. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  4. "Q-mail" (in Dutch). Trouw. 10 October 2000. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  5. "EDNL voorzitter ontvangt hoge Roemeense onderscheiding" (in Dutch). Eurodefense.nl. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2019.