By Anton Lutter
After the longest cabinet formation, namely 299 days, the Netherlands has a new Minister of Foreign Affairs, succeeding his fellow party member Mr. Ben Knapen.
The current government is again headed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Rutte-IV cabinet, which started on 10 January 2022 and consists of a coalition of the political parties VVD, D66, CDA and the Christian Union, has a record number of ministers and state secretaries, namely 20 ministers and 9 state secretaries.
The Minister of Finance in the Rutter-III Cabinet 2017-2021 H.E. Mr. Wopke Hoekstra has taken office as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister and is also the political leader of the CDA.
In an interview he reiterated the importance and challenges of the Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Tensions are rising in many places in the world. We have great concerns about what is happening in Ukraine. We also see what is happening in and around the China Sea and in the relationship between the United States and China. And the list is much longer. Europe has developed economically as a great power, but will have to catch up geopolitically by cooperating more and being much more aware of the threats we face from outside. Because in that case, unity is strength”.
Minister Hoekstra was born in 1975 and studied law in Leiden. In 2000 he studied law and international politics in Rome and subsequently obtained his MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau. He worked for Royal Dutch Shell in Berlin, Hamburg and Rotterdam and later at management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, where he became a partner in 2015.
He was elected to the Senate in 2011 and served as Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee between 2015 and the end of his membership of the senate in 2017. After the parliamentary elections in 2021 he was also both member of parliament and CDA political leader. As minister of Foreign Affairs his portfolio consist of foreign policy, Europe and international cultural policy. H.E. Mr. Wopke Hoekstra is married having four children.