Frans Timmermans

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Frans Timmermans
Timmermans2 (9595849965).jpg
First Vice President of the European Commission
Designate
Taking office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker (Designate)
Succeeding Catherine Ashton
European Commissioner for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights
Designate
Taking office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker (Designate)
Succeeding Maroš Šefčovič (Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration)
Martine Reicherts (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 November 2012
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Preceded by Uri Rosenthal
Succeeded by TBA
State Secretary for European Affairs
In office
22 February 2007 – 23 February 2010
Prime Minister Jan Pieter Balkenende
Preceded by Atzo Nicolaï
Succeeded by Ben Knapen
Personal details
Born Franciscus Cornelis Gerardus Maria Timmermans
(1961-05-06) 6 May 1961 (age 53)
Maastricht, Netherlands
Political party Democrats 66 (1985–1990)
Labour Party (1990–present)
Children 2 daughters
2 sons
Alma mater Radboud University Nijmegen
University of Lorraine
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website (Dutch) Party website
Military service
Allegiance  Netherlands
Service/branch Royal Netherlands Army
Years of service 1986–1987
Rank Nl-landmacht-soldaat der 2e klasse.svg Private First Class
Unit Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service
Battles/wars Cold War

Franciscus Cornelis Gerardus Maria "Frans" Timmermans (born 6 May 1961) is a Dutch politician. He is the Minister of Foreign Affairs since 5 November 2012 in the Cabinet Rutte II and the First Vice President Designate of the European Commission

Timmermans previously served as a Member of the House of Representatives from 19 May 1998 until 22 February 2007 when after the Dutch general election of 2006 he became the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet Balkenende IV and was charged with European Affairs. On 23 February 2010 the Cabinet Balkenende IV fell after the Labour Party withdrew its support. After the Dutch general election of 2010 Timmermans returned to the House of Representatives on 17 June 2010. After the Dutch general election of 2012 the Labour Party and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) formed a coalition agreement that resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Rutte II and Timmermans became Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Franciscus Cornelis Gerardus Maria Timmermans was born on 6 May 1961 in Maastricht in the Netherlands Province of Limburg in a Roman Catholic family. His went to the Sint Stevens-Woluwe elementary school in Sint-Stevens-Woluwe in Belgium. In 1972 for his secondary school he went to the lyceum Saint George's English School in Rome in Italy and from 1975 until 1980 he attended the athenaeum Bernardinuscollege in his future hometown Heerlen. In 1980 he joined the Radboud University Nijmegen and got a Master of Arts degree in French literature in 1985. In 1984 he also enrolled in the Nancy-Université in Nancy in France and studied European Law, French literature and History, and got a degree as a Master of European Law and another Master of Arts also 1985. On 6 January 1986 he was conscripted in the Royal Netherlands Army as a Private first class for the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service as a Russian prisoner of war interrogator.

Politics[edit]

Diplomat and Civil servant[edit]

On 1 August 1987 the day he was discharged from his service in the Royal Netherlands Army he became a civil servant in the Integration department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On 1 July 1990 he became the Deputy Secretary of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Moscow in Russia. On 1 September 1993 he returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Director-General of the department of Development Cooperation. On 15 March 1994 he left the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and became an Assistant to European Commissioner Hans van den Broek. Timmermans left a year later on 15 March 1995 to become the Senior Advisor and Private Secretary to Max van der Stoel the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Member of the House of Representatives[edit]

After the Dutch general election of 1998 Timmermans was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives for the Labour Party and was installed as Member of the House of Representatives on 19 May 1998. He served as the Deputy Chairman of the Commission for Foreign Affairs from November 2001 until 25 September 2002 when he became the Chairman of the Commission for Economic Affairs until 18 March 2003 when he again became the Deputy Chairman of the Commission for Foreign Affairs serving until 22 February 2007. Timmermans represented the House of Representatives in the Convention on the Future of Europe from March 2002 until July 2003. Timmermans also served as a Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 21 September 1998 until 22 February 2007. Timmermans was reelected to the House of Representatives after the Dutch general elections of 2002 and 2003.

State Secretary[edit]

Frans Timmermans with United States Secretary of State John Kerry at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit on 24 March 2014.

After the Dutch general election of 2006 the Labour Party, Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and the ChristianUnion (CU) party formed a coalition agreement that resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Balkenende VI. Timmermans became State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and was in charge of coordinating the government policy with regard to the European Union, because of this Timmermans was given the diplomatic title of Minister of European Affairs during international trips. A major theme during his time as State Secretary was to increase support for European integration. This was done both by seeking greater influence of citizens on European policies and by improving communication and public perception. Besides citizens the aim was that education should have also been more involved in Europe. During his time as State Secretary the Treaty of Lisbon was signed, but not before Timmermans and Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende successfully lobbied to obtain a greater role for national parliaments in the European Union decision-making process. In February 2010, NATO officially requested the Netherlands to extend its military involvement in Task Force Uruzgan. The Labour Party strongly opposed the extension of the mission and on 23 February 2010 the Cabinet Balkenende IV fell after the Labour Party officially withdrew its support with all Labour Party cabinet-members resigning.

Return as a Member of the House of Representatives[edit]

Following the withdrawal of the Labour Party from the coalition agreement, the Cabinet Balkenende IV remained as a Demissionary cabinet until the Dutch general election of 2010. Following a coalition agreement between the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, Christian Democratic Appeal and the Party for Freedom (PVV) the Labour Party became an opposition party. Timmermans was again elected to the House of Representatives and was installed on 17 June 2010. During his second tenure as a Member of the House of Representatives he was the parliamentary spokesman of the Labour Party for Foreign Affairs and European Affairs.

Minister of Foreign Affairs[edit]

After the fall of the Cabinet Rutte I and the Dutch general election of 2012 the Labour Party and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy formed a coalition agreement that resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Rutte II and Timmermans became Minister of Foreign Affairs taking office on 5 November 2012. On 24 March and March 25 2014 the Netherlands hosted the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, Timmermans as Minister of Foreign Affairs was charged with welcoming all attending representatives. On 17 July 2014 passenger flight Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine killing 194 Dutch citizens. The next day Timmermans flew to Kiev and met with President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to discuss the situation. On 21 July 2014 Timmermans flew to New York City in the United States to address the United Nations Security Council. Timmermans delivered an emotional speech that was widely praised by the international community.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Personal[edit]

Timmermans was previously married and has two children from his first marriage, a daughter (born 1986) and a son (born 1989). Timmermans remarried in 2000 with Irene Timmermans, he and his second wife have a son Max (born 2004) and a daughter Mare (born 2006). Timmermans is a polyglot; apart from his native Dutch and Limburgish he is fluent in, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian.[8]

Decorations[edit]

National honours
Ribbon bar Honour Date & Comment
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Knight BAR.png Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau 17 March 2010
Foreign honours
Ribbon bar Honour Date & Comment
POL Order Zaslugi RP kl4 BAR.png Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland 2006
Romanian Order of Merit Medal Ribbon.png Commander of the Order For Merit (Romania)
Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (French) 2007
Order of the Southern Cross Grand Collar Ribbon.png Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil) 2008
EST Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana - 1st Class BAR.png 1st Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana (Estonia) 2008
LTU Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas 2008
SWE Order of the Polar Star (after 1975) - Commander BAR.png Commander of the Order of the Polar Star (Sweden) 2009
CHL Order of Merit of Chile - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Chile) 2009

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Atzo Nicolaï
State Secretary for European Affairs
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Ben Knapen
Preceded by
Uri Rosenthal
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2012–2014
Succeeded by
TBD
Preceded by
Neelie Kroes
Dutch European Commissioner
Designate

2014–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Catherine Ashton
First Vice President of the European Commission
Designate

2014–present
Preceded by
Maroš Šefčovič
as European Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration
European Commissioner for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights
Designate

2014–present
Preceded by
Martine Reicherts
as European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship