Hans van den Broek

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His Excellency
Hans van den Broek
Hans van den Broek.jpg
European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy
In office
6 January 1993 – 15 September 1999
President Jacques Delors
Jacques Santer
Manuel Marín (1999)
Preceded by Frans Andriessen
Succeeded by Leon Brittan
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
4 November 1982 – 3 January 1993
Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers
Preceded by Dries van Agt
Succeeded by Peter Kooijmans
Personal details
Born Henri van den Broek
(1936-12-11) 11 December 1936 (age 78)
Paris, France
Political party KVP (pre 1980)
CDA (from 1980)
Spouse(s) Josée van Schendel
Children 2 daughters
Alma mater Utrecht University
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic
This is a Dutch name; the family name is van den Broek, not Broek.

Henri (Hans) van den Broek About this sound listen  (born 11 December 1936) is a leading Dutch politician. He is best known for having served 11 years as the Netherlands's minister of foreign affairs between 1982 and 1993 when he became European commissioner for foreign relations.


Van den Broek began his career as a lawyer. He joined the Katholieke Volkspartij (KVP) and was member of the municipal council of Rheden between 1970 and 1974. Between 1976 and 1981 he was member of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, as representative of KVP and later of the Christen-Democratisch Appèl (CDA).

He was Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs in the governments of Ruud Lubbers three times and was in 1991 one of the EU negotiators of the Brioni Agreement, which ended the ten day war in Slovenia. On 6 January 1993 he became a member of the European Commission, once again with responsibility for foreign relations, especially the Enlargement of the European Union. He remained in that post until March 1999, when he retired from European politics.

On 25 February 2005, he was granted the honorary title of Minister of State.[1]

Van den Broek is president of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael) and also of Radio Netherlands. He is a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Global Panel Foundation, a respected NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world.[2]

He is a signatory of Global Zero (campaign), a non-profit international initiative for the elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide.[3] Since its launch in Paris in December 2008,[4] Global Zero (campaign) has grown to 300 leaders, including current and former heads of state, national security officials and military commanders, and 400,000 citizens worldwide; developed a practical step-by-step plan to eliminate nuclear weapons; launched an international student campaign with 75 campus chapters in eight countries; and produced an acclaimed documentary film, Countdown to Zero, in partnership with Lawrence Bender and Participant Media.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Van den Broek is married with Josee van den Broek-van Schendel. They have two daughters, one of whom is Princess Marilène, the wife of Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven.


Government offices
Preceded by
Dries van Agt
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Peter Kooijmans
Preceded by
Frans Andriessen
Dutch European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Frits Bolkestein


External links[edit]