Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert

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Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert 2013-1.jpg
Minister of Defence
Assumed office
5 November 2012
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Preceded by Hans Hillen
Personal details
Born Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert
(1973-04-07) 7 April 1973 (age 41)
Heerlen, Netherlands
Political party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Spouse(s) Erik-Jan Hennis (2003–present)
Children 1 stepson
Alma mater European Secretarial Academy

Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert (born April 7, 1973) is a Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). She has been the Minister of Defence in the Cabinet Rutte II since November 5, 2012.[1] She previously served as a Member of the European Parliament for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group from July 20, 2004 until June 17, 2010 when she became a Member of the House of Representatives serving until November 5, 2012.[2]


Early life[edit]

Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert was born in Heerlen, Netherlands. She followed her secondary education at the St. Anthony's College in Gouda and studied at the European Secretarial Academy in Utrecht.


In 2004 Hennis-Plasschaert was elected into the European Parliament for the VVD (European parliamentary affiliation: European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party) with 44,000 preference votes. In the European Parliament Hennis-Plasschaert was a member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and a substitute for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. She also served as a member of the Delegation to the EU-Romania Joint Parliamentary Committee and a substitute for the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert with United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in 2013.

In May 2005 she filed a report for the European Parliament concerning the safety of airports. She argued that safety regulations against terrorist attacks, should only apply for airports, and not for the neighbouring areas. Furthermore the costs and safety regulations should not distort free competition. In February 2006 parliament she asked questions concerning the code of conduct for the media set up by the European Commission after the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. In March 2006 she wanted to enter Belarus to monitor the presidential election as an independent observer. She was refused entry.

In February 2010 Hennis-Plasschaert, as rapporteur on the issue, led the EP vote halting an EU-United States agreement which would have granted US authorities access to banking data of European citizens in the SWIFT network. She was put on the 4th place on her party's list for the Dutch general election of 2010[3] and became a member of the Dutch House of Representatives. She focused on matters of public safety, Dutch police, equality of treatment, LGBT rights, and emergency management. During the Dutch general election of 2012, she was number 4 on the list for the VVD and thus reelected. After the following cabinet formation she became the first female Minister of Defence for Cabinet Rutte II.[4]


She has been married to Erik-Jan Hennis since September 27, 2003 and has a stepson. They live in Nederhorst den Berg.


  1. ^ (Dutch) 'Alle ministers zijn nu bekend', NOS, October 28, 2012
  2. ^ (Dutch) Rutte II: 'alle namen van het nieuwe kabinet', RTL, October 25, 2012
  3. ^ (Dutch) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert over 4de plaats op VVD-lijst, NOS, March 30, 2010
  4. ^ (Dutch) De bewindspersonen van het tweede kabinet-Rutte, NOS, October 29, 2012

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hans Hillen
Minister of Defence