Bart Groothuis

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Bart Groothuis
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
1 February 2020
Personal details
Bart Groothuis

(1981-01-01) 1 January 1981 (age 40)
Reutum, Netherlands
Political partyPeople's Party for Freedom and Democracy, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
Alma materRadboud University

Bart Groothuis (born 1 January 1981) is a Dutch politician serving as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 2020. He is a member of the Dutch conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, which are both part of the European political group Renew Europe.

He worked for politician Henk Kamp and as a cybersecurity expert at the Ministry of Defence before receiving a seat in the European Parliament as a result of Brexit in February 2020.

Education and early career[edit]

Groothuis was born on 1 January 1981 in Reutum, a village in the province Overijssel.[1] He grew up in that village and attended the high school Canisius.[2] Subsequently, Groothuis studied economics and history at Radboud University Nijmegen, and during this time he joined the Youth Organisation Freedom and Democracy, the independent youth division of the VVD.[2][3] Alongside, he studied international relations at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.[2]

His first job was as a political assistant of Henk Kamp (VVD), who was back then a member of the House of Representatives, between 2007 and 2009.[1][4] Groothuis joined the Ministry of Defence thereafter.[3] There, he served as the interim-director of the cyber security bureau from April 2013 until June 2014, when he became the permanent director.[1] Besides, he co-authored the VVD's election program for the 2010 general election.[4][5]

Political career[edit]

During the May 2019 European Parliament election, Groothuis was placed fourth on the VVD's party list.[6] He was also on the election program commission.[7] His party won four seats, and Groothuis himself received 21,353 preference votes, enough to meet the preference threshold.[8] However, Liesje Schreinemacher, who was fifth on the party list, rose one spot, because she had more votes, resulting in Groothuis not being elected.[9]

When the United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020, the Netherlands received three of its seats. The Kiesraad decided to allocate these seats by treating them as restzetels (nl) from the last European Parliament election.[10] One of those seats went to Groothuis, who was installed on 11 February and left his job at the Defense Ministry. His term started retroactively on 1 February.[1][11][12] Within his party, Groothuis is the spokesperson for defense, technology, geopolitics, energy, industry, digitization, and cyber.[13]

When news publications including The New York Times reported in April 2020 that conclusions about Chinese disinformation had been toned down in a European report under Chinese pressure, Groothuis wrote a letter to Josep Borrell asking for an explanation. His letter was also signed by a number of other MEPs.[14] In addition, he said that he wanted the European Union to trace and sanction the people responsible for Chinese trolls and bots.[15]

Groothuis has been appointed the parliament's cybersecurity rapporteur to work on a revised NIS Directive, a set of cybersecurity regulations, called NIS2. The new directive is supposed to expand the regulations to new sectors and to make it easier for countries and companies to share information about cybersecurity threats. They can be reluctant to share threats because of the General Data Protection Regulation.[16]

Committees and delegations[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Groothuis has voiced the opinion that European legislation surrounding digitization is lagging behind the innovations and that the European tech sector has fallen behind those of other parts of the world.[19] He opposes becoming technologically dependent on countries like China in a time when power is determined increasingly by technology. He has called for European investments to reverse course.[2][19] Groothuis also advocates a strong European defense to deter attacks, but he has opposed a European army.[2][20]

Personal life[edit]

Groothuis has been living in the South Holland town Voorburg since the late 2000s.[21][22] He has a wife, who he met in 2004, and two daughters.[19][23] In his youth, Groothuis played football at the local club VV Reutum.[2] He is a member of a local chapter of Lions Club.[24]


  1. ^ a b c d "Drs. B. (Bart) Groothuis". (in Dutch). Parlementair Documentatie Centrum. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Berg, Tom van den (22 May 2019). "Oud-inwoner Reutum dicht bij zetel in Europees parlement". Tubantia (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b Maassen, Lara (22 May 2019). "Deze oud-studenten willen niets liever dan naar Brussel". Vox (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b Kammer, Claudia (27 May 2019). "Wie valt op bij de nieuwkomers?". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  5. ^ Graaf, Frans de; Groothuis, Bart. "Orde op zaken - Verkiezingsprogramma 2010-2014" (PDF). People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (in Dutch). p. 2. Retrieved 27 February 2020 – via
  6. ^ "Kandidatenlijst Europese Verkiezingen". People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Focus en lef: voor een sterk Nederland in een veilig Europa - Verkiezingsprogramma Europees Parlement 2019" (PDF). People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (in Dutch). p. 1. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Europees Parlement 23 mei 2019". Kiesraad (in Dutch). Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Officiële uitslag verkiezing Nederlandse leden Europees Parlement 2019". Kiesraad (Press release) (in Dutch). 4 June 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Factsheet: Zetelverdeling Europees Parlement na brexit". Kiesraad (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Verdeling drie extra zetels Europees Parlement". Kiesraad (Press release) (in Dutch). 6 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Minutes - Tuesday, 11 February 2020". European Parliament. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Bart Groothuis". People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  14. ^ Schmidt, Christoph (27 April 2020). "Europa doelwit van Chinese coronapropaganda". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  15. ^ Vlaskamp, Marije (30 April 2020). "Boog de Europese Commissie voor Chinese druk in een rapport over desinformatie over coronavirus?". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  16. ^ Monterie, Alfred (31 May 2021). "EU wil informatiedeling over cybercrime opschroeven" [EU wants to increase sharing of cybercrime information]. Computable (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  17. ^ "MEPs filling the ranks of five new committees" (PDF). European Parliament. 10 July 2020. p. 11. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  18. ^ "Bart GROOTHUIS - 9th parliamentary term". European Parliament. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  19. ^ a b c Maassen, Lara (15 August 2019). "Nijmegen als opstapje naar Brussel". Radboud University Nijmegen (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Rob de Wijk: 'De NAVO ligt op z'n gat. Europees leger komt er zeker'" [Rob de Wijk: 'NATO hit the skids. European army will surely come']. NPO Radio 1 (in Dutch). 24 August 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Voorburger Bart Groothuis #4 VVD bij Europese verkiezingen". People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Press release) (in Dutch). 8 May 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Proces-verbaal tot het vaststellen aan welke lijst of lijsten de extra zetels voor Nederland in het Europees Parlement toevallen en aan welke kandidaten deze zetels worden toegewezen" (PDF). Kiesraad (in Dutch). 6 February 2020. p. 8. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  23. ^ Groothuis, Bart (28 February 2021). "Europarlementariër Bart Groothuis denkt in Brussel nog vaak aan Reutum: 'Dat dorpsgevoel is me dierbaar'" [MEP Bart Groothuis frequently thinks about Reutum from Brussels: 'That village feel is precious to me']. Tubantia (Interview) (in Dutch). Interviewed by Herman Haverkate. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  24. ^ "NLdoet 2019, Lionsclub Voorburg ondersteunt 'De Boot'" (in Dutch). Lionsclub Voorburg. Retrieved 27 February 2020.