Bart Groothuis

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Bart Groothuis
Bart Groothuis.jpg
Bart Groothuis at the European Parliament, 2022
Member of the European Parliament
for the Netherlands
Assumed office
1 February 2020
Parliamentary groupRenew Europe
Personal details
Bart Groothuis

(1981-01-01) 1 January 1981 (age 41)
Reutum, Netherlands
Political party Netherlands:
People'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 and grew up in Reutum, in Overijssel, and attended Canisius high school.[1][2] Groothuis studied economics and history at Radboud University Nijmegen, graduating in 2006, and international relations at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael in 2006.[2][3] While a student, he was a member of the Youth Organisation Freedom and Democracy, and adjunct of the VVD.[2][4]

His first job, between 2007 and 2009, was as personal assistant of Henk Kamp (VVD), who was then a member of the Dutch House of Representatives.[1][5] Groothuis joined the Afghanistan team of 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.[5][6]

Political career[edit]

During the May 2019 European Parliament election, Groothuis was placed fourth on the VVD's party list.[7] He was also on the election program commission.[8] His party won four seats, and Groothuis himself received 21,353 preference votes, enough to meet the preference threshold.[9] However, Liesje Schreinemacher, who was fifth on the party list, rose one spot, because she had more votes, resulting in Groothuis not being elected.[10]

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.[11] 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][12][13] Within his party, Groothuis is the spokesperson for defense, technology, geopolitics, energy, industry, digitization, and cyber.[14]

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.[15] In addition, he said that he wanted the European Union to trace and sanction the people responsible for Chinese trolls and bots.[16] Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Groothuis called for more defense cooperation in Europe. He proposed to spend €200 billion of the European Union's (EU) COVID-19 pandemic fund on defense, and he was in favor of the establishment of a European Security Council, not connected to the EU, in the long term.[3]

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. Groothuis told that they can be reluctant to share threats because of the General Data Protection Regulation.[17] Besides, the NIS2 Directive includes fines for companies that do not protect themselves sufficiently against cyber attacks.[18]

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.[21] 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][21] Groothuis also advocates a strong European defense to deter attacks, but he has opposed a European army.[2][22]

Internet sanctions[edit]

In March 2022, Groothuis was one of the lead authors, along with Bill Woodcock, Eva Kaili, Steve Crocker, Marina Kaljurand, Jeff Moss, Runa Sandvik, John Levine, Moez Chakchouk and some forty other members of the Internet governance and cybersecurity community, of an open letter entitled Multistakeholder Imposition of Internet Sanctions.[23] The letter outlines a set of principles governing the imposition of Internet-related sanctions, and describes the mechanism being built to operationalize the sanction mechanism. The letter was occasioned by a request from the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation to ICANN and RIPE, requesting that Russia's top-level domains and IP addresses be revoked.[24] The letter advocates more effective sanctions, more narrowly-focused on military and propaganda targets, and avoiding collateral effects upon civilians.[25][26][27]

Personal life[edit]

Groothuis has been living in the South Holland town Voorburg since the late 2000s.[28][29] He has a wife, who he met in 2004, and two daughters.[21][30] In his youth, Groothuis played football at the local club VV Reutum.[2] He is a member of a local chapter of Lions Club.[31]


  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 c Cats, Ria (21 April 2022). "'Je moet defensie in Europa véél meer integreren om de Navo te laten werken'" ['You have to integrate European defense much more to get a working NATO']. FD (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  4. ^ Maassen, Lara (22 May 2019). "Deze oud-studenten willen niets liever dan naar Brussel". Vox (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b Kammer, Claudia (27 May 2019). "Wie valt op bij de nieuwkomers?". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ "Kandidatenlijst Europese Verkiezingen". People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "Europees Parlement 23 mei 2019". Kiesraad (in Dutch). Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Officiële uitslag verkiezing Nederlandse leden Europees Parlement 2019". Kiesraad (Press release) (in Dutch). 4 June 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Factsheet: Zetelverdeling Europees Parlement na brexit". Kiesraad (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Verdeling drie extra zetels Europees Parlement". Kiesraad (Press release) (in Dutch). 6 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Minutes - Tuesday, 11 February 2020". European Parliament. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Bart Groothuis". People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  15. ^ Schmidt, Christoph (27 April 2020). "Europa doelwit van Chinese coronapropaganda". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Boogaard, Frans (12 November 2021). "Niet beveiligd tegen cyberinbraken? Dan riskeer je een megaboete" [Not protected against cyber intrusions? Then you will risk a huge fine]. De Ondernemer (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  19. ^ "MEPs filling the ranks of five new committees" (PDF). European Parliament. 10 July 2020. p. 11. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Bart GROOTHUIS - 9th parliamentary term". European Parliament. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  21. ^ a b c Maassen, Lara (15 August 2019). "Nijmegen als opstapje naar Brussel". Radboud University Nijmegen (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  22. ^ "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.
  23. ^ Groothuis, Bart; Woodcock, Bill; Kaljurand, Marina; Crocker, Steve; et al. (10 March 2022). "Multistakeholder Imposition of Internet Sanctions". Packet Clearing House. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2022. We believe it is the responsibility of the global Internet governance community to weigh the costs and risks of sanctions against the moral imperatives that call us to action in defense of society, and we must address this governance problem now and in the future. We believe the time is right for the formation of a new, minimal, multistakeholder mechanism, similar in scale to NSP-Sec or Outages, which after due process and consensus would publish sanctioned IP addresses and domain names in the form of public data feeds in standard forms (BGP and RPZ), to be consumed by any organization that chooses to subscribe to the principles and their outcome.
  24. ^ Fedorov, Mykhailo (28 February 2022). "Correspondence to ICANN" (PDF).
  25. ^ Bajak, Frank (10 March 2022). "Experts: How to impose internet sanctions on Russia". Associated Press. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  26. ^ Timberg, Craig (10 March 2022). "Internet experts suggest ways to selectively block Russian military and propaganda sites". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  27. ^ Claburn, Thomas (10 March 2022). "Ukraine invasion: We should consider internet sanctions, says ICANN ex-CEO". The Register. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ "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.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ "NLdoet 2019, Lionsclub Voorburg ondersteunt 'De Boot'" (in Dutch). Lionsclub Voorburg. Retrieved 27 February 2020.