Geoffrey Van Orden

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Geoffrey Van Orden
Geoffrey Van Orden.JPG
Vice-Chair of the European Conservatives and Reformists
UK Delegation
Assumed office
11 December 2011
Chairman Martin Callanan
Syed Kamall
Preceded by Timothy Kirkhope
Serving alongside Ryszard Legutko
Hans-Olaf Henkel
Raffaele Fitto
Roberts Zīle
Helga Stevens
Jan Zahradil (until 2014)
Derk Jan Eppink (until 2014)
Member of the European Parliament
for East of England
Assumed office
10 June 1999
Preceded by Position established
Personal details
Born (1945-04-10) 10 April 1945 (age 72)
Waterlooville, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Children 3
Alma mater University of Sussex
Profession Soldier
Awards MBE
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1964–1994
Rank Brigadier
Unit Intelligence Corps

Geoffrey Charles Van Orden MBE (born 10 April 1945) is a British politician and former Army officer. He is currently Member of the European Parliament for the East of England region for the Conservative Party. He was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999.

Early life and career[edit]

Van Orden was born in Waterlooville, Hampshire in 1945. He attended the Mons Officer Cadet School and was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps in 1964. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1966, Captain in 1970, Major in 1977, Lieutenant-Colonel in 1983, Colonel in 1988, and Brigadier in 1991. He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) aged just 27.

He served worldwide as part of the British Army from 1964 to 1985. In 1985 he became an instructor at the German Armed Forces Staff College in Hamburg (1985–88) and was later the Chief of Staff of the British Army in the British sector of Berlin (1988–90). In 1990 he worked as part of the Assessment Staff for the Joint Intelligence Committee in London. From 1991 to 1994 he served as the Executive Secretary of International Military Staff at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, his final military appointment.

In 1995 he was appointed as a senior official in the European Commission for foreign and security policy issues. He held this post until 1999, when he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the Conservative Party.

European Parliament[edit]

Defence and security[edit]

Following his election to the European Parliament, Van Orden became the Conservatives' spokesman for Defence and Security policy. Van Orden is a member of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) and acts as the ECR coordinator for SEDE.

Foreign affairs[edit]

Van Orden is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and has an interest in India, chairing the EU-India Chamber of Commerce and being a founder member of the Friends of India. He is a member of several other "Conservative Friends of ..." groups: India, Sri Lanka, Poland, Turkey and Israel.[1][2]

During the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union, Van Orden was the rapporteur for Bulgaria in the European Parliament, and regularly reported on the progress of the country with regard to EU membership requirements. His final report in November 2006 confirmed Bulgaria's preparedness to join the EU.

Political positions[edit]

Van Orden has said he is a eurosceptic[citation needed], whilst conflictingly believing in and facilitating the enlargement of the EU. He is opposed to British membership of the euro, the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe and the Treaty of Lisbon. He had long campaigned for the Conservative Party to end their association with the European People's Party in the European Parliament, an aim which was finally achieved in 2009.

He is a member of the Countryside Alliance[1] and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.[3]

Van Orden is a founding president of the New Direction — The Foundation for European Reform think tank[4] and is also a member of the Bow Group think tank.[1][5]

Personal life[edit]

Van Orden is married and has three daughters.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Patron and Board". New Direction Foundation. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Conservative Friends of Poland website Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b "Geoffrey Van Orden". Conservative Party. Archived from the original on 5 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "About Geoffrey Van Orden". Geoffrey Van Orden. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]