Gijs de Vries

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Gijs de Vries
Member of the European
Court of Auditors
In office
1 January 2011 – 1 January 2014
Member of the Court of Audit
In office
1 January 2008 – 1 January 2011
European Union Counter-terrorism Coordinator
In office
25 March 2004 – 1 March 2007
Secretary-GeneralJavier Solana
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byGilles de Kerchove
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
23 May 2002 – 8 October 2002
Parliamentary groupPeople's Party for
Freedom and Democracy
State Secretary for the Interior
and Kingdom Relations
In office
3 August 1998 – 22 July 2002
Prime MinisterWim Kok
Preceded byTonny van de Vondervoort
Jacob Kohnstamm
(as State Secretaries for the Interior)
Succeeded byRob Hessing
Member of the European Parliament
In office
24 July 1984 – 3 August 1998
Parliamentary groupEuropean Liberal
Democrat and Reform
Party Group

Liberal and Democratic
Reformist Group

Liberal and Democratic

Personal details
Gijsbert Marius de Vries

(1956-02-22) 22 February 1956 (age 68)
New York City, New York, United States
NationalityAmerican, Dutch
Political partyDemocrats 66 (since 2010)
Other political
People's Party for
Freedom and Democracy

Residence(s)Oxford, England
Alma materLeiden University
(Bachelor of Social Science, Master of Social Science)
OccupationPolitician · Diplomat · Civil servant · Economist · Researcher · Author · Professor

Gijsbert Marius "Gijs" de Vries (born 22 February 1956) is a retired Dutch-American politician and diplomat who served as State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations from 1998 to 2002 and European Union Counter-terrorism Coordinator from 2004 until 2007. He was a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) until 2010, when he joined the Democrats 66 (D66) party.


From 1984 to 1998, Gijs de Vries was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for three consecutive terms. From 1994 to 1998, he was chairman of the group of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.[1] He resigned from the European Parliament to become State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations under the Second Kok cabinet. He was later appointed the European Union's anti-terrorism coordinator from March 2004 to March 2007. As of September 2008, he was chairman of the European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF).[2]

As the EU anti-terrorism coordinator, he worked for Javier Solana in the Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCCM) pillar. Solana outlined his duties as being to streamline, organise and co-ordinate the EU and its members fight against terrorism.

He stood down from the post in March 2007, citing personal reasons, although it is commonly understood that the position's mandate did not have the necessary operational powers, as well as an overall reluctance within member states to supply information regarding anti-terror activities, even though the member states fully supported the establishment of the anti-terrorism coordinator after the 2004 Madrid train bombings.[3] In September 2007, MEPs called for the post to be filled, having been vacant for six months, as well as for it to be given real powers to carry out the post's tasks.[4] On 20 September 2007, the Belgian Gilles de Kerchove was appointed to succeed De Vries in the post.[5]

Prior to 2010 De Vries had been a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). However, due to dissatisfaction at the VVD's decision to form the First Rutte cabinet, a minority government with the support of the Party for Freedom (PVV) led by nationalist Geert Wilders he left the party and joined the social-liberal Democrats 66 (D66) party then in opposition.[6]


Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 1 March 2007 Elevated from Knight (10 December 2002)


  1. ^ "Your MEPs : Gijs M. de VRIES". Archived from the original on 2009-02-10.
  2. ^ ESRIF intermediate report Archived 2011-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, September 2008.
  3. ^ EU anti-terror chief to step down in March Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, EurActiv, 13 February 2007
  4. ^ Counter-terrorism sparks hot debate in EU parliament 5/9/7
  5. ^ Article Detail[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Parlement en Politiek Biografie Gijs de Vrijs.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Tonny van de Vondervoort
as State Secretary for the Interior
State Secretary for the Interior
and Kingdom Relations

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jacob Kohnstamm
as State Secretary for the Interior
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Office established
European Union Counter-terrorism Coordinator
Succeeded by