Halbe Zijlstra in 2012
|Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy in the House of Representatives|
1 November 2012
|Preceded by||Mark Rutte|
|Member of the House of Representatives|
20 September 2012
|State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science|
14 October 2010 – 5 November 2012
|Prime Minister||Mark Rutte|
|Preceded by||Marja van Bijsterveldt
|Succeeded by||Sander Dekker|
|Member of the House of Representatives|
30 November 2006 – 14 October 2010
21 January 1969
|Political party||People's Party for Freedom and Democracy|
|Spouse(s)||Ingrid de Bondt|
|Residence||Wassenaar, South Holland|
|Alma mater||University of Groningen (MA)|
Halbe Zijlstra (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦɑlbə ˈzɛilstraː]; born 21 January 1969) is a Dutch politician of the right wing People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). He has been the chairman of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy group in the House of Representatives since 1 November 2012 and a member of the House of Representatives since 20 September 2012 and previously from 30 November 2006 until 14 October 2010. He served as State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science in the first Rutte cabinet from 14 October 2010 until 5 November 2012.
Education and early career
Halbe Zijlstra was born in Oosterwolde, in the province of Friesland, where he attended secondary education at vwo level. He studied Sociology at the University of Groningen, after which he worked for several companies. Having been a member of People's Party for Freedom and Democracy since 1994, Zijlstra served as a member of the municipal council of the city of Utrecht from 1998 to 2001, and again from 2003 to 2006.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in the 2006 general election, taking his seat on 30 November. In the House, he was his party's spokesman on care, energy, sports, higher education and sciences and biotechnology. Shortly after the election, he introduced a bill with measures to tackle football hooligans together with Labour Party MP Hans Spekman, and in 2007 the bill was adopted by Guusje ter Horst, who had become Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in that year.
On 14 October 2010, Zijlstra was appointed as State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science in the newly installed first Rutte cabinet. In this position, he was responsible for a broad portfolio of policy areas within the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, including higher education, science and knowledge, the training and labour conditions of teachers, culture and cultural heritage. In his two-year term, Zijlstra initiated several changes in higher education policy, including the introduction of scholarships more favourable for long-term students and the creation of the possibility to prolong one's study in exceptional cases in 2011, and placing base scholarships for Master students under the loan system in 2012. Additionally, Zijlstra initiated budget cuts in the culture sector, sharpening the conditions necessary to be eligible for government subsidies, and merging several cultural funds. These measures saved a total of 200 million euros.
After Rutte's first cabinet lost a motion of no confidence in 2012 and new elections were held, Zijlstra returned to the House of Representatives as chairman of his party's parliamentary group. In 2016, he announced he would not be available for a second term as parliamentary group leader after the 2017 general election, but that he aspires to become minister.
- "Biografie, onderwijs en loopbaan van Halbe Zijlstra". Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 October 2016.
- "Drs. H. (Halbe) Zijlstra". Parlement & Politiek (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 October 2016.
- "Halbe Zijlstra nieuwe fractievoorzitter VVD". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 31 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
- "Dijkhoff ambieert opnieuw positie in kabinet of fractievoorzitterschap VVD". NU.nl (in Dutch). 20 September 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
- "De slang van Van der Staaij en Roemers poes: ook politici kunnen niet zonder hun dier". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 4 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Halbe Zijlstra.|
- (Dutch) Drs. H. (Halbe) Zijlstra (Parlement & Politiek)
- (Dutch) Halbe Zijlstra (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal)
Marja van Bijsterveldt
|State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science
|Party political offices|
|Parliamentary leader of the
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
in the House of Representatives