Hans van Mierlo

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His Excellency
Hans van Mierlo
H.A.F.M.O. van Mierlo, minister van Defensie.jpg
Hans van Mierlo in 1981
Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
22 August 1994 – 3 August 1998
Serving with Hans Dijkstal
Prime Minister Wim Kok
Preceded by Wim Kok
Succeeded by Annemarie Jorritsma
Els Borst
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 August 1994 – 3 August 1998
Prime Minister Wim Kok
Preceded by Pieter Kooijmans
Succeeded by Jozias van Aartsen
Minister of Defence
In office
11 September 1981 – 4 November 1982
Prime Minister Dries van Agt
Preceded by Pieter de Geus
Succeeded by Job de Ruiter
Leader of the Democrats 66
In office
25 January 1986 – 15 February 1998
Preceded by Maarten Engwirda
Succeeded by Els Borst
In office
14 September 1966 – 1 September 1973
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Jan Terlouw
Leader of the Democrats 66 in the House of Representatives
In office
3 June 1986 – 22 August 1994
Preceded by Maarten Engwirda
Succeeded by Gerrit-Jan Wolffensperger
In office
23 February 1967 – 1 September 1973
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Jan Terlouw
Chairman of the Democrats 66
In office
14 September 1966 – 16 February 1967
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Gerben Ringnalda
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
19 May 1998 – 18 August 1998
In office
3 June 1986 – 22 August 1994
In office
23 February 1967 – 8 June 1977
Senator of the Netherlands
In office
13 September 1983 – 4 June 1986
Personal details
Born Henricus Antonius Franciscus Maria Oliva van Mierlo
(1931-08-18)18 August 1931
Breda, Netherlands
Died 11 March 2010(2010-03-11) (aged 78)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Democrats 66 (from 1966)
Spouse(s) Anna Los (m. 1961; div. 1963)
Olla van Maasdijk (m. 1964; div. 1984)
Connie Palmen (m. 2009; his death 2011)
Domestic partner Gretta Nieuwenhuizen
(1985–1986)
Aafke van der Made
(1987–1997)
Connie Palmen
(1999–2009)
Children 2 daughters, 1 son
Alma mater Radboud University Nijmegen (Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws)
Occupation Politician
Journalist
Managing editor
Political pundit
Signature
Military service
Allegiance Netherlands
Service/branch Royal Netherlands Army
Years of service 1951–1952
Rank Nl-landmacht-sergeant-wachtmeester.svg Sergeant

Henricus Antonius Franciscus Maria Oliva "Hans" van Mierlo (Dutch pronunciation: ['hans fan 'mirlo];[1] 18 August 1931 – 11 March 2010) was a Dutch politician. He was a founder of the Democrats 66 (D66) party and served as Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 22 August 1994 to 3 August 1998 and Minister of Defence from 11 September 1981 to 4 November 1982. He was known for his abilities as a team leader, consensus builder and an advocate for Third Way-politics.

Early life[edit]

Henricus Antonius Franciscus Maria Oliva van Mierlo was born on 18 August 1931 in Breda in the province of North Brabant in a Roman Catholic family as the second child of eight children of Anthonius Alphonsus Marie van Mierlo (born 9 May 1902) and Adriana Maria Francisca van der Schrieck (born 3 April 1905). After receiving his diploma Gymnasium-A at the Canisius College in Nijmegen he studied at the Radboud University Nijmegen, where he received a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degree in 1960. After graduating, he became a journalist for the NRC Handelsblad and worked as a managing editor from 1960 until 1967, first as an editor Home Affairs, later as the opinion page's chief editor.

Politics[edit]

Party foundation[edit]

Hans van Mierlo in 1971

In 1966 Van Mierlo together with Hans Gruijters founded the Democrats 66 party after continuing frustrations with The Establishment parties. Van Mierlo was selected as Leader and Chairman of the Democrats 66 on 14 October 1966. For the Dutch general election of 1967 Van Mierlo was the lijsttrekker (top candidate) and won seven seats in the House of Representatives, the first time the Democrats 66 won representation in the States General of the Netherlands.

Van Mierlo was elected as a member of the House of Representatives and the parliamentary leader of the Democrats 66 in the House on 23 February 1967. For the Dutch general elections of 1971 Van Mierlo again as lijsttrekker won eleven seats. For the Dutch general election of 1972 Van Mierlo for the third time as lijsttrekker won only six seats but after a long formation period a coalition agreement with the Labour Party (PvdA), Catholic People's Party (KVP), Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) and the Political Party of Radicals (PPR) was made which formed the Cabinet Den Uyl.

Hans Gruijters became Minister of Housing and Spatial Planning. Because of the disappointing election results Van Mierlo resigned as parliamentary leader of the Democrats 66 in the House of Representatives and Leader of the Democrats 66 on 1 September 1973. Van Mierlo remained a member of the House until after the Dutch general election of 1977 on 8 June 1977.

Cabinet of Dries van Agt[edit]

Van Mierlo in 1981 as Minister of Defence
Hans van Mierlo as a Dutch Senator, 1983

After the Dutch general election of 1981 Van Mierlo was asked by Jan Terlouw to become Minister of Defence in the Second Van Agt cabinet under Prime Minister Dries van Agt of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and served from 11 September 1981 until 4 November 1982. After the Dutch Senate election of 1983 Van Mierlo was elected as a Senator serving from 13 September 1983 until 4 June 1986.

In 1986 Van Mierlo staged a political comeback and was reelected as Leader of the Democrats 66 on 25 January 1986. For the Dutch general election of 1986 Van Mierlo back as lijsttrekker won nine seats. For the Dutch general election of 1989 Van Mierlo again as lijsttrekker won twelve seats. For the Dutch general election of 1994 Van Mierlo for the sixth time as Lijsttrekker won twenty four seats and the Democrats 66 became major-party in the House of Representatives.

Cabinet of Wim Kok[edit]

After an arduous cabinet formation with the Labour Party and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) a deal was struck that resulted in the First Kok cabinet with Van Mierlo becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs serving from 22 August 1994 until 3 August 1998.

The First Kok cabinet was considered groundbreaking in Dutch politics because it was the first Cabinet of the Netherlands since 1908 without a Christian democratic party. On 7 March 1997 Van Mierlo announced his retirement as Leader of the Democrats 66. Van Mierlo remained Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs until the Second Kok cabinet was installed on 3 August 1998. For the Dutch general election of 1998 Van Mierlo was reelected to the House of Representatives on 19 May 1998 but resigned on 18 August 1998.

Convention on the Future of Europe[edit]

Van Mierlo in 2009

Van Mierlo semi-retired from active politics on his sixty-seventh birthday. He served as the first Dutch representative to the Convention on the Future of Europe from 1 March 2002 until 26 September 2002. Following the end of his active political career, Van Mierlo occupied numerous seats on supervisory boards on cultural organizations.

Personal[edit]

He was appointed Minister of State on October 24, 1998, a mainly honorary title for politicians with an extensive history of government service. Hans van Mierlo has been married three times. He has a son from his first marriage and two daughters from the second. Since 1999 Van Mierlo had a relationship with the Dutch writer Connie Palmen; they got married on 11 November 2009, in Amsterdam.[2]

Death[edit]

Hans van Mierlo died on 11 March 2010 at the age of 78;[3][4] he had been living with a transplanted liver since 2000[5] which was required after liver failure as a consequence of a hepatitis C contamination contracted from a blood transfusion in 1982.[6]

Decorations[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Official
Party political offices
New title Chairman of the Democrats 66
1966–1967
Succeeded by
Gerben Ringnalda]]
Leader of the Democrats 66
1966–1973
Succeeded by
Jan Terlouw
Parliamentary leader of the Democrats 66
in the House of Representatives

1967–1973
Preceded by
Maarten Engwirda
Leader of the Democrats 66
1986–1998
Succeeded by
Els Borst
Parliamentary leader of the Democrats 66
in the House of Representatives

1986–1994
Succeeded by
Gerrit-Jan Wolffensperger
Political offices
Preceded by
Pieter de Geus
Minister of Defence
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Job de Ruiter
Preceded by
Wim Kok
Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands
1994–1998
Served alongside: Hans Dijkstal
Succeeded by
Annemarie Jorritsma
Els Borst
Preceded by
Pieter Kooijmans
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1994–1998
Succeeded by
Jozias van Aartsen