Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

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Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Hoop Scheffer I (crop).jpg
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in 2005
11th Secretary General of NATO
In office
1 January 2004 – 1 August 2009
Preceded byAlessandro Minuto-Rizzo (Acting)
Succeeded byAnders Fogh Rasmussen
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 July 2002 – 3 December 2003
Prime MinisterJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byJozias van Aartsen
Succeeded byBen Bot
Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal
In office
27 March 1997 – 1 October 2001
See list
Preceded byEnneüs Heerma
Succeeded byJan Peter Balkenende
Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal
in the House of Representatives
In office
27 March 1997 – 1 October 2001
Preceded byEnneüs Heerma
Succeeded byJan Peter Balkenende
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
3 June 1986 – 23 May 2002
Personal details
Jakob Gijsbert de Hoop Scheffer

(1948-04-03) 3 April 1948 (age 74)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal (since 1982)
Other political
Democrats 66
Jeannine van Oorschot
(m. 1979)
Children2 daughters
ResidenceThe Hague
Alma materLeiden University
(LL.B., LL.M.)
OccupationPolitician · Diplomat · Civil servant · Jurist · Corporate director · Nonprofit director · Lobbyist · Professor
Military service
Allegiance Netherlands
Branch/service Royal Netherlands Air Force
Years of service1974–1976 (Conscription)
1976–1978 (Reserve)
RankNetherlands-AirForce-OF-1b.svg Second lieutenant
Battles/warsCold War

Jakob Gijsbert "Jaap" de Hoop Scheffer GCMG ([ˈjaːb də ˈɦoːp ˈsxɛfər] (listen);[1] born 3 April 1948) is a Dutch retired politician, jurist and diplomat who served as the eleventh Secretary General of NATO from January 2004 to August 2009.[2] A member of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), which he led from March 1997 to October 2001, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from July 2002 until December 2003 under Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

De Hoop Scheffer studied law at Leiden University obtaining a Master of Laws degree before he worked as a civil servant and diplomat for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic service from October 1976 until June 1986. In the general election of 1986 he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives, where he served a frontbencher and spokesperson for foreign and European affairs. After party leader and parliamentary leader Enneüs Heerma stepped down De Hoop Scheffer was selected as his successor on 27 March 1997; he was the party's lijsttrekker (top candidate) for the election of 1998. Following an internal power struggle with party chairman Marnix van Rij before an upcoming general election De Hoop Scheffer announced that he was stepping down as leader and would not stand at the election.

De Hoop Scheffer continued to be active in politics and was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet Balkenende I taking office on 22 July 2002. The cabinet Balkenende I fell just 87 days into its term. After the election of 2003 De Hoop Scheffer continued his office in the Cabinet Balkenende II. In September 2003 De Hoop Scheffer was nominated as the next Secretary General of NATO serving from 1 January 2004 until 1 August 2009.

De Hoop Scheffer retired from active politics at 61 and became active in the private and public sectors as a corporate and non-profit director served on several state commissions and councils and as a occasional diplomat and lobbyist for several economic delegations on behalf of the government, he also worked as a distinguished professor of International relations, Diplomatic Practice and Governmental Studies at his alma mater Leiden University from September 2009 until September 2014. He is still involved with his alma mater as a Distinguished Fellow at Leiden University College The Hague.[3]

Following his retirement, De Hoop Scheffer continues to be active as a advocate and lobbyist for more European integration and improved Transatlantic relations. De Hoop Scheffer is known for his abilities as an effective negotiator and skilful manager. De Hoop Scheffer was granted the honorary title of Minister of State on 22 June 2018 and as of 2023 continues to comment on political affairs as a statesman.

Early life[edit]

Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and United States Secretary of State Colin Powell during a press conference at the Harry S Truman Building on 10 November 2004.
Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan during the Munich Security Conference of 2005 on 12 February 2005.
Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and President of the United States George W. Bush during a meeting in the Oval Office in the White House on 27 October 2006.
Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and President of Russia Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the 2008 Bucharest summit in Bucharest on 4 April 2008.

De Hoop Scheffer attended the Ignatius Gymnasium in Amsterdam from March 1961 until April 1966 and applied at the Leiden University in June 1968 majoring in Law and obtaining an Bachelor of Laws degree in June 1970 before graduating with an Master of Laws degree in July 1974. De Hoop Scheffer was conscripted in the Royal Netherlands Air Force serving as a Second lieutenant from August 1974 until September 1976. De Hoop Scheffer worked as a civil servant for the Diplomatic service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from October 1976 until June 1986 as an Attaché in Accra, Ghana from October 1976 until April 1978 and in Brussels, Belgium for the NATO delegation from April 1978 until December 1980 and as secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from December 1980 until June 1986.

Political career[edit]

Member of Tweede Kamer[edit]

De Hoop Scheffer was a member of the social liberal Democrats 66 (D66) party from 1979 until 1982 until he became a member of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). After the election of 1986 De Hoop Scheffer was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives on 3 June 1986 and served as a frontbencher chairing the parliamentary committee for Development Cooperation and parliamentary committee for Foreign Affairs and was spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, NATO, Development Cooperation and Development aid.

Leader of Christian Democratic Appeal (1997-2001)[edit]

After the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal and Parliamentary leader of the CDA in the Tweede Kamer Enneüs Heerma announced that he was stepping down as Leader and Parliamentary leader following increasing criticism on his leadership, the CDA leadership approached De Hoop Scheffer as a candidate to succeed him. De Hoop Scheffer accepted and became Leader and Parliamentary leader on 27 March 1997.

For the election of 1998 De Hoop Scheffer served as Lijsttrekker (top candidate) and the CDA suffered a loss, losing 5 seats and now had 29 seats in the Tweede Kamer. On 1 October 2001 De Hoop Scheffer announced that he was stepping down as Leader and Parliamentary leader following an internal power struggle with the Party Chairman Marnix van Rij and that he would not stand for the election of 2002.

Dutch Foreign Minister[edit]

The CDA won in the 2002 elections and played the leading role in the formation of a new coalition government. The new Prime Minister Balkenende appointed De Hoop Scheffer as foreign minister in his short-lived first cabinet, a position he retained in the second Balkenende cabinet after the elections of 22 January 2003.

In 2003, the foreign policy of the Netherlands was largely determined by De Hoop Scheffer and Balkenende. Its main foreign policy decision was to contribute to Operation Iraqi Freedom, although its formulation ("political" but not "military" support) gave it an ambivalent character. However, 1,100 Dutch servicemen were deployed as part of the Stabilisation Force Iraq in the southern province of Al Muthanna from 2003 till 2005, and two of them were killed in action.

In 2003 Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was also the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

NATO Secretary General (2004-2009)[edit]

He became the 11th NATO Secretary General on 5 January 2004, succeeding Lord Robertson, who held the post from 1999 until 2003. The announcement was made on 22 September 2003.[4] As Secretary General, De Hoop Scheffer urged NATO members to contribute more to NATO operations such as the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.[5] He "informed a NATO conference that 'NATO troops have to guard pipelines that transport oil and gas that is directed for the West,' and more generally to protect sea routes used by tankers and other 'crucial infrastructure' of the energy system".[6]

On 21 June 2007, De Hoop Scheffer attended an economic conference in Montreal where he encouraged Canada to continue its military mission in Afghanistan past its 2009 withdrawal date. He said, "I think more time is necessary to create those conditions for reconstruction and development to go on."[7] His visit coincided with the death of three more Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. "I know how dramatic it is if Canadian soldiers pay the highest price, but I still say, you are there for a good cause."[8] De Hoop Scheffer's comments were made as the Harper government was under pressure by opposition politicians to define the length of Canada's commitment to the mission in Afghanistan.

It has been alleged by Iran that Jaap de Hoop Scheffer met Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi while he was visiting Afghanistan in 2008 amid Iranian accusations that the CIA was backing the terrorist group. This accusation was later denied by NATO.[9]

On 21 July 2009 De Hoop Scheffer suffered a heart attack. He underwent angioplasty after which he was reported to be in stable condition.[10][11]

His successor, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, took office on 1 August 2009.

Post-political career[edit]

On 1 September 2009 De Hoop Scheffer was appointed to the Pieter Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University. The appointment is part-time, and the holder of this chair is appointed for a maximum of three years.

In addition, De Hoop Scheffer has held a variety of paid and unpaid positions, including:

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ The first word in isolation: [ˈjaːp].
  2. ^ NATO - Biography Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
  3. ^ "Distinguished Fellows". Leiden University. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  4. ^ "New Secretary General takes up office". NATO. 7 January 2004.
  5. ^ "Nato boss pleads for Afghan focus". BBC. 19 June 2004.
  6. ^ Chomsky, Noam (2011-04-21) Is the world too big to fail?, Salon.com
  7. ^ "Canada should stay in Afghanistan past 2009, NATO chief says". CBC News. 21 June 2007.
  8. ^ "Canada should stay in Afghanistan past 2009, NATO chief says". CBC News. 21 June 2007.
  9. ^ Spencer, Richard; Osborn, Andrew; Waterfield, Bruno (23 February 2010). "Iran arrests most wanted man after police board civilian flight". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  10. ^ "DPG Media Privacy Gate".
  11. ^ "De Hoop Scheffer gaat goed vooruit". 22 July 2009.
  12. ^ Board of Directors Archived 2018-09-24 at the Wayback Machine Air France–KLM.
  13. ^ International Advisory Board Archived 2016-09-21 at the Wayback Machine Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT), Manama.
  14. ^ Board of Trustees[permanent dead link] Friends of Europe.
  15. ^ Trilateral Commission membership list of March 2017 Archived 2019-02-01 at the Wayback Machine, "Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former Secretary General of NATO and Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hague"
  16. ^ Hoge onderscheiding voor De Hoop Scheffer - online de Volkskrant (Dutch)
  17. ^ Ridder Grootkruis in de Orde van Oranje Nassau voor De Hoop Scheffer Website Ministry of General Affairs (Dutch)
  18. ^ Lithuanian Presidency Archived 2014-04-19 at the Wayback Machine, Lithuanian Orders searching form
  19. ^ Decretul 301 din 10 mai 2004 (Decretul 301/2004) Archived 2010-01-22 at the Wayback Machine - Decree from the Romanian president to award Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
  20. ^ Slovak republic website, State honours Archived 2016-04-13 at the Wayback Machine : 1st Class in 2009 (click on "Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross" to see the holders' table)
  21. ^ stafoto
  22. ^ Hoge Britse ridderorde voor De Hoop Scheffer - Website www.nu.nl (Dutch)

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal
Succeeded by
Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Secretary General of NATO
Succeeded by