Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert

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Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert 2015 (1).jpg
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in 2015
Minister of Defence
In office
5 November 2012 – 4 October 2017
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Preceded by Hans Hillen
Succeeded by Klaas Dijkhoff
Member of the House of Representatives
Assumed office
23 March 2017
In office
17 June 2010 – 5 November 2012
Member of the European Parliament
In office
20 July 2004 – 17 June 2010
Constituency Netherlands
Personal details
Born Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert
(1973-04-07) 7 April 1973 (age 44)
Heerlen, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (from 2000)
Other political
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group
Spouse(s) Erik-Jan Hennis (m. 2003)
Children 1 stepson
Residence Nederhorst den Berg, Netherlands
Alma mater European Secretarial Academy
Occupation Politician
Civil servant
Management consultant

Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert (born 7 April 1973) is a Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). She served as Minister of Defence in the Cabinet Rutte II from 5 November 2012 until 4 October 2017.[1][2] She previously served as a Member of the European Parliament for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group from 20 July 2004 until 17 June 2010 when she became a Member of the House of Representatives serving until 5 November 2012.[3] She returned to the House of Representatives after the 2017 election.


Early life[edit]

Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert was born in Heerlen, Netherlands. She followed her secondary education at the St. Anthony's College in Gouda and studied at the European Secretarial Academy in Utrecht.


In 2004 Hennis-Plasschaert was elected into the European Parliament for the VVD (European parliamentary affiliation: European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party) with 44,000 preference votes. In the European Parliament Hennis-Plasschaert was a member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and a substitute for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. She also served as a member of the Delegation to the EU-Romania Joint Parliamentary Committee and a substitute for the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert with United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on 22 May 2013.
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and then Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans with President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on 28 November 2013.

In May 2005 she filed a report for the European Parliament concerning the safety of airports. She argued that safety regulations against terrorist attacks, should only apply for airports, and not for the neighbouring areas. Furthermore, the costs and safety regulations should not distort free competition. In February 2006 parliament she asked questions concerning the code of conduct for the media set up by the European Commission after the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. In March 2006 she wanted to enter Belarus to monitor the presidential election as an independent observer. She was refused entry.

In February 2010 Hennis-Plasschaert, as rapporteur on the issue, led the EP vote halting an EU-United States agreement which would have granted US authorities access to banking data of European citizens in the SWIFT network. She was put on the 4th place on her party's list for the Dutch general election of 2010[4] and became a member of the Dutch House of Representatives. She focused on matters of public safety, Dutch police, equality of treatment, LGBT rights, and emergency management. During the Dutch general election of 2012, she was number 4 on the list for the VVD and thus reelected. After the following cabinet formation she became the presumptive Minister of Defence for Cabinet Rutte II.[5] In October 2015, she was named the most influential woman in the Netherlands.[6]

In 2017, the Dutch Safety Board published a report highlighting serious failures in the Ministry of Defence surrounding a mortar incident in Mali. Hennis announced her resignation after a debate in the House of Representatives on 3 October,[2] handing in her resignation the following day.[7]


She has been married to Erik-Jan Hennis since 27 September 2003 and has a stepson. They live in Nederhorst den Berg.


  1. ^ (in Dutch) 'Alle ministers zijn nu bekend', NOS, 28 October 2012
  2. ^ a b "Dutch defense minister resigns over peacekeepers' deaths in Mali". Reuters. 3 October 2017. 
  3. ^ (in Dutch) Rutte II: 'alle namen van het nieuwe kabinet', RTL, 25 October 2012
  4. ^ (in Dutch) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert over 4de plaats op VVD-lijst, NOS, 30 March 2010
  5. ^ (in Dutch) De bewindspersonen van het tweede kabinet-Rutte, NOS, 29 October 2012
  6. ^ (in Dutch) Hennis-Plasschaert geeft flamboyant leiding, Volkskrant, 12 October 2015
  7. ^ "J.A. (Jeanine) Hennis-Plasschaert". Parlement & Politiek (in Dutch). Retrieved 4 October 2017. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hans Hillen
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Klaas Dijkhoff