Michiel van Hulten

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Michiel van Hulten

Michiel Frans van Hulten (born 18 February 1969) is a former Dutch politician. He was a Member of the European Parliament (1999–2004)[1] and was chairman of the Labour Party (Dutch: Partij van de Arbeid, PvdA) from December 2005 until April 2007.

Early years[edit]

Michiel van Hulten is the son of former Member of Parliament, Senator and former undersecretary to the Minister of Transport Michel van Hulten and former local alderwoman and provincial councillor Els van Hulten-Delfgaauw. He spent much of his youth abroad. In addition to the Netherlands he lived in Mali, Burkina Faso, the United States and the United Kingdom. Van Hulten earned the International Baccalaureate at Atlantic College (part of the United World Colleges group of schools) in Wales. He holds a BSc(Econ) in Government (1990) and a MSc in Public Administration and Public Policy (1991) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a Master of Arts in European Political and Administrative Studies (1993) from the College of Europe in Bruges.[2] During his university years, he became a member of the Dutch Labour Party and the Young Socialists.

Political career[edit]

Reaching the European Parliament[edit]

Van Hulten began his career in 1993 as a policy officer at the Dutch Trades Union Confederation (Dutch: Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging, FNV) in Amsterdam. He was then successively private secretary (political advisor) to Education and Science Minister Jo Ritzen and Administrator in the Secretariat of the EU Council of Ministers, where he worked first on internal market issues and then on EU enlargement. In 1997, Van Hulten took part in the election campaign for Tony Blair in the UK, and in 1998 he worked for the Labour Party (Dutch: Partij van de Arbeid, PvdA) campaign in the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, as speechwriter for party leader Wim Kok.

In 1999 Van Hulten was a successful Labour Party candidate in the European Parliament elections. He was a member of the Committee on Budgetary Control, which is tasked with reducing EU budgetary fraud and irregularities. Together with colleagues from other countries and parties he founded the Campaign for Parliament Reform,[3] a group of MEPs which campaigned for an end the monthly 'travelling circus' of Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg and greater accountability for the reimbursements of parliamentary expenses. In 2002, Van Hulten was named one the Europeans of the Year by the weekly newspaper European Voice.

Party chairman[edit]

He decided not to seek re-election in 2004 and joined the Board of Policy Network, an international progressive think-tank based in London. From 2004-2005 he was Executive Vice-Chair of Policy Network. After PvdA chairman Ruud Koole announced in 2005 he was stepping down, Van Hulten ran for the chairmanship of the Labour Party and won with over 60% of the vote.

Van Hulten was campaign chairman for the Labour Party in the successful local elections in 2006 as well as in the parliamentary elections of 2006, when the Labour Party unexpectedly lost 9 seats. In the months following the elections he was sometimes criticised for his idiosyncratic style. After Van Hulten presented a set of reform proposals to the party executive in April 2007 three board members informed him via a letter that they disagreed with his views. Van Hulten saw this as a breach of trust and resigned with immediate effect on April 25, 2007. The same evening the rest of the board also resigned and an interim board was appointed under the leadership of Van Hultens predecessor Ruud Koole.

After electoral politics[edit]

From 2007-2012 van Hulten was a founding Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Since 2007, Van Hulten has worked in Brussels, first for public affairs firm Burson-Marsteller as managing director for government relations. Since 2010 he has been an independent consultant in the field of European Union democracy, transparency and accountability.[2] In 2011 he founded his own consulting firm Place Lux, which focuses on non-profit work. From 2011 to 2013 he was course leader of the FutureLab Europe programme at the European Policy Centre. From 2011-2013 he was a guest lecturer on the European Parliament for the European journalism Master's programme at the Institut des Hautes Etudes des Communications Sociales in Brussels. From 2011 to 2014 he was managing director of VoteWatch Europe, an organization that tracks the voting records of the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

In 2017 Van Hulten co-founded BOLDT, a communications agency. As of 2019 he is a senior advisor at BOLDT.

From 2014 to 2017 Van Hulten was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science.[2]

In 2017 and 2018 Van Hulten was named one of the top 40 EU influencers on Twitter[4][5].


  1. ^ "Michiel van HULTEN - History of parliamentary service - MEPs - European Parliament". Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  2. ^ a b c "Michiel van Hulten Biography LSE". Lse.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  3. ^ Nick Clegg; Michiel van Hulten. "REFORMING THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT" (PDF). Fpc.org.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  4. ^ "Who are the EU digital influencers? How are they shaping Europe?". events.euractiv.com. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  5. ^ Ardeleanu, Raluca Ciocian (2018-11-15). "Here they are: the 40 most influential Twitter accounts of 2018!". euractiv.com. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ruud Koole
Chairman of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Lilianne Ploumen