Piet Hein Donner
Donner a jurist and civil servant by occupation, worked for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Justice from 1976 until 1990 when he became a Member of the Scientific Council for Government Policy serving until 1993. Donner served as the Director of the Scientific Council for Government Policy from 1 January 1993 until 22 December 1997 when he became a Member of the Council of State. After the Dutch general election of 2002 Donner was asked by the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) to become informateur for the next cabinet. After a cabinet formation with the Christian Democratic Appeal, the Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) a deal was struck that resulted in the Cabinet Balkenende I with Donner becoming Minister of Justice under Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende taking office on 22 July 2002. Donner remained Minister of Justice in the Cabinet Balkenende II following the Dutch general election of 2003. On 21 September 2006 Donner and the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment Sybilla Dekker resigned in the wake of a Dutch Safety Board enquiry into a fire at a cell block near Schiphol Airport. Donner was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives after the Dutch general election of 2006 taking office on 30 November 2006. After the cabinet formation of the Cabinet Balkenende IV Donner was asked to become Minister of Social Affairs and Employment and took office on 22 February 2007. After the Dutch general election of 2010 a cabinet formation with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and the Christian Democratic Appeal resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Rutte I, Donner was asked to become Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations under Prime Minister Mark Rutte and took office on 14 October 2010. On 16 December 2011 Donner was selected as the new Vice President of the Council of State and resigned the same day, he took office on 1 February 2012.
The Donner family has produced a number of Calvinist judges. Piet Hein Donner's father, André Donner, was a judge at the European Court of Justice in 1958-1979 and was part of the government commission that looked into Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands's dealing with the Lockheed Corporation. His grandfather was Jan Donner, who served as Minister of Justice for the Anti Revolutionary Party in the first cabinet of Dirk Jan de Geer and was later president of the Dutch Supreme Court. His uncle Jan Hein Donner, however, was a chess grandmaster and author. Piet Hein Donner studied Law at the Free University of Amsterdam, obtaining a degree in 1974. During his study, he joined the student society L.A.N.X. in 1968.
In 2006, Piet Hein Donner recorded a rap song together with Meester G to explain his point of view on the Dutch soft-drug policy. It was a reply to a song by Gerd Leers, Mayor of Maastricht, (with punk band Heideroosjes), which called for a more progressive policy which would not only regulate the selling of soft drugs, but also legalise their production.
On 13 September 2006, Donner was the subject of controversy when he suggested Islamic law could be established in the Netherlands by democratic means. He responded by a clarification that he was not advocating such a scenario but warning against it. That same month, a report of the investigative commission into a fire at Schiphol Airport jail was released, condemning Dutch government officials. Donner, as responsible justice minister, resigned in aftermath of the report's conclusions. His successor was Ernst Hirsch Ballin, who had been justice minister in the third Lubbers cabinet. Four months later, Donner was appointed Minister of Social Affairs and Employment in the new Cabinet, Balkenende IV.
- (English) Piet Hein Donner tipped for Council of State job, DutchNews, 6 July 2011
- (Dutch) 'Spies volgt Donner op in kabinet', NU.nl, 16 December 2011
- (Dutch) Benoeming Spies tot minister vrijdag verwacht, NOS, 16 December 2011
- (Dutch) Donner naar Raad van State, NOS, 16 December 2011
- (Dutch) 'Don' Donner rapt de dope van straat, NU.nl, February 25, 2006
- (English) Netherlands: Minister Warns Islamic Law Could Happen Via Democracy, Western Resistance, September 13, 2006
- (English) Dutch ministers quit over blaze, BBC News, September 21, 2006
- (Dutch) Oudgedienden op Justitie en VROM, NOS, September 22, 2006
- (Dutch) Prof.Mr. J.P.H. (Piet Hein) Donner Parlement & Politiek
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|Director of the Scientific Council for Government Policy
|Minister of Justice of the Netherlands
Aart Jan de Geus
|Minister of Social Affairs and Employment of the Netherlands
Ernst Hirsch Ballin
|Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations of the Netherlands
Herman Tjeenk Willink
|Vice President of the Council of State of the Netherlands