René van der Linden

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Rene van der Linden
Rene van der Linden.jpg
Rene van der Linden in 2005
President of the Senate
In office
6 October 2009 – 28 June 2011
Preceded byYvonne Timmerman-Buck
Succeeded byFred de Graaf
President of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe
In office
1 January 2005 – 1 January 2008
Preceded byPeter Schieder
Succeeded byLluís Maria de Puig
Member of the Senate
In office
8 June 1999 – 9 June 2015
Parliamentary groupChristian Democratic Appeal
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
In office
14 July 1986 – 9 September 1988
Prime MinisterRuud Lubbers
Preceded byWim van Eekelen
Succeeded byBerend-Jan van
Voorst tot Voorst
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
29 November 1988 – 19 May 1998
In office
8 June 1977 – 14 July 1986
Parliamentary groupChristian Democratic Appeal (1980–1986)
Catholic People's Party
(1977–1980)
Personal details
Born
Pierre René Hubert Marie van der Linden

(1943-12-14) 14 December 1943 (age 76)
Eys, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal
(from 1980)
Other political
affiliations
Catholic People's Party
(until 1980)
ResidenceNuth, Netherlands
Alma materCatholic University Brabant
(Bachelor of Economics, Master of Economics)
OccupationPolitician · Diplomat · Civil servant · Economist · Researcher · Political consultant · Corporate director · Nonprofit director · Trade association executive · Education administrator · Teacher · Author · Lobbyist

Pierre René Hubert Marie "Rene" van der Linden (born 14 December 1943) is a retired Dutch politician and diplomat of the Catholic People's Party (KVP) and later the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and economist.

Van der Linden applied at the Catholic University Brabant in June 1964 majoring in Economics and obtaining an Bachelor of Economics degree in June 1966 and worked as student researcher before graduating with an Master of Economics degree in July 1970. Van der Linden worked as a economics teacher in Tilburg from April 1969 until July 1971. Van der Linden worked as a civil servant for the department of Food Quality of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries from July 1971 until January 1973 and served as Chief of staff for the European Commissioner of the Netherlands from January 1973 until January 1977 serving under Pierre Lardinois from January 1973 until January 1977 and for Henk Vredeling from January 1977 until June 1977.

Van der Linden was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives after the election of 1977, taking office on 8 June 1977 serving as a frontbencher and spokesperson for European Affairs and Agriculture and deputy spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Benelux. After the election of 1986 Van der Linden was appointed as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet Lubbers II, taking office on 14 July 1986. On 9 September 1988 Van der Linden resigned following the conclusions of a parliamentary inquiry report into a passport fraud investigation that was mishandled by his predecessor as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Wim van Eekelen who was then serving as Minister of Defence and who had resigned four days earlier on 6 September 1988. Van der Linden returned as a Member of the House of Representatives following the appointment of Jeltien Kraaijeveld-Wouters as Mayor of Hilversum, taking office on 29 November 1988 serving again as a frontbencher chairing the parliamentary committee for Foreign Affairs and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Agriculture and Benelux. In December 1997 Van der Linden announced that he wouldn't stand for the election of 1998 and continued to serve until the end of the parliamentary term on 19 May 1998. Van der Linden remained in active in national politics, he was elected as a Member of the Senate after the Senate election of 1999, taking office on 8 June 1999 serving as a frontbencher chairing the parliamentary committee for European Affairs and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and deputy spokesperson for Agriculture and Benelux. Van der Linden also served as President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1 January 2005 until 1 January 2008. Van der Linden also became active in the private sector and public sector and occupied numerous seats as a corporate director and nonprofit director on several boards of directors and supervisory boards (Atlantic Association, Robeco, Oxfam Novib, Trilateral Commission, Akkerbouw, Van Lanschot and Institute of International Relations Clingendael). Van der Linden also worked as a trade association executive for the Industry and Employers confederation (VNO-NCW) and as a education administrator for the Maastricht School of Management serving as Chairman of the Education board from October 1999 until November 2016. Van der Linden was nominated as President of the Senate following the appointed of Yvonne Timmerman-Buck as a Member of the Council of State, serving from 6 October 2009 until 28 June 2011. In November 2014 Van der Linden announced that he wouldn't stand for the Senate election of 2015 and continued to serve until the end of the parliamentary term on 9 June 2015.

Education[edit]

Economics: international administrative studies at Catholic Economics Faculty in Tilburg, (1966–1970), (now known as Tilburg University)

Career[edit]

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for European Affairs (1986–1988)

  • Member of the cabinet of European Commissioner Pierre Lardinois (1973–1977) and European Commissioner Henk Vredeling (1977)
  • Civil servant, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Netherlands (1971–1973)
  • Teacher of economics (1969)

Other posts currently held[edit]

Party political posts[edit]

Chairperson of EPP/CD group in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) (1999–2005) and vice-chairperson (1989–1999) Second vice-chairperson of the Christian Democratic political group, CDA, Second Chamber of the States-General of the Netherlands (1982–1986) Member of the party executive of the CDA Member of the party executive of the former Catholic Popular Party, (KVP), and vice-chairman of the KVP youth section

Other posts previously held[edit]

  • President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2005–2008)
  • Chairperson of the Netherlands delegation to PACE (2003–2005)
  • Delegated representative of the First Chamber of the States-General of the Netherlands to the Convention on the Future of the European Union
  • Patron of Stichting Lisboa, homeless children in Portugal (1995)
  • Chairman of the advisory committee of the national school of translators and interpreters, Rijkshogeschool Opleiding tolk-vertaler (1990)
  • Adviser to Combined Chambers of Commerce in Limburg (1989 and 1992)
  • Member of Consultative Interparliamentary Benelux Council (1977–1986)
  • Board member of the Netherlands Organisation for international assistance, NOVIB,
  • President of several cultural foundations

Van der Linden was secretary of state of foreign affairs in the Dutch cabinet Lubbers II. He was responsible for the passport fiasco which was caused by ministerial incompetence (Dutch: paspoortaffaire).

Controversies[edit]

Controversial claims about citizenship issues in Baltic Countries[edit]

During a press conference in Tallinn on 19 September 2007, a controversy ensued when Linden accused Estonia of not permitting non-citizen residents to take part in local elections.[1] Former Prime Minister of Estonia Mart Laar attempted to correct him, pointing out that all permanent residents in Estonia have the right to vote (but not to be elected) in local elections. However van der Linden referred to reports of the Amnesty International and other human rights organizations.

In reaction, the Estonian Social Democratic Party issued a statement calling that van der Linden be immediately dismissed from his post. Admitting that Linden's term of office is due to end in late 2007 anyway, the statement declared that he had with his inaccurate comments disqualified himself.[2][3]

On 2 October 2007, speaker of Estonian Parliament, Ene Ergma, sent a strongly worded open letter to van der Linden, asking him to do his homework and "give up spreading erroneous information about Estonia", which "created confusion and bewilderment both in the Estonian public and internationally."[4] In his reply, van der Linden expressed amazement at the content of the letter and the fact that Ene Ergma made accusations public before giving him any right of reply. He also pointed out that Ene Ergma never expressed such views to him during their meeting, which took place less than two weeks before.[5]

Later that month, in a press conference in Lithuania, he claimed that millions of people live without status in the Baltic countries.[6][7] The population of Estonia is roughly 1,342,000, of which roughly 8.5% are without defined citizenship.

Alleged financial interest in Russia[edit]

In August 2007, van der Linden became embroiled in controversy after articles in the Eesti Päevaleht suggested that van der Linden's family had business interests in Russia.[8][9] This is suspected to explain his lack of criticism towards Putin and the Russian government for human rights violations and his pro-Russia and anti-Baltic stand,[10] as well as his stand against relocating the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn from central Tallinn.

After a 3 October 2007 phone call from van der Linden, threatening investigation by French police, Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Estonian parliament's European Union affairs committee, held a press conference on 8 October 2007 where he presented materials collected from various publicly available Russian media sources in which central topic is van der Linden's role as the head of the supervisory council of a certain Dutch investment company that established the biggest industrial park in Europe in Sobinsk, Russia in late 2006.[11] Subsequently van der Linden denied all accusations and stated that he never had any financial interest in Russia neither is he serving as mentioned chairman.[12] He was called the head of the supervisory board of Noble House Group at the home page of the Dutch investment company Noble House Trading.[13] However, a representative of Noble House Holding told Estonia's ETV, on 7 October 2007, that van der Linden is not a member of the company's supervisory board and that the supervisory board would be appointed only next year.[14]

Decorations[edit]

Honours
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
OESSG Cavaliere BAR.jpg Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre Holy See 17 February 1987
Ordre de la couronne de Chene Commandeur ribbon.svg Commander of the Order of the Oak Crown Luxembourg 18 April 1988
NLD Order of the Dutch Lion - Knight BAR.png Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 21 December 1988
ESP Isabella Catholic Order COM.svg Commander of the Order of Isabella the Catholic Spain 10 December 1990
Order of St. Gregory the Great.png Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great Holy See 20 October 2003
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 4 GrVK.svg Commander of the Order of Merit Germany 6 May 2004
PHL Blue White Red.png Presidential Medal of Merit Philippines 30 January 2005
ITA OMRI 2001 GUff BAR.svg Grand Officer of the Order of Merit Italy 15 September 2005
POL Polonia Restituta Oficerski BAR.svg Officer of the Order of Polonia Restituta Poland 30 April 2006
SMR Order of Saint Marinus - Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of San Marino San Marino 22 July 2006
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg Commander of the Legion of Honour France 1 November 2007
DNK Order of Danebrog Commander 1st Degree BAR.png Commander 1st Class of the Order of the Dannebrog Denmark 19 August 2009
BEL Order of Leopold II - Officer BAR.png Officer of the Order of Leopold II Belgium 21 January 2011
Rib. Bar of Order of the Republic.png Order of the Republic Turkey 14 February 2013 [15]
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Grand Officer BAR.png Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 9 June 2015 Elevated from Knight (18 May 1998)

Other honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reporter (Kanal 2) 19 September 2007: Eesti venelaste ahistamise jutt viis Mart Laari sõnasõtta Archived 2007-10-23 at the Wayback Machine (Adobe Flash video, English sound, Estonian subtitles)
  2. ^ Eesti Päevaleht 1 October 2007: SDE: van der Lindeni peaks maha võtma, edited by Erik Rand
  3. ^ Estonian politicians call for resignation of PACE president Archived 2007-10-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Estonian lawmakers call for top EU official to be fired Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Van der Linden strikes back". www.baltictimes.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  6. ^ The Baltic Times 2 October 2007: Estonia blasts UN, PACE 'propaganda' and 'lies'
  7. ^ Regnum 24 September 2007: PACE president stresses need for equal treatment for all those living in the Baltic states Archived 2011-05-21 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Eesti Päevaleht 3 August 2007: REPLIIK: Kremli käpiknukud
  9. ^ http://www.epl.ee/artikkel/400769 Mihkelson: Linden ületas piire
  10. ^ Jamestown Foundation 3 August 2007: PACE Chairman Bending to the Kremlin Wind against Estonia Archived 2007-09-13 at the Wayback Machine by Vladimir Socor
  11. ^ "Mihkelsoni allikaks van der Lindeni majandushuvide kohta oli Vene meedia". Eesti Päevaleht. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  12. ^ Rene van der Linden andis Mihkelsonile vastulöögi Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Noble House Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Van der Linden controversy re-ignites". www.baltictimes.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  15. ^ cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr. "T.C.CUMHURBAŞKANLIĞI : Anasayfa". www.tccb.gov.tr. Retrieved 28 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Official
Political offices
Preceded by
Wim van Eekelen
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
1986–1988
Succeeded by
Berend-Jan van
Voorst tot Voorst
Preceded by
Peter Schieder
President of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe

2005–2008
Succeeded by
Lluís Maria de Puig
Preceded by
Yvonne Timmerman-Buck
President of the Senate
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Fred de Graaf