René van der Linden
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.
Economics: international administrative studies at Catholic Economics Faculty in Tilburg, (1966–1970), (now known as Tilburg University)
- Member of the First Chamber (Senate) of the States-General of the Netherlands (1999–2015)
- President of the First Chamber (Senate) of the States-General of the Netherlands (from 2009 until 2011)
- President of the Committee for European cooperation of the First Chamber of the States-General (from 2002 to 2009)
- Member of the Second Chamber of the States-General of the Netherlands (1977–1986 and 1988–1998)
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
- Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) member (since 1989)
- Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU)
- Member of the executive board of the Dutch employers’ confederation
- Board member of Kerk en Nood (Church and Need)
- Chairman of the Maastricht School of Management (since 1999)
- Board member of several associations in the agricultural sector
Party political posts
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
- 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).
Controversial claims about citizenship issues in Baltic Countries
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. 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.
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." 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.
Later that month, in a press conference in Lithuania, he claimed that millions of people live without status in the Baltic countries. The population of Estonia is roughly 1,342,000, of which roughly 8.5% are without defined citizenship.
Alleged financial interest in Russia
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. 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, 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. 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. 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. 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.
- Honorary citizen of Nafplio
- Honorary citizen of Liège
- Honorary President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
- Friendship Award of Azerbaijan Republic 2013
- 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)
- Eesti Päevaleht 1 October 2007: SDE: van der Lindeni peaks maha võtma, edited by Erik Rand
- Estonian politicians call for resignation of PACE president Archived 2007-10-03 at the Wayback Machine
- Estonian lawmakers call for top EU official to be fired Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
- "Van der Linden strikes back". www.baltictimes.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- The Baltic Times 2 October 2007: Estonia blasts UN, PACE 'propaganda' and 'lies'
- 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
- Eesti Päevaleht 3 August 2007: REPLIIK: Kremli käpiknukud
- http://www.epl.ee/artikkel/400769 Mihkelson: Linden ületas piire
- 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
- "Mihkelsoni allikaks van der Lindeni majandushuvide kohta oli Vene meedia". Eesti Päevaleht. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- Rene van der Linden andis Mihkelsonile vastulöögi Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
- Noble House Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
- "Van der Linden controversy re-ignites". www.baltictimes.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- email@example.com. "T.C.CUMHURBAŞKANLIĞI : Anasayfa". www.tccb.gov.tr. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to René van der Linden.|
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- (in Dutch) Drs. P.R.H.M. van der Linden (CDA) Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal
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