Hans van Baalen, President
Hans van Baalen was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on June 17th 1960. He studied International Law and International Relations at Leyden University. He served in the Royal Netherlands Army as an Officer for International Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC). At present he holds the rank of Reserve Colonel. In 1988 he joined Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu as a Management Consultant. He left Deloitte in 1998 as Chief Executive Officer of Public Affairs Consultants, to start a career in politics. He is currently a Member of the European Parliament, representing VVD, the Dutch Party For Freedom and Democracy (LI full member).
Mr. Van Baalen joined VVD in 1986. In 1988 he became a Member and subsequently Chairman of the Dutch Group of Liberal International. From 1993 until 1998 he was International Secretary on the National Executive Committee of VVD and was VVD National Campaign Manager for the 1998 and the 2003 general elections. In May 1998 he was presented with the VVD Thorbecke Award.
In September of 1999 Hans van Baalen succeeded Frits Bolkestein as a Member of the House of Representatives of the States General, the Lower House of Dutch Parliament. After the May 2002 general elections in which he lost his parliamentary seat, Reserve Officer Hans van Baalen went on a tour of duty to Bosnia for humanitarian relief work. In the January 2003 general elections, he recaptured his seat in Dutch Parliament. Hans van Baalen was Parliamentary Spokesman for VVD on Foreign & European Affairs and Defence. He was subsequently Chairman of the Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Defence and of the Netherlands-Belgian Parliamentary Exchange Commission. He was a Member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In 2009 he led VVD in the European elections and was installed as an MEP in Strasbourg on July 14th 2009. Hans van Baalen is a Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and a Substitute Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. He is Chairman of the EP delegation to Japan.
Hans van Baalen became a Fellow of the 21st Century Trust in 1988. He has been a Member of the ELDR Party Council since 1993, a Vice-President of Liberal International since 1997 and a Member of the LI Human Rights Committee since 1999. From 1999 until 2000 he was Special Rapporteur of LI on the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. Hans van Baalen chaired the ELDR Manifesto Committee for the European elections in 2004 and was a Alternate Member of the EU Convention on the Future of Europe. In 2005 he was elected President of the Supervisory Committee of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD).
Hans van Baalen became a Bureau Member of LI at the 50th Congress in Ottawa, October 2000, was re-elected at the 51st Congress in Budapest, March 2002, and again at the 52th Congress in Dakar, October 2003. He was elected Deputy President of Liberal International at the 53rd LI Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 2005, re-elected at the 54th LI Congress in Marrakech, Morocco, October 2006, and again re-elected at the 55th LI Congress in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 2008. At the 56th LI Congress in Cairo, Egypt he was elected President of Liberal International. He was re-elected unanimously at the 57th LI Congress in Manila, the Philippines in 2011, where he also received the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Medal for his long term dedication to liberalism. At the 58th LI Congress in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in October 2012, Hans van Baalen was re-elected for a third consecutive term as President of Liberal International.
Hans van Baalen is married to Ineke Sybesma, Director of the Netherlands Victim Support Fund. They were married in Istanbul. They have a son called Robert who was born on May 14th 2006.