André Rouvoet

Infobox_Politician
name =André Rouvoet


caption =
birth_date =Birth date and age|1962|1|4|mf=y
birth_place =Hilversum, Netherlands
residence = Woerden, Netherlands
death_date =
death_place =
office = Minister of Youth and Family
salary =
term_start = 2007
term_end = present
predecessor = newly created
successor = Incumbent
office2 = ChristenUnie chair of the parliamentary party
salary2 =
term_start2 = 2003
term_end2 = 2007
predecessor2 = Kars Veling
successor2 = Arie Slob
party = ChristenUnie
religion = Christian Reformed Churches
constituency =
majority =
spouse =
children =
website = [http://www.andrerouvoet.nl www.andrerouvoet.nl]
footnotes =

André Rouvoet (born January 4, 1962) is a Dutch politician, currently serving as Minister of Youth and Family and Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands. He is also the political leader of the ChristenUnie, a small Dutch Christian-social political party.

Career

Career before politics

Rouvoet was born in Hilversum. After attending a Protestant primary school in Hilversum, Rouvoet continued at a Protestant gymnasium, specializing in humanities until 1980. In 1981 he began to study law at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, specializing in the philosophy of law. He received his master of law in 1986. During his study he became assistant to the RPF parliamentary party. He also was chairperson of the RPF branch in Hilversum and later in Maarssen.

Between 1986 and 1987 he combined working for the Foundation of Schools of Protestant Christian Children's Homes, and an assistantship at the RPF parliamentary party. After that he became an employee and later director (in 1989) of the Marnix van St. Aldegonde Foundation, the scientific foundation linked to the RPF, as such he was member of the committee on the party's election manifesto for 1989 elections. During this period he also taught political science at the Evangelical School for Journalism in Amersfoort.

Political career

In 1994 Rouvoet was heavily involved in the programmatic preparation of the election. He was editor of the party's election manifesto and the party's manifesto of principals. Rouvoet was also a candidate in these elections. The RPF won considerably and Rouvoet was elected into the lower house of parliament. He immediately became secretary of the RPF political party. Rouvoet was member of the parliamentary research committee on the IRT-affair, which involved failures in a criminal investigation unit. In 1997 he was made fellow of the Marnix van Sint Aldegonde Foundation.

After 1998 elections Rouvoet became member of the presidium of the lower house of parliament. In 2000 Rouvoet published the book "Politics with a Heart. a reflection on politics and morality". In 2001 the RPF united with another Protestant-Christian party, the GPV, to become the ChristenUnie. When its parliamentary party was formed Rouvoet became secretary of the parliamentary party. After the unexpected 2002 electoral defeat, Rouvoet became political leader of the ChristenUnie. He led the ChristenUnie in the 2003 elections, which also ended in defeat. Rouvoet did, however, receive the 2003 Thorbecke price for eloquence and was elected "Politician of the Year 2004" by the parliamentary press.

In 2005 Rouvoet's star rose as his party, together with the LPF, Geert Wilders and the SP, were the only ones to oppose the European Constitution in the 2005 referendum. This proposal was subsequently rejected by the Dutch electorate, a week after the French had turned it down.

As a member of parliament, Rouvoet served as spokesperson for Justice, Finance, Health, Antillian and European Affairs. He was particularly involved in the debate on moral values and norms, which was initiated by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

In 2007 he became Minister of Youth and Family and Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands. His post falls under the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The ministry has no separate housing or finance. As minister he is responsible for Youth, Children and Family affairs, especially social work oriented at children.

Trivia

* Rouvoet is an avid snooker player;
* His wife is a medical doctor, and he has four daughters and one son.

External links

* [http://www.andrerouvoet.nl personal site]
* [http://www.parlement.com/9291000/biof/02541 at parlement.com]


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