Wim Kok

Wim Kok

Infobox Prime Minister
name = Willem Kok

imagesize =
caption =
order = Prime Minister of the Netherlands
birth_date = Birth date and age|df=yes|1938|9|29
birth_place = Bergambacht
death_date =
death_place =
title = Minister of State (since 11 April 2003)
term_start = 22 August 1994
term_end = 22 July 2002
predecessor = Ruud Lubbers
successor = Jan Peter Balkenende
party = Partij van de Arbeid

Willem "Wim" Kok (Audio|Nl-Wim Kok.ogg|Wim Kok) (born 29 September 1938 in Bergambacht) is a Dutch politician. He was prime minister of The Netherlands from 1994 until 2002.

Life and career

Wim Kok (legally "Willem" Kok) was born in Bergambacht, the Netherlands. After completing his studies at the Nyenrode business school in the Netherlands, he started his career in 1961 at the socialist trade union NVV, where he was chairman from 1973 until 1982. Between 1976 and 1986 he was chair of the FNV a federation of the NVV and the Catholic NKV, which he had overseen.

In 1986, he succeeded Joop den Uyl as leader of the social democratic party PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid, Labour Party). From 1989 until 1994 he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in a cabinet with the Christian democratic CDA.

In 1994, he became Prime Minister in a cabinet with the liberal VVD and the progressive liberal D'66. This cabinet goes under the name of Kok I. This "Purple" coalition was the first in decades to form a government without the CDA. After the elections in 1998 he led a second government with the same partners, Kok II.

During most of Kok's time as Prime Minister, the Netherlands was booming economically and Kok was credited internationally for the Dutch "Polder Model". This same "polder model" went out of fashion early 2002, which saw the rise of Pim Fortuyn, the right-wing populist political newcomer.

His cabinet fell just weeks before the May 2002 elections when Kok and all his ministers stepped down because of the discussion about the possible Dutch responsibility in the Srebrenica massacre.

He left Dutch politics after the election, as he had already announced the year before, but that does not mean his political life has ended. Like many whose official political careers have ended, he continues to influence politics.

He was succeeded as leader of the Partij van de Arbeid by Ad Melkert, who then lost the 2002 election.

At present, Wim Kok holds the following positions:
* President of the Board of Governors of The Netherlands Cancer Institute
* Member of the Supervisory Board of ING Group (international financial services)
* Member of the Supervisory Board of Royal Dutch Shell (oil company)
* Member of the Supervisory Board of TNT (international postal company with Dutch origin)
* Member of the Supervisory Board of KLM (airline)
* Member of the Strategic Advisory Panel of The European Business Awards
* Member of the Club of Madrid
* Special member of Supervisory Board of Stork (industrial group)
* Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

Between April and November 2004, Mr. Kok headed up a review of the Lisbon Agenda and presented a report containing suggestions on how to give new impetus to the Lisbon process. The Commission used this report to declare that the social and environmental parts are no longer a priority and declared a return to the Lisbon Agenda under economic terms only.

The group comprises twelve figures representing different Stakeholder groups. Among these are Anne-Marie Idrac, chair of RATP, the Paris public transport system, and a former Transport Minister; Will Hutton, governor of the London School of Economics and chief executive of the Works Foundation; and Niall Fitzgerald, chair of Unilever and co-chair of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue, a Lobby organisation known to promote US-American interests in Europe.

Kok now lobbies for the Lisbon Strategy of the European Commission [http://www.elta.lt/zinute_pr.php?inf_id=408011]

ee also

* Politics of the Netherlands

External links

* [http://www.minaz.nl/english/prime_minister/pm-1945/html/mps_1945/kok.html Another biography]
* [http://www.nd.nl/htm/achter/kok/foto.htm Photos of Wim Kok]
* [http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/04/518&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en President Prodi and Mr Wim Kok announce the establishment of the High-level Group on the Lisbon Strategy]

succession box
title = Chair of the Labour Party in Parliament
before = Joop den Uyl
years = 1986–1989
after = Thijs Wöltgens
succession box
title = Minister of Finance
before = Onno Ruding
years = 1989–1994
after = Gerrit Zalm
succession box
title = Prime Minister of the Netherlands
before = Ruud Lubbers
years = 1994–2002
after = Jan Peter Balkenende
succession box
title = President of the ETUC
years = 1979–1982
before = Heinz Oskar Vetter
after = Georges Debunne

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