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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04THEHAGUE1955 2004-08-05 05:48:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

BIO INFO ON NEW DUTCH EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER NEELIE

Tags:   PREL PGOV PINR NL EUN 
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					  UNCLAS THE HAGUE 001955 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR NL EUN
SUBJECT: BIO INFO ON NEW DUTCH EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER NEELIE
KROES



1. PM Balkenende announced the nomination of former
transport minister Neelie Kroes as the new Dutch European
Commissioner on August 3. Kroes will succeed Frits
Bolkestein as Dutch EU Commissioner. Balkenende said he
expected President Barroso would give Kroes "a heavy
economic portfolio," such as Energy or Transport. The
GONL's goal throughout the selection process has been to
obtain a significant financial or economic portfolio in the
new Commission.



2. Kroes is considered to be one of the most influential
people in the Netherlands; her nickname is "the Queen of
networking." The common thread in her career has been the
transportation sector in which she has held managerial,
political and advisory positions. Kroes was born July 19,
1941 into an entrepreneurial Rotterdam family. She studied
international monetary economics at Rotterdam's Erasmus
University, specializing in transport and harbor questions.
After completing her studies, she became managing director
of her father's heavy transport company.



3. Kroes began her political career as a member of the
Rotterdam City Council for the Liberal (free-market
conservative) Party. She was elected to Parliament in 1971,
where she became the Liberal Party spokesperson on
transport. She was State Secretary for Transport, Public
Works and Water Management from 1977 to 1981, and then
Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management
from 1982 to 1989. In 1991, she became President of
Nijenrode University, the Netherlands Business School, a
position she held until a few years ago.



4. At present, Kroes holds numerous board and consultancy
positions, primarily with major transport and building
companies. She also chairs such lobbying organizations as
Netherlands Distribution Land and Netherlands Aviation
Consult. Kroes' EU experience includes service as an
advisor to Belgian EU Commissioner for Transport Karel van
Miert in the early 1990s, and participation in the Transport
2000 advisory group. She was considered for the position of
Dutch Commissioner in 1994, but did not get the job as Hans
van den Broek opted for a second term.



5. Kroes is viewed in the Netherlands as a pioneer owing to
her status as the first Dutch woman to hold various senior
government and private sector positions. She was the first
female board member of the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce,
the first female state secretary and minister at the
Ministry of Transport, the first female President of a Dutch
University, and now the first female Dutch European
Commissioner. In 1988 and 2003, the Financial Times named
her the most powerful woman in the Netherlands. Kroes has
argued forcefully against the serious shortage of women in
senior Dutch managerial and political positions. When both
the Balkenende governments were formed, she presented the
Prime Minister with shortlists and bios of capable women
worth considering for cabinet positions.



6. Kroes has been to the United States several times
including three months in 1960 as an exchange student in
Evanston, Illinois. She speaks fluent English. She is
divorced with one son.

Russel