New Dutch EU ambassador in trouble after Wikileaks

17th January 2011, Comments 0 comments


Top Dutch civil servant Pieter de Gooijer has come under fire after Wikileaks’ disclosure of messages from the United States embassy in The Hague. Dutch newspaper says Labour MP Frans Timmermans is objecting to Mr De Gooijer becoming the Dutch ambassador to the European Union.

The civil servant was a senior foreign ministry official in 2009 and, according to the Wikileaks documents, asked the US embassy to put pressure on the then Labour leader and deputy prime minister, Wouter Bos. He hoped Mr Bos would be pushed into agreeing to an extension of the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan.

Last Friday, Mr De Gooijer was named as the top representative of the Netherlands at the EU. Mr Timmermans doubts whether the appointment can go ahead following the Wikileaks disclosure. Labour MPs have asked for an emergency debate on the affair.

Labour wants to know whether Mr De Gooijer was acting on his own initiative or on instructions from the then foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, who is deputy prime minister under the present government. Mr Timmermans says, even if acting on instructions from Mr Verhagen, the civil servant was still not expressing the official government position. He doubts whether such a person can be trusted in a position as important as that at the EU.



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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