Expatica news

Former minister set to become EU commissioner

3 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — Former government minister Neelie Kroes has emerged as the most likely Dutch candidate to be appointed to the new European Commission, Dutch media reported Tuesday.

It is not yet clear what position Kroes will be given, but it was recently reported the Dutch government is eyeing one of the four most influential economic posts in the EC, namely internal markets, competition, trade or monetary affairs.

The current Dutch European commissioner Frits Bolkestein holds the internal markets portfolio, and a decision will be made in Brussels on 20 August over the new division of EC posts.

Cabinet sources claim Kroes has already met new European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso. The Portuguese man is working on a division of EC portfolios.

The appointment of Kroes would fulfill Barroso’s aim to have eight women in the new commission. The commission has 25 commissioners, one from each of the European Union’s 25 member states.

Kroes was Transport Minister for the Liberal VVD party from 1982 to 1989. That was her last political function, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. Among other functions, she is currently serving on the boards of commissioners of several Dutch companies.

Besides Kroes, current Christian Democrat CDA Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman was also a candidate commissioner. He would have been given the nod if the Netherlands gained the agriculture portfolio.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news