Caroline van der Plas

Caroline van der Plas
Leader of the Farmer–Citizen Movement
Assumed office
17 October 2020
Preceded byOffice created
Leader of the Farmer–Citizen Movement in the House of Representatives
Assumed office
31 March 2021
Member of the House of Representatives
Assumed office
31 March 2021
Personal details
Caroline Ann Maria van der Plas

(1967-06-06) 6 June 1967 (age 53)
Cuijk, Netherlands
Political partyFarmer–Citizen Movement
Other political
Christian Democratic Appeal (until 2019)
Jan Gruben
(died 2019)
ResidenceDeventer, Netherlands
  • Journalist
  • politician

Caroline Ann Maria van der Plas (pronounced [ˈkɛɹəˌlaɪn æn maːˈriaː vɑn dɛr plɑs]; born 6 June 1967) is a Dutch journalist and politician, who has been a member of the House of Representatives since the 2021 general election.[1] She is the founder and current party leader of the Farmer–Citizen Movement (BBB).[2]


Early life and career

Van der Plas was born on 6 June 1967 in Cuijk, North Brabant to a Dutch father and an Irish mother.[1] Her father, Wil van der Plas (1937–2014), was a sports journalist and worked for the regional newspaper Deventer Dagblad.[3][4] Her mother, Nuala Fitzpatrick, is a retired politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), who served as an alderman in the municipal executive of Deventer.[3]

Van der Plas began her career as a journalist, covering the meat industry for Reed Business. She would later shift to communications, providing support to agricultural workers' associations and the Dutch Association of Pig Farmers.[3]

Political career

Originally a member of the CDA, Van der Plas left the party shortly after the 2019 provincial elections.[3] During her membership, she had frequently criticised the party for not doing enough to represent the interests of the agricultural sector. In response to the widespread farmers protests that took place in the Netherlands in October 2019, she then founded the Farmer–Citizen Movement (BBB).[2]

On 17 October 2020, Van der Plas was unanimously chosen as the party leader of the BBB.[5] Her campaign for the 2021 general election focused on issues important to rural and agrarian voters, including pledges for a "Ministry of the Countryside" located at least 100 kilometres from The Hague, and a removal of the ban on neonicotinoids.[5] The party won one seat in the House of Representatives, and Van der Plas was installed on 31 March 2021.[6][7]

Personal life

Van der Plas lives in Deventer and has two sons.[3] Her husband, Jan Gruben, died in 2019 of pancreatic cancer.[3]


  1. ^ a b "C.A.M. (Caroline) van der Plas". Parlement.com (in Dutch). Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  2. ^ a b "BBB partijgeschiedenis". Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen (in Dutch). Retrieved 1 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Willems, Ingrid (27 December 2019). "Caroline van der Plas (52) uit Deventer verloor haar man, als frontvrouw van de boeren jeuken haar handen". De Stentor. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Overlijdensbericht Wilhelmus Gualbertus Hermanus (Wil) van der Plas". Mensenlinq (in Dutch). Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  5. ^ a b Buning, Stefan (17 October 2020). "Caroline van der Plas gekozen als lijsttrekker BoerBurgerBeweging". Agraaf. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Definitieve uitslag verkiezingen: VVD 34 zetels, D66 24 en vier nieuwe partijen". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 26 March 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Nieuwe Tweede Kamer in drie etappes beëdigd". NOS (in Dutch). 31 March 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.

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