Wopke Hoekstra

Wopke Hoekstra
Wopke Hoekstra 2019 (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal
Assumed office
11 December 2020
Preceded byHugo de Jonge
Minister of Finance
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterMark Rutte
Preceded byJeroen Dijsselbloem
Senator of the Netherlands
In office
7 June 2011 – 26 October 2017
Member of the House of Representatives
Assumed office
31 March 2021
Personal details
Wopke Bastiaan Hoekstra

(1975-09-30) 30 September 1975 (age 45)
Bennekom, Netherlands
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal
Domestic partnerLiselot Hoornweg
EducationLeiden University (BA, LLB, LLM)
WebsiteGovernment website

Wopke Bastiaan Hoekstra (born 30 September 1975) is a Dutch politician serving as Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) since 2020. He has also been Minister of Finance in the third cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte since 2017.[1]

Early life

Hoekstra was born in Bennekom, Gelderland and studied law at Leiden University where he completed one year studying history. He was president of the fraternity Minerva. In 2000 he also studied law and international politics in Rome, and in 2005 he graduated with an MBA degree at INSEAD in Fontainebleau and Singapore.[2][3]

Before he joined the government, Hoekstra was a partner with the consultancy firm McKinsey and chairman of the supervisory board of the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.[4] Until 2006 he worked for Shell in Berlin, Hamburg and Rotterdam.[5]

Political career

Early beginnings

Hoekstra was the treasurer of the CDA-affiliated foundation Eduardo Freistichting and board member of the local CDA association in Amsterdam. Ahead of the 2010 elections, Hoekstra was offered a spot on the party's candidate list for the House of Representatives, but he did not accept it, preferring to continue working at McKinsey.[6]

In December 2010, it was announced that Hoekstra was a candidate for the Senate election of 2011, for which he was indeed elected, and sworn in on 7 June 2011 as its youngest member.[4] Membership of the Senate is a part-time position, and therefore Hoekstra continued as consultant with McKinsey. On 6 December of the same year, he gave his maiden speech during the debate on a tax-related topic. In the Senate he stood out as the party's spokesperson for pensions. He was not reluctant to deviate from the party line on a number of ethical issues: he was the only CDA senator to vote in favour of a ban on civil servants refusing to marry same-sex couples (weigerambtenaar) and to vote in favour of legal status for lesbian parents (meemoederschap). He was reelected in 2015. Ahead of the 2017 general election, Hoekstra helped writing the CDA's manifesto.[7]

Hoekstra was nominated by the parliamentary press in 2013 as 'political talent of the year' and in 2016 he was the second youngest person in the De Volkskrant top-200 of influential Dutch people. In 2016 he was one of the lead architects of the party platform.[4][2]

Minister of Finance, 2017–present

Hoekstra was appointed Minister of Finance in the third Rutte cabinet on 26 October 2017, succeeding Jeroen Dijsselbloem.[6]

At his first meeting with other EU Ministers of Finance in Brussels in 2017, Hoekstra expressed scepticism about eurozone reform, saying that budgetary discipline in other eurozone states was necessary first.[8] Hoekstra reiterated his reluctance on eurozone reform at a meeting of the financial council of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany in 2018, warning against reforms initiated by Germany and France without the support of other member states or the public.[9] Furthermore, at a visit to his German counterpart Olaf Scholz in March 2018, Hoekstra explained that he is reluctant about plans for a eurozone budget, a eurozone finance minister and a common deposit insurance scheme.[10] After Germany and France had outlined a series of eurozone reforms in June 2018, Hoekstra led a coalition of twelve other member states in opposition to such reforms, which would later be referred to as the New Hanseatic League.[11] In January 2019, Hoekstra criticised the European Commission for its decision not to launch a disciplinary procedure against Italy over its deficit and debt, stating "It’s a missed opportunity to do the right thing for the long run",[12] a concern later repeated by Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the World Economic Forum.[13]

During his time in office, Hoekstra oversaw the government's purchase of a stake in Air France KLM equal to that of the French government to increase its influence in the carrier's business operations in 2019.[14] That same year, led negotiations with the German government on the possibility of buying a stake in grid operator TenneT.[15]

Since 2018, Hoekstra has been chairing a newly established, informal grouping of small northern and Baltic EU member statesEstonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and the Netherlands[16] to find common cause on the direction of eurozone reforms.[17] Hoekstra has also expressed his opposition to an increase in the Netherlands' contribution to the EU budget as a result of Brexit.[18] In 2019, Hoekstra joined forces with his counterparts of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Latvia in pushing for the establishment of new EU supervisory authority that would take over from states the oversight of money laundering at financial firms.[19]

In March 2020, after a tense meeting with fellow EU national leaders where Hoekstra called for an investigation into southern European countries’ proclaimed lack of budgetary capacity to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa referred to his comments as "repugnant",[20] saying that "this recurrent pettiness completely undermines what the spirit of the European Union is."[20]

On 31 October 2020, Hoekstra stated that the Dutch government would not provide further financial assistance to KLM as long as it did not agree with financial sacrifices by all employees for a period of five years. In discussions with KLM, the Dutch Airline Pilots Association (Dutch: Vereniging van Nederlandse Verkeersvliegers) and the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions refused to comply with the five-year period Hoekstra requested.[21] Several days later the parties agreed with the terms and the Dutch cabinet approved the deal with KLM on 4 November.[22][23]

On 11 December 2020, a day after Hugo de Jonge announced his resignation as Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal, the party's board unanimously nominated Hoekstra to succeed him.[7]

On 15 January 2021, Hoekstra stepped down along with the Dutch government, after thousands of families were wrongly accused of child welfare fraud.[24] In April 2021, he joined forces with Sigrid Kaag in putting forward a motion of censure to voice their disapproval of Prime Minister Rutte.[25]

Other activities

European Union organisations

International organisations

Non-profit organisations

  • Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum, Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Friends of the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research, Member of the Board
  • Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, Ambassador

Personal life

Hoekstra lives with his wife, a general practitioner, and four children.[33][7] He is a member of the Remonstrant Brotherhood.[34]


  1. ^ "Wopke Hoekstra (CDA), bezige bij en nu minister van Financiën" (in Dutch). NOS. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Kok, Laurens (2017-08-29). "CDA-kanjer Wopke Hoekstra topkandidaat voor Financiën". www.ad.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  3. ^ "Preses op carrièrepad". www.mareonline.nl. 2005-06-16. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  4. ^ a b c "Wopke Hoekstra (CDA), bezige bij en nu minister van Financiën" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  5. ^ "Wopke Hoekstra is een rijzende ster met kwaliteit voor het CDA-leiderschap". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  6. ^ a b "Profiel: Wopke Hoekstra (CDA), minister van Financiën". NU.nl (in Dutch). 25 October 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Gezinsman Hoekstra gaat alsnog CDA-kar trekken". NOS. 11 December 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Hoekstra sceptisch over hervormingsplannen eurozone". Elsevier (in Dutch). 8 November 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  9. ^ "De toekomst van de EU: minister 'Dr. No' Hoekstra wil van Frankrijk en Duitsland pas op de plaats". Nieuwsuur (in Dutch). 14 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  10. ^ Delamaide, Darrell (16 March 2018). "Dutch minister beats Macron to the punch on euro advice to Germany". Handelsblatt Global. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  11. ^ Brunsden, Jim; Khan, Mehreen (22 June 2018), "Franco-German eurozone reform plan faces growing opposition", Financial Times, retrieved 22 June 2018
  12. ^ "Netherlands Blasts Italy Budget Truce, Doubts Numbers Add Up". Bloomberg. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  13. ^ "EU leaders clash on migration, tax and deficits". Financial Times. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  14. ^ Anthony Deutsch (February 26, 2019), Dutch government takes stake in Air France KLM -finance minister Reuters.
  15. ^ Toby Sterling (September 13, 2019), Dutch government in talks with Germany over TenneT stake -letter Reuters.
  16. ^ Mehreen Khan (November 5, 2018), The euro’s Hanseatic creditor club takes aim at Italy Financial Times.
  17. ^ Mehreen Khan (November 26, 2018), France ambushes the EU’s New Hanseatic League Financial Times.
  18. ^ "Dutch government says EU countries hurt most by Brexit shouldn't pay more into EU budget". Reuters. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  19. ^ Francesco Guarascio (November 9, 2019), EU heavyweight states push for joint supervisor against money laundering Reuters.
  20. ^ a b "Dutch try to calm north-south economic storm over coronavirus". POLITICO. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Kabinet weigert nu staatssteun aan KLM, Hoekstra eist vijf jaar loonoffers" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 31 October 2020. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020.
  22. ^ "Ook KLM-piloten akkoord met loonmatiging, Hoekstra wil nu vooruitkijken" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 3 November 2020. Archived from the original on 5 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Kabinet stemt in met herstructureringsplan KLM" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 4 November 2020. Archived from the original on 5 November 2020.
  24. ^ Dutch government resigns over child welfare fraud scandal Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  25. ^ Eline Schaart (April 2, 2021), Rutte censured after surviving no-confidence vote Politico Europe.
  26. ^ Board of Governors European Investment Bank (EIB).
  27. ^ Board of Governors: Wopke Hoekstra European Stability Mechanism.
  28. ^ Board of Governors Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  29. ^ Board of Governors European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  30. ^ Members Joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee.
  31. ^ Board of Governors Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), World Bank Group.
  32. ^ Board of Governors World Bank.
  33. ^ "De TV Show - thuis bij minister Wopke Hoekstra" (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  34. ^ Hoedeman, Jan (2 April 2018). "CDA-minister Wopke Hoekstra: Ik hoop dat God bestaat". AD.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2018.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jeroen Dijsselbloem
Minister of Finance

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