European Interest

The Netherlands supports FM Hoekstra as the new Dutch Commissioner

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0 Author: Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken
FM Hoekstra stated that leaving the Foreign Ministry during the ongoing war in Ukraine would be challenging, but "nobody is indispensable."

The Dutch ruling coalition has put forward Wopke Hoekstra, the Foreign Minister, as the new representative for the European Commission.

On Friday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte endorsed the Netherlands’ foreign minister as a candidate to replace Frans Timmermans, who recently resigned as the climate czar and vice president of the European Union’s executive arm.

Timmermans won 91.8% of votes from the Labour Party and Green Left, making him the sole candidate to lead the center-left bloc in the November 22 general election. He aims to become the next prime minister after forming a new governing coalition.

Before a Dutch Cabinet meeting on Friday, Hoekstra stated that leaving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the ongoing war in Ukraine would be challenging, but “nobody is indispensable.”

How other E.U. nations will react to his candidacy remains to be seen. In 2020, Hoekstra made remarks about the ability of countries in southern Europe to finance a medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which upset some people.

Rutte stated that Hoekstra, who has little experience in the climate portfolio, would be a strong player in international talks, including the U.N. climate meeting later this year in Dubai. He emphasised that Europe needs someone experienced in international negotiations, and Hoekstra has been head of the finance ministry and foreign minister for a few years.

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