THE HAGUE–Democrat D66 party Senator and former Minister of Kingdom Relations Thom de Graaf is the new Vice-president of the Council of State.
The Dutch media, based on reliable sources, already speculated about De Graaf’s being a main candidate for the position, replacing Piet-Hein Donner who will be leaving the Council of State per November 1, because he has reached the age of 70.
The media reports turned out to be right, because on Friday the Dutch Council of Ministers approved his appointment per November 1, based on a proposal of Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Kajsa Ollongren, in consultation with Minister of Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus.
De Graaf (61) is no stranger to the Dutch Caribbean: from 2003 to 2005 he was Minister of Administrative Reform and Kingdom Relations. In that capacity he visited the islands multiple times.
But he also regularly visited the islands in the past seven years as D66 senator and Vice-chairman of the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament. He has often been part of the parliamentary delegations visiting the islands. As the new vice-president of the Council of State, the islands will certainly see him again.
De Graaf started his career in 1981 at the Law Faculty of the Catholic University in Nijmegen, after which he worked at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK in different functions until 1994.
Before he became minister, he was a Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament from 1994 until 2003. He was Mayor of Nijmegen from 2007 to 2012. Since 2012, he has been Chairman of the Association of Schools for Advanced Education (Vereniging Hogescholen).
In reaction to De Graaf’s appointment, the Council of State announced it was looking forward to good cooperation with him. “I will transfer the function, which I have fulfilled with much satisfaction since February 2012 to him with great confidence,” said Vice-President Donner.
De Graaf will be the 20th vice-president in the history of the Council of State. The King formally heads the Council of State, but his is a ceremonial function. The vice-president oversees the daily management of the organisation.
The Council of State is the advisor of the Dutch government and Parliament regarding legislation and administration, and the highest general administrative judge of the Netherlands. The Council of State of the Kingdom deals with matters regarding the Kingdom.
(photo courtesy D66).
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/77927-de-graaf-new-vp-of-council-of-state