Hans van Baalen (1960-2021)

It has been announced that Johannes Cornelis “Hans” van Baalen, President of the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe) Party, passed away this morning after a short period in hospital, having recently been diagnosed as suffering from cancer.

A member of VVD (The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), he served as a member of the Dutch Parliament between 1999 and 2002, and from 2003 until 2009 until he took his seat in the European Parliament. His political career started as the International Secretary of VVD, the first step in what became a love of international politics that saw him rise to the top of European and international liberalism.

Also in 2009, he became President of the Liberal International, the global liberal family, and oversaw its development, before becoming President of the ALDE Party in 2015 in a contest that we covered here at Liberal Democrat Voice.

Prominent liberals across the globe have paid tribute to him;

Phil Bennion, the former West Midlands MEP and Vice Chair of the Party’s Federal International Relations Committee added;

Hans was extremely supportive when I entered the European Parliament at the beginning of 2012. He paid me a very strong compliment just before the 2014 election. Not surprising that we became good friends. In fact, that journey started when Hans first ran for LI President. He looked very ill when we were in Athens late in 2019, but he seemed to have recovered.

Hans was also a very good friend to our party. He came over to speak in meetings on several occasions, notably for LIBG. He would think nothing of taking a Eurostar to London to address 20 or so people at the NLC, returning to Brussels early the next morning.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of working with Hans both as the ALDE Party’s occasional Returning Officer and as a member of its Financial Advisory Committee. Hans was very much what you saw, a jovial, direct Dutchman with a kind word for most and a passion for promoting liberalism. He’ll be a tough act for anyone to follow, and there’s little doubt that his death will overshadow the ALDE Party Congress due to take place in Brussels and online in mid-June.

LDV offers its condolences to his family and friends, and to the ALDE Party and Liberal International, both of whom he served with distinction and determination.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Europe / International, News and Obituaries.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Caron LindsayCaron Lindsay
    I have amended the article to include the LGB Alliance's ridiculous and disturbing claim, taken from their website, that affirming a trans young person's gende...
  • Alex Macfie
    expats: On the contrary, it's what everyone asks us. And with sections of the Labour Left always looking for an opportunity to bring up the Coalition and imply ...
  • Peter Martin
    @ Peter, You're saying you don't understand why Venus, with lots of CO2 in its atmosphere, is much hotter that Mercury, with virtually no atmosphere at all, ...
  • Justin
    And finally a position which all can understand. I hope he will stick to this even if it means a minority Conservative government. I mean look how much fu...
  • Alexander
    They haven't Matt. The press release is inaccurate....