Neelie Kroes

Neelie Kroes ( born July 19, 1941 in Rotterdam ) is a Dutch politician of the liberal Volkspartij voor de Vrijheid Democracy (VVD ). Since February 2010 she has been the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. Previously, she was from November 2004 EU Competition Commissioner. She was a member of several supervisory boards of renowned companies and was among other Dutch Minister of Transport.

Pre-political career

Kroes went to Rotterdam to school. In 1958 she began to study economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. 1961 Kroes became the President of the R.V.S.V. chosen, the largest Rotterdam sorority. She was also elected to the Faculty Council. After her graduation in 1965 she received a scholarship from the Faculty of Economics at the Erasmus University. During this period Kroes worked in the women's organization of the VVD, and also belonged to the Supervisory Board of heavy transport company " ZwaTra " her father. Kroes was selected in 1970 for the VVD in the Rotterdam city council.

Political career

Kroes was in 1971, in the Second Chamber of the States General, elected to parliament. She remained a member of parliament until 1977, in which she was Secretary of State for Transport, Posts and Telecommunications in the first cabinet Dries van AGTS. In 1981, she briefly returned to parliament, as her party went into opposition. From 1982 to 1989 she was Minister of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications in the two cabinets Minister Ruud Lubbers. During this time she was responsible for the privatization of the Post Office and the state-owned telephone company PTT.

From 1989 to 1991 she worked as an advisor to the European transport commissioner in Brussels.

2004 Competition Commissioner Kroes was appointed the EU and thus succeeds by Mario Monti. Your nomination has been criticized in dubious arms deals because of their connections to large companies and their alleged involvements. Kroes dodged the criticism by letting take their businesses to the EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy and service when it could always involve a potential conflict of interest with their former employers. By January 2006, this happened five times. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso nominated Kroes end of November 2009 as an EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media ( the successor to the Luxembourger Viviane Reding ) and as Vice- President of the Commission. However, the Commission is appointed was still under reservation of consent by the European Parliament.

Since February 10, 2010 Kroes EU - Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. In December 2011, they hired Karl -Theodor Guttenberg, as " advisor to the European Commission in support of Internet activists in authoritarian states."

Except Political Career

After her time as Minister in the Cabinet Lubbers Kroes became a member of the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce. She also worked as a board member for Ballast Nedam ( shipping company ), ABP- PGGM ( pension insurance), NIB ( investment bank ), McDonald's Netherlands, Royal P & O Nedlloyd, and Nederlandse Spoorwegen ( Dutch Railways privatized ). From 1991 to 2000 she was Chief Executive Officer of Business University Nyenrode. Then she was back to September 2004 worked for several international companies as a consultant or in their supervisory boards.

Kroes additional offices, mainly in cultural and social organizations. She is a board of Poets of all Nations, the Delta Psychiatric Hospital and the Rembrandt House Museum. In addition, she is still a member of various supervisory boards, eg with Nedlloyd and Lucent Technologies.


  • 2007: Reinhold Maier medal Reinhold Maier Foundation


  • As chair of the University Nijenrode it gave Microsoft founder Bill Gates the academic title of honorary doctor. As European Commissioner for Competition, one of its first acts was to investigate the unfair business practices Microsoft.
  • Kroes rejected her appointment as Minister of Defence in 1988.
  • Kroes is a confidant of the women's rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who moved them to change from the social democratic PvdA in the liberal VVD and from which they received the award " European of the Year " awarded in 2006.
  • Kroes visited several times the Bilderberg conference, such as 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2012.


During her tenure as minister, she was involved in the so-called TCR affair. So it is involved in the illegal sale of warships and have maintained relationships with a tank cleaning company (TCR ), the government subsidies were granted permission.

The fears expressed at the beginning of her work as a Commissioner to the EU case against Microsoft have so far proved unfounded. The case against Microsoft is still running. In July 2006, the European Commission has fined Microsoft a fine in the amount of 280.5 million euros.

The first fine was imposed in March 2004, 497.5 million euro and was confirmed on 17 September 2007 by the European Court of First Instance in full. The most recent fine against Microsoft was imposed in February 2008, it amounts to 899 million euros. Microsoft has filed an appeal against the decision and the case is pending before the European Court of First Instance. In January 2009, the Commission ordered Microsoft has again threatened with an antitrust penalty, this time for the coupling of the Windows operating system with the Internet Explorer Web browser.

After the conflict between the German government and the European Commission to the naming rights of the savings banks in 2006 Kroes criticized 2007, the German system of savings banks and cooperative banks as distorting competition. Politicians and associations from Germany interpreted this again as the Commission's attempt to crush the three-pillar system in the German banking system.