Dick Schoof

Last updated

Yolanda Senf
(divorced)
Dick Schoof
Directeur-generaal AIVD Dick Schoof (cropped).jpg
Schoof in 2018
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Assumed office
2 July 2024
Children2
Residence(s) Zoetermeer, Netherlands
Alma mater Radboud University (MSc)
Occupation

Hendrikus Wilhelmus Maria "Dick" Schoof (Dutch: [ɦɛnˈdrikʏsʋɪlˈɦɛlmʏsmaˈrijaːdɪksxoːf] ; born 8 March 1957) is the prime minister of the Netherlands in the Schoof Cabinet since 2 July 2024. [1]

Contents

Schoof previously served as secretary-general of the Ministry of Justice and Security from 2020 to 2024, as director-general of the General Intelligence and Security Service from 2018 to 2020, and as National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism from 2013 to 2018.

Early life and education

Hendrikus Wilhelmus Maria Schoof was born on 8 March 1957 in Santpoort into a Roman Catholic family as the second youngest of seven children. [1] [2] [3] [4]

He has one sister, and his father was a municipal civil servant, including for social services. [4] [5] At the age of eight, he moved with his family to Hengelo, where he attended Lyceum De Grundel. [6] From 1975 to 1982, he studied urban and regional planning at Radboud University. [2] He was a member of its rowing-oriented student association Phocas and served as its chair. [7]

Career

Civil service

Schoof began his career as a policy advisor on education at the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, [7] and became a civil servant at the Ministry of Education and Sciences in 1988. [2] He helped dissolve the primary school construction department, which he headed, under State Secretary Jacques Wallage. [8] He helped broker a compromise between the Christian Democratic Appeal and the Labour Party when both parties disagreed whether schools or municipalities should be responsible for the maintenance of school buildings. [4]

From 1996, Schoof held various senior positions in the field of security. [9] He served as deputy secretary-general at the Ministry of Security and Justice before being appointed chief director of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) in 1999. [2] [10] The Netherlands was experiencing a relatively high influx of asylum seekers as a result of the Kosovo War, and the organization had a significant backlog of requests. Schoof was responsible for implementing reforms to the Aliens Act by State Secretary for Justice Job Cohen in 2001 that simplified the asylum procedure, and he worked to deport applicants that did not qualify. The number of asylum applications declined, which Schoof attributed to stricter migration policies. A later evaluation concluded that legislation had a more limited impact, suggesting that external factors were the primary drivers of the drop. [11] Schoof left the IND to become director-general at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in 2003, where he was in charge of restructuring the police force from a number of regional organisations into a single National Police Corps. [12]

After serving as director-general at the Ministry of Security and Justice (from 2010 to 2013), Schoof was appointed National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV). [9] He allowed his employees to monitor potential terrorists on social media through fake profiles despite warnings from his attorneys. [4] Following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, he coordinated the Dutch crisis response, strengthening his relationship with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. When Schoof requested an independent investigation by Twente University into the performance of his office, he was accused of interfering. He exerted pressure to soften its main conclusion. [5] [8] [13] [14] Schoof led the General Intelligence and Security Service as director-general from 2018 to 2020. [9] De Volkskrant wrote that his relatively short tenure was characterized by a culture clash. Schoof unsuccessfully tried to make the agency more outward facing, including through cooperations with institutions and universities. In 2019, he warned the education ministry and the municipality of Amsterdam that supporters of the Salafi movement were on the board of an Islamic school. His message was perceived as a way to assert pressure, and it received criticism for stirring up polarisation. [4] [15]

In December 2019, it was announced that Schoof would succeed Siebe Riedstra as secretary-general of the Ministry of Justice and Security, the most senior non-political position within the ministry. [13] [16] [17] The appointment took effect on 1 March 2020. [18] In his role, he was involved in negotiations on asylum reform that led to the collapse of the fourth Rutte cabinet in July 2023. Upon reaching the legal retirement age in March 2024, Schoof chose not to retire and was granted an exemption to continue working for three more years. [7]

Political career

Schoof during a meeting with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in 2022 DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Meets with Dutch Minister of Justice and Security - 52532724925 (cropped).jpg
Schoof during a meeting with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in 2022

Schoof was a passive member of the Labour Party (PvdA) for over 30 years, until he left the party in early 2021. [5] [19] Following the general election victory of the Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders in November 2023, Schoof called it a signal of distrust towards the government in an interview. He said the people could not have been wrong if they voted for the PVV in such large numbers. [8]

On 16 May 2024, the PVV presented a right-wing coalition agreement with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), New Social Contract (NSC), and the Farmer–Citizen Movement (BBB). [20] As part of the negotiations, the four party leaders agreed none of them would serve as prime minister. [21] The PVV had initially proposed Ronald Plasterk for the position, but he withdrew from consideration due to accusations of fraud. [22] [23] Schoof was subsequently nominated for the office of prime minister on 28 May 2024 by the coalition parties under formateur Richard van Zwol. [22] [24] He was sworn in on 2 July by King Willem-Alexander as part of the Schoof cabinet. [25]

Personal life

Schoof lives in Zoetermeer with his partner. [26] Schoof and his ex-wife, Yolanda Senf, share two daughters who were adopted from China. [5] [27] He enjoys running, having completed his first marathon in 1987 and his 18th marathon in 2024. [7] [28] Schoof's older brother Nico Schoof is a former mayor of the municipalities of Akersloot, Limmen, Heiloo and Alphen aan den Rijn for the Democrats 66 party. [3] [4] [29] Schoof is a Catholic. [30]

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References

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  2. 1 2 3 4 Harreveld, Mark van; Verbeek, Julian (28 May 2024). "Dit weten we over Dick Schoof, de premierskandidaat van PVV, VVD, NSC & BBB". BNR Nieuwsradio (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 28 May 2024. Retrieved 28 May 2024.
  3. 1 2 "Drs. H.W.M. (Dick) Schoof". Parlement.com (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 28 May 2024. Retrieved 28 May 2024.
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  29. Kouwenhoven, Andreas; Versteegh, Kees (14 February 2015). "Mister Veiligheid neemt alle ruimte" . NRC (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 28 May 2024. Retrieved 29 May 2024.
  30. Den Hartog, Tobias; Keultjes, Hanneke; Verweij, Elodie (28 May 2024). "'Dick Donder' en 'Lachende moordenaar': met Dick Schoof krijgt Nederland premier die stiekem best op Rutte lijkt". Het Parool . Archived from the original on 18 June 2024.
Government offices
Preceded by Chief Director of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service
1999–2003
Succeeded by
Preceded by National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism
2013–2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director-General of the General Intelligence and Security Service
2018–2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary-General of the Ministry of Justice and Security
2020–2024
Succeeded by
Anneke van Dijk (designate)
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of the Netherlands
2024–present
Incumbent