Neelie Kroes

Vice President of the European Commission

Neelie Kroes, born on 19 July 1941 in Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, is a Dutch politician and businessperson. In 1971 she was elected to the Dutch lower house of parliament, where she became spokesperson for education. She remained a member of parliament until 1977, when she became junior minister of Transportation and Water Management in the First Van Agt Cabinet, responsible for Postal and Telephone Services and Transportation.

In 1981 she briefly returned to the lower house of parliament, while her party, VVD, was in opposition. In 1982 she returned to office in the First and Second Lubbers Cabinets, as the minister for Transportation and Water Management, a post that she held until 1989. As a minister she was responsible for privatisation of the Post and Telephone Services, as well as commissioning the Betuwe Railway.

After her time as minister, Ms Kroes became a member of the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce, and also served as a board member for Ballast Nedam (shipping), ABP-PGGM (a pension fund), NIB (an investment bank), McDonald's Netherlands, Nedlloyd, and Nederlandse Spoorwegen (the Dutch railway company).

In 1991 she became chairperson of Nyenrode University, a private business school.

In 2004 Neelie Kroes was appointed European Commissioner for Competition.

In February 2010 Neelie Kroes became Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda.