Society

Prime Ministers Of The Netherlands Since World War II

The Minister-president van Nederland heads the executive branch of the Netherlands and chairs the Council of Ministers.

Netherlands is a constitutional monarch and a parliamentary democracy. The politics of the country and its governance is characterized by efforts to achieve consensus on several issues that affect the country. Netherlands is one of the most democratic countries in the world. The prime minister heads the government and is the most important figure in Netherlands. He chairs weekly meetings of the ministers where he sets the agenda for these meetings. He or she is the Minister of General Affairs which coordinates policies and responsible for government information services. The premier is responsible for the royal house and meets the kings weekly on government issues. He or she has international functions including attending European Council.

Prime Ministers

Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy

Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy was a politician in Netherlands who was affiliated to the Anti-Revolutionary Party. He was born in 1885 in the province of Friesland. He joined politics in the early 1920s becoming a member of the state of Friesland for ARP. He was appointed Minister for Justice in 1939. He became an influential figure during the World War II. He served as the prime minister of the Dutch government during the period of exile from September 3, 1940, to June 24, 1945, during the world war. During his leadership, he facilitated the establishment of Radio Oranje which supplied them with information while under the occupation of the Nazi German. He resigned from the premier’s position after the liberation in 1945 and died on September 7, 1961.

Willem Schermerhorn

Willem Schermerhorn was a member of the Labor Party and served as the first Prime Minister after the World War II from June 24, 1945, to July 3, 1946. He was the first premier to appoint civil servants with political background. His government is credited for achieving important results, especially in the field of labor, finance, pension services, and housing. After the election of 1946, Willem Schermerhorn became a member of parliament until 1951 when he became director of the International Training Center for Aerial Survey. He died on March 10, 1977, at the age of 82.

Louis Beel

Louis Beel was a member of the now defunct Catholic People’s Party. He served as Netherlands’ premier for two terms from 1946 to 1948 and from 1958 to 1959. During the 1946 campaign, Beel resisted the political reforms and planning that were favored by Prime Minister Schermerhorn leading to the victory of his Catholic Peoples’ Party and becoming the premier in the process. He introduced allowances for wage-earners with children under the age of 18. His party won the 1948 elections, but Beel could not form a broad-based capitalist cabinet. He was relegated to the position of the Deputy Prime Minister. In 1958 he was again called upon to form the cabinet which he did from December 1958 to May 1959 when the government was dissolved. However, he continued influencing the government activities as an authority of the Council of State. He died on February 11, 1977.

Further Information on The Position of the Prime Minister

The office of the Prime Minister of Netherlands in a hexagon shaped named “Little Tower.” The official residence or the premier, Catshuis, is also used for official functions. The prime minister is appointed from the party with the largest number of seats in the Second Chamber while his deputy is appointed from a smaller coalition party. If the coalition is made up of three parties, then the smallest party takes the position of the Second Deputy Prime Minister.

Prime Ministers Of The Netherlands Since World War IITerm(s) in Office
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
1940-1945
Willem Schermerhorn
1945-1946
Louis Beel
1946-1948; 1958-1959
Willem Drees
1948-1958
Jan de Quay
1959-1963
Victor Marijnen
1963-1965
Jo Cals
1965-1966
Jelle Zijlstra
1966-1967
Piet de Jong
1967-1971
Barend Biesheuvel
1971-1973
Joop den Uyl
1973-1977
Dries van Agt
1977-1982
Ruud Lubbers
1982-1994
Wim Kok
1994-2002
Jan Peter Balkenende
2002-2010
Mark Rutte (Incumbent)
2010-Present

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