New Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence sworn in

On 24 September 2021 Ben Knapen (CDA) was sworn in as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and Henk Kamp (VVD) as Minister of Defence at Huis ten Bosch Palace in the presence of King Willem-Alexander.

The new ministers were appointed to replace Sigrid Kaag, who resigned as Minister of Foreign Affairs, effective as of 17 September 2021, and Ank Bijleveld, who resigned as Minister of Defence.

After serving temporarily as Minister of Foreign Affairs for a week, Tom de Bruijn will now continue as Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

Minister Knapen (Foreign Affairs)

Ben Knapen served as Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation in the first Rutte government from 14 October 2010 to 5 November 2012.

In 2013 he became Director-General of the European Investment Bank of the European Union. On 9 June 2015 he was elected to the Dutch Senate for the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA), and became leader of the CDA in the Senate on 11 June 2019.

Minister Kamp (Defence)

On 12 December 2002, during the first Balkenende government, Henk Kamp was put in charge of the Ministry of Defence for the first time, following the resignation of Benk Korthals. At the time, Mr Kamp was already serving as Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment for the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).

Mr Kamp went on to serve as Minister of Defence in the second and third Balkenende governments. His tenure as leader of the Defence organisation ran from 12 December 2002 to 22 February 2007. He will now hold the post again until a new government is formed.