Speaker Wim Kok

In 1998, Wim Kok, president of the Netherlands (1994-2002) introduced Mary Robinson i, president of Ireland (1990-1997) at the fifth Europe Lecture. The theme of this lecture was 'Europe, the Need for Self-Reflection'.

Contents

1.

Wim Kok

Wim Kok

Former social democratic prime minister of The Netherlands between 1994 to 2002. Wim Kok led a coalition of two political opposites: the social democrats of the PvdA and the liberals of the VVD. Prior to becoming prime minister he was minister for Finance. Considered a competent, sincere politician, capable of forging alliances between political and socio-economic adversaries. During his tenure as prime minister unemployment figures dropped and general income levels rose continually, but his governments were unable to stem growing problems in the sectors of healthcare and education. Internationally lauded as proponent of the "Third Way", striking a balance between right-wing economic and left-wing social policies.

Kok entered politics after he made a career in the labour unions. As chairman of the largest labour union Kok was instrumental in forging a pact between labour unions and employer organisations in 1982.

2.

Introduction

"The Irish and the Dutch get along very well. Two seas separate our two countries, but seas no longer represent meaningful barriers between people. Our contacts have intensified considerably from the moment Ireland joined the Common Market.

Nevertheless we can still do better. That in itself, but not that alone, Madam President, is a reason to be grateful for your visit."

3.

Previous speakers

Year

Speaker

Moderator

Theme

2014

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga i

Jonathan Holslag i

Tom de Bruijn i

Peace and Security i

2013

F.W. de Klerk i

Karel van Wolveren i

Bernard Bot i

Europe in the World i

2010

Herman van Rompuy i

Frans Timmermans i

Europa 2030

2009

Jan Peter Balkenende i

Jacek Saryusz-Wolksi i

Europa: een unieke geschiedenis, een unieke toekomst i

2001

Javier Solana i

Dick Benschop i

Enlargement of European Union: Opportunity of Threat? i

2000

Gerhard Aigner i

Margo Vliegenthart i

EURO 2000 and the Social Significance of Sport i

1999

Hans Tietmeyer i

Nout Wellink i

The Euro: The New Common Currency i

1998

Jan Hoet i

Rudi Fuchs i

Beeldende kunst in Europa i

1997

Mary Robinson i

Wim Kok i

Europe, the Need for Self-Reflection i

1996

Richard Goldstone i

Maarten van Traa i

Human Rights, Peace and Justice in Europe i

1995

Raymond Kendall i

Arthur Doctors van Leeuwen i

Law Enforcement in Europe i

1994

Lord Peter Carrington i

Berend-Jan van Voorst tot Voorst i

Peace and Security in Europe i

1993

Jacques Attali i

Wim Duisenberg i

The Costs of European Reconstruction i