Dr. F.C.G.M. (Frans) Timmermans

foto Dr. F.C.G.M. (Frans) Timmermans
Naar de grotere foto (verschijnt in een nieuw venster)
bron: Georges Boulougouris / European Commission
Source: Parlement.com.

Frans Timmermans is Minister of Foreign Affairs since November 5th 2012. Between 2007 and 2010 Timmermans was junior minister of Foreign Affairs, charged with European Cooperation. In 1998 Timmermans became member of the House of Representatives, serving terms until 2007 and again in between 2010 and 2012. Prior to his political career Frans Timmermans served with dr. M. van der Stoel, High Commissioner of national minorities at OSCE and was member of the cabinet of Commissioner Van den Broek at the EC. He also worked at various posts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Timmermans is a politician at heart, as well as a diplomat with a penchant for languages. Though an enthousiastic proponent of European and international cooperation, he has and will adapt his views to fit the political realities of the day.


Personal data

Name and surname

Franciscus Cornelis Gerardus Mria (Frans) Timmermans

Date of birth

May 6th 1961

Place of birth

Maastricht (The Netherlands)


grandfathers on both sides worked as miners

spouse, two sons and two daughters



Selected honours and distinctions

Chévalier de la Légion d'Honneur, France 2007

Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau, March 17th 2010

Honours awarded by various states (Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Brazil, Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden and Chili)



Secondary education

  • Lyceum 'Saint George's English School" in Rome, 1972 to 1975
  • Atheneum, R.K. 'Bernardinus College" in Heerlen, 1975 to 1980


  • French, Nijmegen University, 1980 to 1985
  • European law, University of Nancy, 1984 to 1985
  • French, University of Nancy, 1984 to 1985
  • history, University of Nancy, 1985


Political affiliation

  • D66 (liberal democrats), 1985
  • PvdA (Dutch Labour Party), since 1990

Party-political posts

  • member of the Commission that (re)evaluated the stance of PvdA on Europe after the referendum on a European Constitution in 2005 resulted in a 'no' vote (the PvdA was in favor of a 'yes')



  • civil servant at the directorate for Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 1st 1987 to July 1st 1990
  • second secretary at the Dutch Embassy in Moscow, July 1st 1990 to September 1st 1993
  • civil servant at the directorate for Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 1st 1993 to March 15th 1994
  • member of the cabinet of European Commissioner H. van den Broek, March 15th 1994 to March 15th 1995
  • councellor and secretary to dr. M. van der Stoel, High Commissioner of national minorities at OSCE, June 1st 1995 to May 1998
  • member of the Dutch House of Representatives, May 19th 1998 to February 22nd 2007
  • junior minister of Foreign Affairs, February 22nd 2007 to February 23d 2010
  • member of the Dutch House of Representatives, June 17th 2010 to November 5th 2012
  • minister of Foreign Affairs, since November 5th 2012


Selected additional functions


  • lecturer, on various occassions at several institutes and universities
  • columnist, brief bouts in various media (including a Dutch national daily)
  • member of the executive board of the Dutch counterpart of the European Movement
  • member of the Advisory Board of the European Cultural Foundation


Selected political achievements

  • as member of the House Representatives he was vice-president and later president of the parliamentary committee on economic affairs
  • was one of the representatives on behalf of the Dutch parliament to the European Constitutional Convention
  • together with the prime minister and the minister on foreign affairs, Timmermans ensured parliamentary approval of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty
  • together with political opponents of the liberal party and Fortuynists movements pushed for recognition of the efforts of Polish veterans in freeing the Netherlands in World War II
  • Timmermans was a candidate for the post of Commisioner for Human Rights in the European Council in 2012
  • a highly critical e-mail on the party leadership from Timmermans to his fellow PvdA representatives at parliament and the party executive was leaked (Timmermans denies he intended this to happen). A few days of fierce debate and media coverage later the party leader resigned


Selected public references

  • self portrait in Dutch weekly HP-De Tijd (October 19th 2007)
  • "Vertel me wie ik ben" ("tell me who I am", May 5th lecure of 2009)
  • "Glück Auf. Het relaas van een Limburgse Europeaan" (a book on his motivation to enter politics, 2010)
  • "The European Project in a Global Perspective: 'chez nous - de nous - et avec nous!" (oration 2010)