Dutch foreign minister resigns

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Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced on Friday that he had formally resigned from his post, to prepare for his likely new role as EU Commissioner for Climate Action.

Netherlands, The Hague, 20220713.Min BZ Wobke Hoekstra op bezoek op het ROC Mondriaan.photo: Kick Smeets / ministery of Foreign Affairs 2022.

Hoekstra submitted his resignation papers to King Willem-Alexander on Friday.

He made the disclosure on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Christian Democrat had been nominated for the post by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

He is to succeed Social Democrat Frans Timmermans, who is the front-runner of the Red-Green alliance in the Dutch parliamentary elections in November.

For the time being, the current Minister of Foreign Trade, Liesje Schreinemacher, would take over the foreign ministry.

Hoekstra had been Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister since January 2022.

The war in Ukraine had shaped his term in office, he wrote on X.

“It shows us the importance of a strong and decisive EU and NATO.”

In the Netherlands, criticism of Hoekstra’s nomination for the office of climate commissioner is increasing.

Greens, social democrats as well as environmental organisations and a citizens’ movement, complained that he lacked expertise and knowledge and had never campaigned for action on climate change.

Previously, Hoekstra worked for a consultancy firm, McKinsey, and fossil fuel company, Shell.

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