Former VVD MP and MEP Hans van Baalen passed away at the age of 60. He died after a short illness in a hospital in Rotterdam. He was recently diagnosed with cancer. In recent weeks, his condition has suddenly deteriorated rapidly, a friend of his family told NOS.
Van Palen sat in the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009 on behalf of the VVD. In 2002, due to the great loss of his party, he was not a member of Parliament, but returned after the 2003 elections.
Chair leads to tape
In 2009 he moved to Brussels, where he became a member of the European Parliament. He was mainly concerned with foreign affairs and defense. As of 2015, he was President of ALDE, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. The VVD belongs to this party on behalf of the Netherlands.
Van Baalen was appointed Knight of the Order of Oranje-Nassau in November. He obtained his statute from former Chamber President Arib for many years from his membership in the Chamber and the European Parliament, his presidency of ALDE and Liberal International. He described it as a great honor for me to receive this award.
Claiming extreme right sympathy
Early in his political career, he was accused of sympathizing with the far right. When he was on the list of nominees in 1998, the story came through from Frigg Niederland that when he was sixteen years old he would have written a statement in support of Jupp Glimervin, the far-right Volkswagen leader. As president of the Pro Patria student club, he was said to have sang Horst Wessel in the late 1970s.
Van Palen resigned after the accusations, after which a commission investigated. Based on the results of that commission, the VVD granted him rehabilitation: for example, experts were unable to determine whether the signature on Glimmerveen’s letter actually belonged to Van Baalen.
Members of the European Parliament address the crowds in Kiev
In 2014 Van Palen traveled to Kiev with fellow European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt. The protesters there turned against Russia, which became known as the Maidan Revolution.
Verhofstadt then addressed the crowd, “A new delegation from the European Union comes here every week until the battle is won.” Van Palen added, “We will stay with you.” They were criticized for this act, because it would have added fuel to the fire.
Nieuwsuur reported on this in 2019: