Interior Min.: Euro Commissioner Timmermans "did nothing" for 6 months
When European Commissioner Frans Timmermans was a PvdA parliamentarian in 2010, he did nothing for six months because he had not be given the party's Foreign Affairs portfolio, Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk said in an interview with the Volkskrant. Plasterk was also a parliamentarian at the time.
Between 1998 and 2007 Timmemans, as member of the PvdA parliamentary faction, worked on European Affairs, Defense and Foreign Affairs. In the Balkende IV cabinet he was state secretary of Foreign Affairs and worked on European cooperation. In 2010 the PvdA was again an opposition party and Timmermans returned to parliament.
According to Plasterk, Timmermans fought very hard to get the Foreign Affairs portfolio again. "Timmermans said: 'I want the foreign portfolio'. But someone was already on it. In addition, it is not done. You come from a cabinet, you know everyone on the department. But Timmermans held his breath until he was made spokesperson. He said: 'Well, I;ll just do nothing'. And he really did nothing for six months", Plasterk said to the newspaper, calling it a "strange performance".
Timmermans was eventually given the Foreign Affairs portfolio. The person who had been on it at the time - Martijn van Dam - is now State Secretary f Economic Affairs.
Frans Timmermans was in the Rutte II cabinet the Minster of Foreign Affairs until he became Vice President of the European Commission in 2014. He did not want to comment on Plasterk's statements.