Fmr. Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem nominated as mayor of Eindhoven
The city council of Eindhoven nominated former Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem as the city's new mayor on Tuesday afternoon. If King Willem-Alexander gives his approval, Dijsselbloem will succeed VVD member John Jorritsma, who announced last year that he did not want to extend his six-year term as mayor.
Dijsselbloem, 56, has been the chair of the Dutch Safety Board and the National Growth Fund since 2019. Previously, he served as the finance minister for five years, during which time he was also the President of the Eurogroup, the collective group of finance ministers from all countries where the euro is used. Before that, the Labour politician had been a member of the Tweede Kamer starting in 2000.
The confidential committee for the nomination of a new mayor advised the city council during a closed session on Tuesday. The municipal council previously formulated a number of requirements that the new candidate must meet, partly on the basis of suggestions put forward by the city's inhabitants. The new mayor must have guts and charisma, be someone who brings people together, and have the necessary perseverance.
Moreover, the council had a preference for a woman. Eleven men and seven women, including fifteen current and former aldermen and mayors applied for the position.
"It is important to act with integrity, he promotes the culture of accountability and takes action himself when boundaries are crossed," the municipality said in highlighting the reasons why Dijsselbloem was chosen. "He monitors and encourages a socially safe working environment."
The nomination will be submitted to the Minister of the Interior, who then advises the Crown. Ultimately, the king has to put his signature to the appointment in the form of a Royal Decree.
The Dutch Safety Board offered its congratulations to Dijsselbloem on the nomination. "And we wish him success with the further procedure. We await the result of that; then we will see how we will fill his position," said a spokesperson. The potential successors are not known, she said.
Dijsselbloem has been in charge since 1 May 2019 when he was appointed to a four-year term. When he leaves for Eindhoven, one of the two other Dutch Safety Board council members will probably become acting chairman. The other two members are Erica Bakkum, a medical and healthcare manager, and Stavros Zouridis, professor of public administration at Tilburg University.
The Dutch Safety Board is the independent supervisor that investigates incidents in which safety has been endangered. The organization also played a leading role in the investigation into the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.
Should the organization need a new chair, a Recommendation Committee will propose one or more candidates. That advice then gets sent to the Minister of Justice and Security, who presents a final candidate to Cabinet ministers. They then decide on the appointment.
Reporting by ANP