Spies new Kingdom Relations Minister

THE HAGUE--Piet Hein Donner transferred his portfolio of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK to his successor Liesbeth Spies (45) on Friday.

As expected, the Council of Ministers approved on Friday the appointment of Donner as Vice-President of the Council of State. Donner tendered his resignation and his successor Spies was appointed. Spies was sworn in by Queen Beatrix on the same day.

The integration part of Donner's portfolio has been transferred to Minister Gert Leers, who will be in charge of Immigration, Asylum and Integration from now on.
Spies said in a first reaction that she was "very honoured" to have been asked to take the post. She said she was happy to take on the challenges the BZK Ministry faced: a democratic state of law, an efficient government and the heavy responsibility of urban policy.

Spies, a member of the Christian Democratic Party CDA, said at a press briefing at the BZK Ministry on Friday afternoon that she had never visited the Dutch Caribbean. She said she was eager to become acquainted with the overseas part of the Kingdom. "We will have to arrange a visit soon," she said.

"I realise that Kingdom Relations is completely new for me. But I see that as a positive thing about my portfolio. I have already done many things, but now I have to get into something new. I will tackle that with all my energy," said Spies.

Before her appointment as Minister, Spies was Commissioner for the province South-Holland. She also was a Member of the Second Chamber for the CDA party from 2002 to 2011 and chaired the CDA Board on interim basis for a short while last year.
Donner said he was a bit sorry to let go of the "great post" of minister after 9½ years. He was appointed Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations in October 2010. Before that, he was Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, and of Justice.

16 December 2011

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