Patrons of EYP The Netherlands

Mariëtte Hamer - picture by Angeline Swinkels

Drs. Mariëtte Hamer

President of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER)

Mariëtte Hamer has been President of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) since September 2014. The SER is an advisory body in which employers, employees and experts reach agreement on social and economic issues. The SER advises the Dutch Government and Parliament and facilitates agreements, such as the Dutch Energy Agreement. In 1984, Ms Hamer was the founder and first chair of the National Union of Students. From 1998 to September 2014, she was a member of the Dutch House of Representatives, including three years as parliamentary leader of her party, the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA). She also served as deputy speaker of the House. 

Young people’s education and their access to the labour market, as well as emancipation issues, have always been important themes in the work of Mariette Hamer. This is why she supports the activities of the European Youth Parliament in the Netherlands since 2020.

Feike Sijbesma

Dhr. Feike Sijbesma

Honorary Chairman Royal DSM

From its roots as the Dutch State Mines, DSM has since evolved into a science company numbering 23,000 people worldwide and specializing in nutrition, health and sustainable living. Feike Sijbesma is DSM’s longest-serving CEO, having been a member of the Managing Board for 20 years, almost 13 of which he served as CEO. He was named Honorary Chairman after the handover of his role and responsibilities to his successors in February 2020. As Honorary Chairman, Feike maintains a connection between him and the company and continues to represent DSM externally, especially in areas such as health and climate. For example, he currently serves as the special envoy for the coronavirus crisis on behalf of the Dutch government.

Monika Sie Dhian Ho

Drs. Monika Sie Dhian Ho

General Director of Clingendael - the Netherlands Institute of International Relations

Monika Sie Dhian Ho is general director of Clingendael – the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. Clingendael is an independent think tank and academy on international affairs. Much like the European Youth Parliament, Clingendael offers policy recommendations and aims to contribute to a secure, sustainable and just world. Before joining the Clingendael Institute, Monika Sie Dhian Ho was director of the Wiardi Beckman Foundation, a social-democratic scientific bureau. She lectures at the Netherlands School of Public Administration and is vice president of the European Integration Committee of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV). Monika studied and later lectured on political science at the Erasmus University Rotterdam as well as teaching International Relations and International Political Economy at Leiden University. At the Scientific Council for Government Policy, she worked as a researcher and project manager.

Commissaris van de Koning Theo Bovens

Drs. Th.J.F.M. (Theo) Bovens

King’s Commissioner (Governor) in the province of Limburg

Theo Bovens is the King’s Commissioner (Governor) of the province of Limburg. He studied History at the University of Nijmegen and worked for the youth organisation of the christian-democrat party in The Hague. After he graduated, he became manager of a research institute at the Maastricht University Faculty of Economics followed by being the deputy mayor and alderman for social and economic affairs for Maastricht. After being the chairman of the board of the Open University, he became the Governor of Limburg and has been so since 2011. Since 1850, the governors of the provinces of the Netherlands have been called “commissioners”. However, only in Limburg are they still referred to as a governor due to historical reasons.As the governor, Mr Bovens is among other things responsible for the international outlook of the province of Limburg. Theo Bovens has been a Patron of European Youth Parliament The Netherlands since September 2020. He has said “It is important that young people are stimulated to think about society and politics. EYP The Netherlands can offer a good platform for this, which I heartily wish to support.”


R.E. (Robert) de Groot

Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the European Union

Ambassador Mr Robert de Groot has had a long career in public life, having worked at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and having served as advisor to the Prime Minister on foreign policy. He has served as the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ permanent representative to the European Union since 2017. The Permanent Representation promotes the Dutch interests in the European Union. The office is in daily contact with representatives of other EU Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Mr Robert de Groot has been a patron fo EYP the Netherlands since 2020. 

Neelie Kroes

Dr. N. (Neelie) Kroes

Non-executive board member Salesforce and former Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda

Neelie Kroes is a former politician for the ‘Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD)’ as a Minister and State Secretary for Traffic and Water Management, and as a Member of Parliament. From 2004 until 2014, she was the first female Dutch European Commissioner and was appointed as vice-president of the European Commission, where she devoted herself to furthering a digitally  connected Europe. Today, information and communication technology is deeply intertwined with many aspects of our economic and social activities. During our Conference in Maastricht, with our theme “The Digital Generation; Setting an Innovative Agenda”, our participants will be focussing on socially relevant topics which engage the youth of today, and together we will create innovative solutions. 

Neelie Kroes has also been active within the private sector. She fulfills various advisory roles in non-profits and companies, such as Salesforce, a leading company in cloudbased CRM-software. As part of her functions in the corporate world, but also in her positions in the Dutch and European political sphere, Neelie Kroes has been vocal about the importance of clear communication coming from policymakers, especially concerning complicated or hard to grasp topics, and to realise inclusive and innovative policies. The European Youth Parliament actively aims to support these objectives and explicitly makes an effort to include underrepresented groups such as women and the youth in this. We are grateful for the support for our activities from Neelie Kroes, and together we hope to provide further opportunities for young people to voice their opinions and to develop themselves into active citizens. 

frans van houten

Drs. F.A. van Houten

President and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Royal Philips

Frans van Houten is CEO of Royal Philips, a position he has held since April 2011. Philips was established in 1891 and became the world’s leading producer of light bulbs. Today, Philips is an influential technology company focused on improving people’s health. It is the mission of Philips to make the world healthier and more sustainable.

Frans van Houten is passionate about innovation and first joined Philips in 1986. He held multiple global leadership positions across the company and served as Co-Chair at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2017. A proponent of a united, single European market, Frans is also a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists. He supports initiatives in the Netherlands to create a better future for the Netherlands in the areas of education, sustainable growth and a vital society. He has supported initiatives of the European Youth Parliament in 2015 and 2018, and became a patron of our foundation in 2020.

Patrons of The Conference

Andre Rieu (1)

André Rieu

Violinist, conductor and founder of the Johann Strauss Orchestra

André Rieu is a Dutch violinist and conductor best known as founder of the waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra. He and his orchestra have turned classical music into a worldwide concert touring act, as successful as some of the biggest global pop and rock music acts: during the first half of 2009, André Rieu was the world’s most successful male touring artist, according to Billboard magazine. He is from Maastricht, where he also lives. He supports initiatives in Maastricht focused on young people and education. Because of his donations, a thousand children in Maastricht have access to music lessons. André Rieu speaks six European languages: Dutch, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.

Maastricht 25 september 2019 
Universiteit Maastricht Rector Magnificus Rianne Letschert UM  
Foto: Harry Heuts

Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert

Rector Maastricht University

Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert has held a chair in victimology and international law at Tilburg University, was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge (UK), and Research Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. In 2014 she was Visiting Professor at the University of Barcelona. Letschert has authored and edited several book publications and articles in national and international journals. She is an expert consultant for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on victim issues, and served as director of the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT). In 2012, Letschert joined De Jonge Akademie (Young Academy), consisting of young academics who excel in their discipline, and became its chairperson in April 2015. Rianne Letschert was appointed Rector of Maastricht University on 1 September 2016. This made her the youngest female rector ever at a Dutch university. She has made it one of her goals to increase the number of female professors at Maastricht University. In 2019 she was awarded the “Top Woman of the Year” (Topvrouw van het jaar) award for the best female executive.

mathieu segers

Dr. Mathieu Segers

Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration at Maastricht University and Dean of University College Maastricht

Mathieu Segers is Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration at Maastricht University and Dean of University College Maastricht. He is a fellow at the Center for European Studies of Harvard University and at the Department of Politics and IR at the University of Oxford. His book on The Netherlands and European integration (Reis naar het Continent) won the Dutch prize for best political book in 2013 and was published in English translation in 2017. His research focuses on the history and pre-history of European integration, focussing on the historical roots of the modern EU and the origins of the Maastricht Treaty, the European social market economy, and the EU’s position in international politics.

In addition, Professor Segers is also member of the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy, where he is part of the research team working on Europe’s public functions. Professor Segers also holds various additional functions, such as Chair of the Advisory Commission on Archival Affairs and Member of Advisory Council on International Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).