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Frits Bolkestein

Personal data
Date of birth04 April 1933(age 83)
Place of birthAmsterdam, Netherlands
Birth nameFrederik Bolkestein
NationalityDutch
Political partyPeople's Party for Freedom and Democracy
SpouseFemke Boersma
ResidenceAmsterdam, Netherlands
Alma materOregon State University (B.A.)
University of Amsterdam (M.A., PhD)
London School of Economics (BSc)
Leiden University (LL.M)
University of Bradford (Dr.h.c.)
OccupationPolitician
Author
Professor
ReligionNone (Atheism)
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
In office15 September 1999 - 22 November 2004
PresidentRomano Prodi
Succeeded byCharlie McCreevy
Preceded byMario Monti
Parliamentary leader People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
House of Representatives
In office1 May 1990 - 30 July 1998
Succeeded byHans Dijkstal
Preceded byJoris Voorhoeve
Member of the House of Representatives
In office14 September 1989 - 21 September 1999
Minister of Defence
In office24 September 1988 - 7 November 1989
Prime ministerRuud Lubbers
Succeeded byRelus ter Beek
Preceded byPiet Bukman
Member of the House of Representatives
In office3 June 1986 - 24 September 1988
State Secretary for Economic Affairs
In office5 November 1982 - 14 July 1986
Prime ministerRuud Lubbers
Succeeded byEnneüs Heerma
Preceded byWim Dik
Member of the House of Representatives
In office16 January 1978 - 5 November 1982

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Frederik "Frits" Bolkestein ( ) (born 4 April 1933) is a retired Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). He served as a Member of the House of Representatives from 16 January 1978, until 5 November 1982, when he became State Secretary for Economic Affairs from 5 November 1982, until 14 July 1986, in the Cabinet Lubbers I. And again a Member of the House of Representatives from 3 June 1986, until 24 September 1988, when he became Minister of Defence from 24 September 1988, until 7 November 1989, in the Cabinet Lubbers II. He again returned to the House of Representatives on 14 September 1989, and nine months later on 1 May 1990, he became the Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy party leader. He served in this position for eight years until 30 July 1998.

From 15 September 1999, until 22 November 2004, he was the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services. In the European Commission, Bolkestein was responsible for Internal Market, Taxation and Customs Union issues. Some of the more politically sensitive items in his portfolio were the draft Community Patent regulation and the draft Directives on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions and services in the internal market, the so-called "Bolkestein Directive", which has become the focus of heated debate.


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