Dutch politician and trade union leader, Wim Kok, Died at 80


Willem “Wim” Kok was born on September 29, 1938, and died on October 20, 2018, in Amsterdam.

He was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA).

Kok served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 22 August 1994 until 22 July 2002.

He was a trade union leader by occupation, worked for the Netherlands Association of Trade Unions from 1961 until 1976, when it merged to form the Federation Netherlands Labour Movement.

He was appointed as the first chairman from 1976 until 1986 after he left to enter the House of Representatives as a Labour politician.

Following the general election in 1994, he became Prime Minister of the Netherlands taking office on 22 August 1994.

With the following general election of 1998, he earned as top candidate won eight seats and the coalition retained its majority and a cabinet formation resulted in a continuation of the policies with a Second Kok cabinet.

He announced his retirement from national politics and stood down as Leader of the Labour Party that same day. On 15 December 2001

He was the Prime Minister of the Netherlands until the First Balkenende cabinet was installed on 22 July 2002.

After he completed his premiership term, he then took a semi-retirement from active politics at the age of sixty-three and became a lobbyist for the European Union and presided over several “high-level groups”, and occupied numerous seats on supervisory boards in the business and industry world and several international non-governmental organizations.

He was well known for his experience as a manager and negotiator.

During his premiership, his cabinets were responsible for implementing several social reforms, legalizing same-sex marriage and euthanasia, stimulating the economy for more employment and privatization and further reducing the deficit.

Willem “Wim” Kok held the distinction of leading the first purple coalitions as Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

Kok was granted the honorary title of Minister of State, on 11 April 2003.

During 1965, after four years of dating, Kok got married Margrietha “Rita” Roukema (born 3 November 1939).

Kok adopted her two children from a previous marriage, daughter Carla (born 1959) and son André (born 1961), who is mentally and physically disabled, and together they had a third child, son Marcel (born 1966).

Willem “Wim” Kok passed away at 80 years old.


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