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Dutch Commissioner Kroes ‘Top EU Woman to Watch’

Wall Street Journal survey

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BRUSSELS - European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes (65), ranks sixth on a list of the Top 50 Women to Watch, compiled by The Wall Street Journal. The Dutch former cabinet minister is the only politician on the list of fifty and the highest-ranked European.

Economist Kroes, who from 1982 until 1989 held the Dutch cabinet position of Minister of Transportation and Waterworks - she served as the Junior Minister in the Department earlier - was named to the EU Commission, the ‘cabinet’ of the European Union, in 2004. She succeeded Italian Mario Monti and has a mandate until 2009. As the Dutch representative in the EU Commission, she is the successor of Frits Bolkestein. Both are members of the Dutch VVD party, the Conservative Liberals.

The 2004 nomination of Kroes was met with controversy, mainly because of her ties to big business where she sits on a number of boards of commissioners. Careful to avoid conflicts of interest, whenever Kroes faces issues concerning competition in branches of industry in which she used to be active as a board member, fellow Commissioner McCreevy has assumed her responsibilities.

Kroes has held and still holds many side directorships, mainly in cultural and social organizations, such as a board membership of the Rembrandthuis Museum. She is a member of several boards of commissioners, including Nedlloyd and Lucent Technologies.

Topping the Wall Street Journal list of fifty is Melinda Gates, the wife of Microsoft’s Bill Gates.