05 May, 2021

Liberals remember Hans van Baalen

ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen passed away following a short illness on 29 April.

Liberals across Europe and the world have since paid tribute to Mr van Baalen, highlighting his passion and dedication to the liberal cause and his drive for democracy, freedom and cooperation across continents. Some of the tributes from the members of the liberal family are collected below. Many letters of condolences have also been directly sent to the ALDE Party Secretariat. For more tributes, have a look here

Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg:

“With Hans van Baalen we do not only mourn our ALDE Party President, but also a widely respected political leader, a liberal with his whole heart and, mostly, a dear and trusted friend.”

Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium:

“Hans was a colorful figure who, with his enthusiasm and approach, played an important role in recent years in strengthening the ties between the European liberal parties.”

Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia:

“I was deeply saddened by the passing of Hans van Baalen, an outstanding liberal. I send my deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and the ALDE Party.”

Micheál Martin, Taoiseach of Ireland:

“Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen. A pioneering liberal force in Dutch and European politics, Hans leaves a huge legacy, both in the party and international relations. My sympathies go to his family and loved ones at this time.”

Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands:

“Affected by the death of Hans van Baalen. We have been working together since 1993. Hans has played a decisive role in the enormous growth of the liberal group in the European Parliament. I cherish our friendship and I wish Ineke and Robert a lot of strength with this loss.”

Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan:

“Saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend Hans van Baalen, a member of the European Parliament & a strong supporter of Taiwan. My condolences go out to his family. He will be greatly missed.”

Charles Michel, European Council President:

“My deepest condolences to Hans's family and friends. We are losing a loyal friend and a true liberal advocate. Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hans van Baalen. A sad day for the ALDE Party which he had been leading with commitment and dedication.”

Margrethe Vestager, European Commission Executive Vice President:

“Really sad to learn that Hans van Baalen has passed away. He was the kindest man and the most dedicated European. The ALDE Party will not be the same without him. I will miss him so much. Rest in peace.”

Věra Jourová, European Commission Vice President:

“Deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Hans van Baalen. I respect him profoundly for his liberal stance, dedication to politics and open mind. I will miss him personally and professionally. My thoughts are with his family.”

Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice:

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen. My condolences go to his family and loved ones.”

Dacian Cioloș, President of the Renew Europe Group:

“For many of us, Hans was more than a colleague. On this sad day, it is above all the friend that I remember.”

Hakima El Haite, President of Liberal International:

“I am out of world, devastated by the loss of my friend, my mentor Hans van Baalen, President of the ALDE Party. My sincere condolences to his wife and son, to his friends and to all the #liberal family. Today we all lost a great man that marked the history of liberalism.”

Hilde Vautmans, President of the European Liberal Forum:

“Terrible news. Our liberal family in Europe, the ALDE Party loses its figurehead Hans van Baalen. We will never forget your drive and commitment. Hans, my good friend and colleague, how we will miss you.”

Rik Daems, President of PACE:

“I am very saddened by the passing of the ALDE Party President, Hans van Baalen. A true liberal & a commited European. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the ALDE political family.”


List of obituaries (in no particular order):

Renew Europe Group

Liberal International

German Group of Liberal International



The Friedrich Naumann Foundation

Parliament Magazine



Moreover, ALDE Party Bureau members, ALDE member parties and party leaders, along with several liberal MEPs, ALDE individual members and other liberal organisations have commemorated the life of the late ALDE President. For more tributes, have a look here

The funeral of Mr van Baalen took place on 6 May in The Hague.

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