Neelie Kroes, lange tijd bekend als Neelie Smit-Kroes, (Rotterdam, 19 juli 1941) is een Nederlandse politica van de Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD). Momenteel is zij Europees Commissaris belast met de portefeuille Digitale agenda. Zij is een van de zeven vicevoorzitters van de Europese Commissie. In 2007 stond Kroes op nummer 59 op de Forbes-lijst The 100 Most Powerful Women, een jaar later stond ze op de 47e plaats. Ze heeft de bijnaam 'Nikkelen Neelie' gekregen om haar harde houding met betrekking tot kartelzaken.
- lid Raad van Bestuur zwaartransportbedrijf "ZwaTra", vanaf 1965
- wetenschappelijk medewerkster Nederlandse Economische Hogeschool te Rotterdam tot 1971
- lid gemeenteraad van Rotterdam, van 1 september 1970 tot 28 april 1972
- lid Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, van 3 augustus 1971 tot 28 december 1977
- lid gemeenteraad van Rotterdam, van 8 november 1973 tot 2 september 1974
- lid gemeenteraad van Rotterdam, van 15 september 1977 tot 28 december 1977
- staatssecretaris van Verkeer en Waterstaat (onder meer belast met PTT-zaken en vervoersaangelegenheden), van 28 december 1977 tot 11 september 1981
- lid Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, van 27 augustus 1981 tot 4 november 1982
- minister van Verkeer en Waterstaat, van 4 november 1982 tot 7 november 1989
- lid Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, van 3 juni 1986 tot 14 juli 1986
- president "Nyenrode", Universiteit voor bedrijfskunde, vanaf 1 juni 1991
- Europees Commissaris voor mededinging, vanaf 1 november 2004 tot 1 december 2009
- Europees Commissaris voor de digitale agenda, sinds 1 december 2009
- lid provinciaal bestuur Teldersstichting Zuid-Holland
- lid bestuur Vrouwen VVD
- lid Raad van Advies en Steun Prof.Mr. B.M.
Neelie Kroes (born 19 July 1941) is a Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). She served as a Member of the House of Representatives from 3 August 1971 until 28 December 1977 when she became State Secretary for Transport, Public Works and Water Management from 28 December 1977 until 11 September 1981, in the Cabinet Van Agt I. And again a Member of the House of Representatives from 27 August 1981 until 4 November 1982, when she became Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management from 4 November 1982 until 7 November 1989, in the Cabinets Lubbers I and II.
After a long period of working on the board of commissioners of several multinational corporations she returned to active politics when she became the European Commissioner for Competition for the Barroso Commission. She continued to serve in the second term in the Barroso Commission as the new European Commissioner for Digital Agenda and became one of several Vice-Presidents of the European Commission.
- Local and national politics
Neelie Kroes was elected member of the Rotterdam city council for the VVD since 1970. In 1971 she was elected to the House of Representatives, forcing her to stop her fellowship. In parliament, she became spokesperson for education. She remained a member of parliament until 1977, when she became State Secretary for Transport, Public Works and Water Management in the First Van Agt Cabinet, responsible for Postal and Telephone Services and Transport. In 1981 she briefly returned to the House of Representatives, while her party, VVD, was in the opposition. In 1982 she returned to office in the First and Second Lubbers Cabinets, now as the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, a post that she held until 1989. As a minister she was responsible for the privatisation of the Postgiro (Postbank, initially a part of the PTT), the Post and Telephone Services, the Harbour Pilotage services, as well as the commissioning of the Betuwe Railway. Kroes refused to become Minister of Defence in 1988. During her tenure as minister, she was involved in the so-called TCR affair, about the illegal sale of warships. She had also a business relationship with a tank cleaning company (TCR), which received illegally governmental subsidies.
In 2004 Neelie Kroes was appointed the European Commissioner for Competition. Her nomination was heavily criticised because of her ties to big business and alleged involvement in shady arms deals. Kroes attended conferences organized by the Bilderberg Group in 2005 and 2006. Neelie Kroes made the Forbes' The World's 100 Most Powerful Women list multiple times: as number 53 in 2009, 47 in 2008, 59 in 2007, 38 in 2006 and number 44 in 2005. She is sometimes called "Nickel Neelie". She apparently earned her nickname because she's tough in the same vein as the UK "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher when dealing with competition issues. In 2009 she was transferred to another European Commissioner post, namely ICT and Telecom. She was also appointed as one of the vice-presidents of the European Commission.
- Commissioner for Digital Agenda
In 2010 she became European Commissioner for Digital Agenda in the second Barroso Commission. Digital Agenda for Europe was proposed by the European Commission on 19 May 2010. She was in attendance at the Bilderberg conference in Sitges in Spain from 3 to 6 June 2010. Since 2010 she has served as a Commissioner for the Broadband Commission for Digital Development which leverages broadband technologies as a key enabler for social and economic development. In 2010 it was suggested that she would become prime-minister in the Netherlands, when Mark Rutte would stay in parliament due to difficulties in the formations in the new Cabinet. However, eventually Rutte became prime-minister. In December 2011 Kroes invited Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg - who had resigned as German Minister of Defence in March 2011 due to plagiarism charges - as advisor to the European Commission as part of its No Disconnect Strategy designed to promote Internet freedom. In November 2012 Kroes made international news when she said her advisers at the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan had been the victims of computer hacking.