Frits Bolkestein is President of the Telders-foundation, the think-tank connected with the centre-right party the VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy); Member of the Supervisory Board of the Central Bank of The Netherlands; and Non-Executive Director of Air-France-KLM.
Bolkestein started his political career in 1978 after holding several posts within the Shell Group in East Africa, Central America, Indonesia, London and Paris.
He served as Member of Parliament for the VVD and Minister of Foreign Trade and Minister of Defence. He was a member of the European Commission from September 1999 until November 2004, responsible for the internal market, taxation and the customs union.
In 2003, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Law of the University of Bradford. In 2004, he became Visiting Professor in ‘Intellectual Backgrounds of Political Developments’ at the Universities of Leiden and Delft.
Bolkestein studied Mathematics, Philosophy, Greek and Economics at the Universities of Oregon, Amsterdam and London. He also holds a Master’s in Law from the University of Leiden.