In memoriam: Ruud Lubbers, a life committed to public service

His first ministerial role was as Minister for Economic Affairs in 1973. He was appointed as Prime Minister when Dries van Agt resigned after the 1982 election. During his tenure, he pulled The Netherlands out of recession and set it on a path of development and prosperity.

Lubbers also played an instrumental role in the strengthening of the European Union integration process along with other key figures of his time such as Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand or Felipe González. His unflinching commitment to democratic values steered his decisions as Prime Minister and later as Member of Club de Madrid. His last activity with this organisation was the 2014’s policy dialogue in Florence (Italy), an activity of our project Next Generation Democracy, devoted to the assessment of the quality of democracy worldwide. Lubbers enthusiastically contributed with his political wisdom to panel debates dedicated to analyse the state and the challenges of democratic development in Europe.

May he serve as an example for the future generations of young leaders across Europe.