Dennis de Jong
Dennis de Jong (1955) has been leader of the SP's representation in the European Parliament since June 2009. Born in Delft in 1955, Dennis de Jong studied politics, private law and political economy at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, going on to take an M.A. in political science and international relations at the New School for Social Research in New York. In 2000 he gained a Ph.D. at the University of Maastricht with a thesis on “Freedom of religion in the United Nations”. Between 2002 and 2009 Dennis worked as a special adviser on human rights and good governance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On behalf of the UN and the OECD he was involved in the fight against corruption and was also active in the struggle against people trafficking and 'disappearances'.
“From my own experience I would say that Brussels is at one and the same time a snake pit and a labyrinth. It must become more social, more democratic and more humane.”
Between 1999 and 2002 Dennis de Jong worked for the Ministry of Justice on issues of corruption and integrity. The organisation of a major international anti-corruption congress represented a high point during this period. Shortly before, De Jong organised an international seminar on migration. When he worked, from 1996 to 1998, as a legal adviser to the Netherlands' Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, questions of asylum, migration and border controls brought him into frequent contact with human rights organisations.
“What do I find as a person, does me good? Well, quite simply, when I'm leafleting the market in Rotterdam for the SP, listening to people's stories, which you then take away with you. That's what you do it for.”
In the mid-1990s, when it became clear that the EU was going to acquire responsibility for asylum and immigration, Dennis worked as a pioneer in this area for the European Commission in Brussels. During this time he wrote a number of reports including one for the Commission which was for a long time regarded as the most important policy document on these issues. Before that he worked in the Ministries of Justice (1987-1993) and of Social Affairs (1983-1987). In 1979 he began his career, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On 4th June 2009 Dennis de Jong, as number one on the SP list, was elected to the European Parliament. He was re-elected in May 2014.