Edith Schippers

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Edith Schippers
Edith Schippers 2015 (1).jpg
Edith Schippers in 2015
Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport
In office
14 October 2010 – 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Preceded by Ab Klink
Succeeded by Hugo de Jonge
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
20 September 2012 – 5 November 2012
In office
3 June 2003 – 14 October 2010
Personal details
Born Edith Ingeborg Schippers
(1964-08-25) 25 August 1964 (age 53)
Utrecht, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Spouse(s) Sander Speijker
Children 1
Residence Baarn, Netherlands
Alma mater Leiden University (Drs.)
Occupation Politician
Employers' organisation official

Edith Ingeborg Schippers (born 25 August 1964) is a retired Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) who served as Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport from 2010 to 2017. She was a member of the House of Representatives from 2003 until 2010 and again, briefly, in 2012. Schippers was elected as Deputy Leader of the VVD in the House of Representatives in 2006, a position she served in until she was appointed to the First Rutte cabinet in 2010. After the second Rutte cabinet succeeded the latter, Schippers remained in her position.

Early life[edit]

Schippers was born in Utrecht,[1] but spent her years attending primary school in Dordrecht.[2] At the age of 12, she moved to Wachtum in Drenthe.[2]

Edith Schippers' alma mater is Leiden University, where she studied political science from 1985 till 1991.[1] She also spent half a year studying at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India in 1990.[1]

In 1993, Schippers became personal assistant to member of parliament Dick Dees.[1] She served in this position until 1994, after which she became a staff member of the VVD parliamentary fraction dealing with healthcare, welfare and sports. After that, Schippers found employment at employers' organisation VNO-NCW. From 1997 until 2001, her portfolio as secretary for VNO-CNW included healthcare and the labour market and from 2001 until 2003 spatial planning.[1]

Political career[edit]

Schippers next to Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem during a TV commercial break, 2012
Schippers surrounded by the other Health ministers of the EU in Amsterdam, 2016

Schippers was elected into the House of Representatives in the 2003 general election and was sworn in on 3 June of that year. Geert Wilders became her mentor.[3] In 2006 she was elected as vice chairman of the VVD parliamentary party. Schippers considered this a great honour, but not her greatest success.[3]

In 2010 she succeeded Ab Klink in becoming Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport in the first Rutte cabinet. She briefly returned to the House of Representatives after the 2012 general election, but left again when the continuation of her ministership in the second Rutte cabinet was confirmed.

As Minister of Health, Schippers was repeatedly accused of being a tobacco industry lobbyist, and was labeled "minister Tobacco", because she had ties to the tobacco industry and because she tried to revert the ban on smoking in bars and cafes.[4][5][6] She also overcame three motions of no confidence in the House of Representatives.

One was issued in 2012, for not adequately informing the States General about the costs of bringing the Olympics to the Netherlands.[7] In the same year another motion of no confidence was issued against her and minister Henk Bleker, for the way they treated the issues surrounding Q-fever.[8] In 2013 a motion was issued regarding her actions with regards to fraud in the healthcare sector.[9] In 2016 this issue regarding her actions with regards to fraud in the healthcare sector was investigated on a Dutch talkshow [10]

In March 2017 she announced she would not return in a new cabinet.[11] On 26 October 2017, she was succeeded by Hugo de Jonge.

Schippers briefly returned to the political scene following the 2017 election, when parliamentary speaker Khadija Arib appointed Schippers as the so-called informateur, whose role is to explore possible governing alliances.[12] In February 2018, she was speculated as a possible successor to the recently resigned Minister of Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra, but she expressed that she was not available for another ministership, wanting instead to spend more time with her daughter.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Schippers is married to Sander Speijker,[14] a project manager for P5COM who is specialised in profit improvement and cost reduction in the healthcare industry.[15] They have one child.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Drs. E.I. (Edith) Schippers - Parlement & Politiek". Parlement.com. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived May 18, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b "SER". Ser.nl. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  4. ^ "Zembla: Minister of Tobacco". YouTube. 2004-11-02. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  5. ^ Minister of Tabacco Zembla October 21, 2011
  6. ^ Felle aanval artsen tabakslobby NOS March 11, 2013
  7. ^ "Motion against Schippers regarding costs of Dutch Olympics". zorgvisie. 2012-03-28. 
  8. ^ "Motion of no confidence against Schippers regarding Q-fever". nu.nl. 2012-07-05. 
  9. ^ "Motion of no confidence against Schippers regarding fraud handling". nationalezorggids. 2013-05-23. 
  10. ^ "Investigation Schippers regarding fraud handling in the healthcare sector". VPRO. 2016-09-04. 
  11. ^ "Edith Schippers keert niet terug als minister" (in Dutch). Trouw. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 
  12. ^ Cynthia Kroet (March 16, 2017), Rutte in pole position as Dutch consider coalitions Politico Europe.
  13. ^ "Schippers niet naar Buitenlandse Zaken". NOS (in Dutch). Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  14. ^ "Sander Speijker". LinkedIn. 2016-09-15. 
  15. ^ "P5COM". P5COM. 2016-09-15. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ab Klink
Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport
Succeeded by
Hugo de Jonge