Gerd Leers

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Gerd Leers
Gerd Leers 2011.jpg
Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Affairs
In office
14 October 2010 – 5 November 2012
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Preceded by Rita Verdonk (as Minister for Integration and Immigration)
Succeeded by office abolished (for the parliament of 2012–2017)
Mayor of Maastricht
In office
1 February 2002 – 1 March 2010
Preceded by Philip Houben
Succeeded by Jan Mans
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
4 September 1990 – 1 February 2002
Personal details
Born Gerardus Bernardus Maria Leers
(1951-07-12) July 12, 1951 (age 67)
Kerkrade, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Labour Party (1975–1976)
Christian Democratic Appeal (since 1976)
Residence Maastricht, Netherlands
Alma mater Radboud University Nijmegen (M.A.)
University of Central Missouri (Dr.h.c.)
Occupation Politician
Civil servant

Gerardus Bernardus Maria "Gerd" Leers (born 12 July 1951) is a former Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). He was the Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Affairs in the first Rutte cabinet from 14 October 2010 to 5 November 2012. He was a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands between September 1990 and February 2002. He became mayor of Maastricht in 2002, but he resigned following an affair concerning a holiday villa project in Byala, Varna Province in Bulgaria.



On 4 September 1990 Leers became a Member of the House of Representatives. He was a member of the permanent parliamentary commission for transport and water management. The political peak in his House of Representatives period was the Betuwe route, of which Leers was a strong proponent. However, he was also involved in a construction fraud scandal.

Leers became Mayor of Maastricht on 1 February 2002 after Karl Dittrich withdrew his candidacy. In 2008, he stood for mayor of The Hague and of Rotterdam. As mayor Leers took strict measures, such as the raid on the travellers camp Vinkenslag and stopping the subsidy to the football club MVV. He also was against amnesty for failed asylum seekers. In late 2004 Leers was chosen as best mayor of the Netherlands. This choice came after a conflict with the civil service, after heavy criticism from Leers.

Leers also gained attention for his attitude with respect to the policy on soft drugs. He criticised the tolerance policy that permits consumption and sale of marihuana and hashish, but prohibits its growing. Leers argued for legal production under government supervision, which would supposedly improve quality and therefore the public health . Leers also proposed the construction of a "weed boulevard" on the south side of Maastricht, so that drugs tourists would no longer cause trouble in the city centre. However, this proposal was rejected.

In January 2010, he resigned from office after an affair concerning a holiday villa project in Byala, Bulgaria.[1] It was alleged that he was involved in shady deals to raise the value of villas he had ownership of.

On 14 October 2010 he became the new Minister for Immigration and Asylum Affairs in the first Rutte cabinet.



  1. ^ "Maastrichtse burgemeester Leers stapt op" [Maastricht mayor Leers resigns]. (in Dutch). ANP. 14 January 2010. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Philip Houben
Mayor of Maastricht
Succeeded by
Jan Mans
Preceded by
Rita Verdonk
as Minister for Integration and Immigration
Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Affairs