Born in Amsterdam on 15th January 1939. Married with Elisabeth (Lies) Geerts. Two children from a first marriage: son (Enzo) and daughter (Dominique)      


1951-1957: Dalton HBS, The Hague; diploma HBS-B (

1957 – 1963: Nederlandse Economische Hogeschool (now Erasmus Universiteit) Rotterdam (

  • macro and micro economics
  • industrial economics
  • transport economics and policy

1968: Doctorate in economic sciences (PhD) at the Erasmus University on the subject dealing with all kinds of restrictions in cross-border transport within the European Union.

Professional career

1961 – 1962: 6 months traineeship in the EEC-Commission, Brussels

1964:  8 months – Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague

1964 – 1984: Directorate General for Transport (DG VII) in the European Commission. Administrator and principal administrator in the sectors:

  • transport studies and statistics
  • transport tariff policy
  • competition rules and state aids
  • staff of the Director General
  • maritime and air transport; ports
  • structural policy for road and inland waterways
  • relationship between transport and other policies (energy, regional development, environment, industry, transport infrastructure)
  • relations with Council of Ministers (preparation of Transport Councils), European Parliament and the  Economic and Social Committee.

Febr. 1985 – May 1991: Directorate General for Development (DG VIII). Head of Division for Southern Africa (responsible for Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the regional organisation SADCC; also initiator and responsible for the setting-up and implementation of the EU-Program in Support of the Victims of Apartheid in South Africa and Namibia). Responsible for an annual budget of ca. € 300 million.

June 1991 – Oct.1995:  Directorate General Transport (DG VII). Director for Maritime Transport and Ports. In charge of shipping cabotage, manning requirements, state aid for sea shipping, maritime safety, international maritime relations, seaports.

Oct. 1995 – June 1999: Directorate General Transport (DG VII). Director for Transport Policy Development; Research and Development. Responsible for the coordination of the various modal transport policies, long term transport strategies, development of intermodal transport, supply chain management, globalisation of transport etc. Also in charge of the transport research program (development of objectives, implementation and financial management of  some 200 research projects for in total € 276 million; development of the key action Mobility and Intermodality of 4th and 5th Framework Programme).

1-7-1999: Retired from the EU-Commission as honorary director general.

 Other Professional Activities

1970 – 2004: Part-time professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)(

  • Transport Economics and Policy (1970-1991)
  • Economic and Social Aspects of Ecology (1973 – 1997)
  • Transport Aspects in Industrial Location (1976 – 1986)
  • European Integration (1988 – 2004)
  • Innovation (2001 – 2004)

1980 – 1987:   Part-time professor for Transport Economics and Politics at the Koninklijke Militaire Academie (KMA) in Breda, Netherlands (

 Other Functions

1971-1976: Member of the advisory committee of the Dutch Research Institute for Tourism in Breda (Netherlands)

1971-1976: Chairman of the Research and Education Committee of BITA, Benelux International Chapter.

1972: Member of the commission to prepare 11th Economic Scientific Congress (Belgium)

1974-1986: Director Study Centre for Transport Economy at the VUB

1978-1986: Lid van de Adviescommissie van de Redactie van het Tijdschrift voor Vervoerswetenschappen.

1979: Member of the commission to prepare 14th Economic Scientific Congress (Belgium)

1991-1995: Member of Governing Board of the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (Malta)

1991-1995: Member of Board of Governors of the World Maritime University (Malmö)

1999 – 2004: Member of Board of Directors ITTMA (Institute of Transport and Maritime Management (Antwerp)(

1999 – 2007: Vice-President International Scientific Committee of Policy Research Corporation (Antwerp)(

2000 – 2004: Member of Board of Directors IES (Institute for European Studies) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (

2003 – 2018 : Chairman of Board of Directors CTG Int. vzw (Close the Gap) (

2019 (ongoing) : Vice-Chairman of Board of Directors CTG Int. vzw (Close the Gap)

2004 – 2006: Member of Board of Directors of Belgium Campus in Pretoria (

2006 – 2018: Trustee of the International Foundation for Maritime Law (linked to the International Court for Maritime Law (United Nations) in Hamburg)(

2006 – 2010: Trustee of Digital Pipeline (charity created by Microsoft UK)(

2009 (ongoing): Chairman of the Board of Directors of WorldLoop (former WorldPC) (

2009 (ongoing): Honorable member of Corte (Confederation of Organisations in Road Transport Enforcement) Brussels (

2012 – 2017: Member of jury King Boudauin Foundation for PCSolidarity.

2013 (ongoing): Special Advisory Partner to the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation

2013 (ongoing): Chairman of the Board of the Foundation Close the Gap

2020 (ongoing): Member of the Board of  Directors of Close the Gap Circular


  • three books
  • 20 studies
  • ca. 40 articles
  • more than 500 public speeches.


  • Lions Club IJsedal Tervuren (1981-2004)
  • Orde van den Prince Zaventem (1992 ongoing)
  • Boendale Kring Tervuren (2009 ongoing)


  • 1994 Propeller Club of the US: European Maritime Person of the year
  • 1999 honorary director-general of the EU-Commission
  • 2007 Melvin Jones of the International Lions Club
  • 2010 2e Melvin Jones (Progressive Program)
  • 2015 Knight in the Orde of Oranje-Nassau


  • Reading
  • Photography
  • Traveling
  • Trekking
  • Bicycling