Template:BLPsources Template:Infobox Politician Joost Lagendijk (born 8 June 1957 in Roosendaal, Netherlands) is a Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament. He is a member of GreenLeft, which is part of the European Greens, and sits on the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs. He is chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee with Turkey.
Career before politicsEdit
After finishing high school Lagendijk studied history at the University of Utrecht. He graduated in 1985. Before graduating Lagendijk worked as a book sales person at the publisher Van Gennep. After graduating Lagendijk became an adviser to the Pacifist Socialist Party (PSP) in the lower house of parliament until 1987. He was elected vice-chairman and international secretary of the PSP for the period 1987-1991. During this period he oversaw the merger of the PSP with three other parties into the GreenLeft. He was one of the editors of the GreenLeft's party manifesto of 1991. In addition to international secretary of the PSP, he also was elected international secretary of the GreenLeft for the period 1989-1994. He also founded "De Helling" (The Slope) in 1987 a magazine closely linked to the GreenLeft, he was its publisher until 1990, and one of its writers until 1994.
Professionally he worked for the publisher SUA between 1987 and 1988. In 1988 he became chairman and publisher of the "Tijdschrift Maatschappelijk Welzijn" (Magazine for Social Work). In 1994 he became publisher for Babylon-De Geus.
In 1997 he became GreenLeft's campaign coordinator for the 1998 general elections.
In 1998, when MEP Nel van Dijk left the European Parliament to become chairperson of the Dutch Bureau against Age Discrimination, he suddenly became MEP. He became a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which he still is, member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, which he left after 1999 elections, member of the delegation for relations with Russia, which he also left after the elections, and substitute for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, which he left after the 2004 elections.
In 1999 he headed the GreenLeft's electoral list for the European elections. He, and with him three other Dutch Greens, were elected into parliament. After the elections, he became chair of the delegation to the EU–Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, which he still is, and thereby a member of the conference of Delegation leaders. He became also member for the delegation for relations with the Southeast European countries, which he left following the 2004 elections.
In a controversial leadership election in 2004, fellow MEP Kathalijne Buitenweg was elected to head the GreenLeft list in the European Elections instead of Lagendijk. After the 2004 elections he became a member of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, substitute for the Committee on Transport and Tourism and member of the delegation for relations with the Gulf States, including Yemen. He is chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee with Turkey.
Lagendijk has published two books on European foreign affairs, together with Labour MEP Jan Marinus Wiersma. In 2000 they published "Brussel - Warschau - Kiev. Op zoek naar de grenzen van de Europese Unie" ("Brussel-Warsaw-Kiev, searching for the borders of the European Union") concerning EU enlargement. In 2004 they published "Na Mars komt Venus. Een Europees antwoord op Bush" ("After Mars comes Venus. A European answer to Bush") concerning the EU's peace and nation-building policy.
As MEP Lagendijk has shown particular interest for the Balkan-region and Turkey, and especially in keeping the peace in this unstable region. His pacifist background is clearly influential there. In December 2005, he visited Turkey to attend the trial against Orhan Pamuk and speak at an event for the Green Party of Turkey. In his speech he criticized the military of Turkey for using the violence by the PKK as justification for violence against the Kurdish population. He was then charged with public denigration of the Turkish army. Lagendijk expected pressure by the media in Turkey to force prosecutors to drop charges. Indeed, the prosecutor declined to prosecute, referring to the Turkish constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, and the case was dropped.
On 23 April 2006 the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet reported that Joost Lagendijk was planning to marry Nevin Sungur, an award-winning journalist and reporter for the Turkish channel NTV. The two were married on 28 October 2006 by the mayor of Beyoğlu, Istanbul, in the famous Pera Palas hotel. The event was reported in Turkey as big news and took place with an overwhelming presence of TV crews and other media.