Jan Willem Beyen
Johan Willem Beyen (Utrecht
Utrecht (city)
Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

, 2 May 1897 – 's-Gravenhage, 29 April 1976) was a Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 banker, civil servant, politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, and diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

. He played an important role in the creation of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...



The official surname of Johan Willem (Wim) Beyen was Beijen, but he preferred to write his name as Beyen because he thought that this name was more appropriate for his international connections.

His father, Karel Hendrik Beijen, was a lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

. He was the company secretary
Company secretary
A company secretary is a senior position in a private company or public organisation, normally in the form of a managerial position or above. In the United States it is known as a corporate secretary....

 of the Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Staatsspoorwegen
Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Staatsspoorwegen
The Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Staatsspoorwegen or SS was a private railroad founded to utilise the government funded railways. The company existed until 1938, when it formally merged with the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij to form the Nederlandse Spoorwegen...

, one of the Dutch railroad
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 companies. His mother, Louisa Maria Coenen, stemmed from a family of musicians
A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

. He had two brothers. One of them was the archeologist
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 Hendrik Gerard Beyen.

In 1922 Wim Beyen married Petronella J.G. (Nelly) Hijmans van Anrooij. They had two sons and a daughter. At the end of the 1930s
File:1930s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: Dorothea Lange's photo of the homeless Florence Thompson show the effects of the Great Depression; Due to the economic collapse, the farms become dry and the Dust Bowl spreads through America; The Battle of Wuhan during the Second Sino-Japanese...

 Beyen had a relationship
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...

 with the Austrian
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 Margaretha Antonia (Gretel) Lubinka. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 his first marriage was dissolved and he married Gretel. This marriage was a very happy one.

Wim Beyen passed away in 1976.


Wim Beyen grew up in Utrecht and the neighbouring town of Bilthoven. He studied law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 at Utrecht University
Utrecht University
Utrecht University is a university in Utrecht, Netherlands. It is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe. Established March 26, 1636, it had an enrollment of 29,082 students in 2008, and employed 8,614 faculty and staff, 570 of which are full professors....

. In 1918 he was awarded a doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 in law.

Successful careers in the public and the private sector

After his study Beyen was engaged as a temporary assistant clerk
Clerk, the vocational title, commonly refers to a white-collar worker who conducts general office or, in some instances, sales tasks. It is also occasionally used to refer to third-year medical students completing a medical clerkship. The responsibilities of clerical workers commonly include record...

 at the Dutch Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Finance (Netherlands)
The Ministry of Finance is the Dutch ministry of finance: it is occupied with the national budget, taxation and financial economic policy, including supervision of financial markets...

. At that time he was only 21 years old. Within a few years he rose to the rank of Deputy Treasurer-General
A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury of an organization. The adjective for a treasurer is normally "tresorial". The adjective "treasurial" normally means pertaining to a treasury, rather than the treasurer.-Government:...


After 1924 Beyen had several positions in the business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

 sector: secretary of the board of Philips
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. , more commonly known as Philips, is a multinational Dutch electronics company....

, head of the Dutch branch of the central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

 of the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

, director of one of the predecessors of the AMRO Bank
AMRO Bank was a major Dutch bank that was created from the merger of the Amsterdamsche Bank and the Rotterdamsche Bank in 1964. Its name comes from the first two letters of the two originating banks...

, vice president and from 1937 president of the Bank for International Settlements
Bank for International Settlements
The Bank for International Settlements is an intergovernmental organization of central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks." It is not accountable to any national government...

 in Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

, and director of Unilever
Unilever is a British-Dutch multinational corporation that owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products....


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 he was, in addition to his position at Unilever, financial advisor to the Dutch government in exile
Dutch government in exile
The Dutch government in exile was the government of the Netherlands, headed by Queen Wilhelmina, that evacuated to London after the German invasion of the country at the outset of World War II....

 in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. In 1944 he played an important role during the Bretton Woods conference
United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference
The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, commonly known as the Bretton Woods conference, was a gathering of 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after...

 where the foundations were laid for the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 and the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

. From 1946 he was the Dutch representative in the board of the World Bank and from 1948 also in that of the IMF.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

In 1952 Wim Beyen, who did not belong to a political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

, was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

 in the Second Drees cabinet
Second Drees cabinet
Drees II , was the third Dutch cabinet under prime minister Willem Drees, with ministers from PvdA, KVP, ARP and CHU and one independent minister....

. He was asked in order to ensure a better balance of powers within the cabinet. It was an odd situation that Joseph Luns
Joseph Luns
Joseph Marie Antoine Hubert Luns was a Dutch politician and diplomat of the defunct Catholic People's Party now merged into the Christian Democratic Appeal . He was the longest-serving Minister of Foreign Affairs from September 2, 1952 until July 6, 1971...

, who was a member of the Catholic People's Party
Catholic People's Party
The Catholic People's Party was a Catholic Christian democratic Dutch political party. During its entire existence, the party was in government. The party is one of the precursors of the Christian Democratic Appeal.- 1945-1965 :The KVP was founded on 22 December, 1945...

, was Minister without portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

 in the same Ministry
Ministry (government department)
A ministry is a specialised organisation responsible for a sector of government public administration, sometimes led by a minister or a senior public servant, that can have responsibility for one or more departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions or other smaller executive, advisory, managerial or...

. One of the jokes about this construction was "The Netherlands is so small, and therefore their foreign countries altogether are so large, that one Minister of Foreign Affairs is not enough."

The relationship between both ministers was not too good, because they had a completely different style of operating and disagreed about several issues. Beyen, for instance, had serious objections to Luns' attitude in the disputes with Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 about Netherlands New Guinea
Netherlands New Guinea
Netherlands New Guinea refers to the West Papua region while it was an overseas territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1949 to 1962. Until 1949 it was a part of the Netherlands Indies. It was commonly known as Dutch New Guinea...


After the 1956 elections Beyen's political career came to an end. There was no longer a need for a nonpartisan
In political science, nonpartisan denotes an election, event, organization or person in which there is no formally declared association with a political party affiliation....

 minister in the cabinet.

Founder of European integration

Wim Beyen played a very important role in the creation of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...


In August 1954 the plans had collapsed to create a European Political Community
European Political Community
The European Political Community was proposed in 1952 as a combination of the existing European Coal and Steel Community and the proposed European Defence Community...

 and a common defence force, the European Defence Community
European Defence Community
The European Defense Community was a plan proposed in 1950 by René Pleven, the French President of the Council , in response to the American call for the rearmament of West Germany...

, as a substitute for the national armies of France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and the three Benelux
The Benelux is an economic union in Western Europe comprising three neighbouring countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These countries are located in northwestern Europe between France and Germany...

 countries, when France refused to ratify the Treaty.

Beyen realized that European integration
European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

 in the political field would be impossible in the near future. He was convinced that had to be begun with economic cooperation, and developed a plan that called for a European common market, combined with the idea of a political community. He was in favour of horizontal integration
Horizontal integration
In microeconomics and strategic management, the term horizontal integration describes a type of ownership and control. It is a strategy used by a business or corporation that seeks to sell a type of product in numerous markets...

 instead of continuing with a sector by sector integration along the lines of the European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
The European Coal and Steel Community was a six-nation international organisation serving to unify Western Europe during the Cold War and create the foundation for the modern-day developments of the European Union...


On 4 April 1955 he sent a memorandum to his BeNeLux
The Benelux is an economic union in Western Europe comprising three neighbouring countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These countries are located in northwestern Europe between France and Germany...

 colleagues Paul-Henri Spaak
Paul-Henri Spaak
Paul Henri Charles Spaak was a Belgian Socialist politician and statesman.-Early life:Paul-Henri Spaak was born on 25 January 1899 in Schaerbeek, Belgium, to a distinguished Belgian family. His grandfather, Paul Janson was an important member of the Liberal Party...

Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

) and Joseph Bech (Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

) in which he proposed his idea of a customs union
Customs union
A customs union is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff. The participant countries set up common external trade policy, but in some cases they use different import quotas...

. In a meeting of the three Foreign Ministers of the BeNeLux in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 on 23 April 1955 they drafted a joint memorandum to present to their colleagues of the ECSC. They finalized the memorandum (the BeNeLux memorandum
BeNeLux memorandum, 1955
The BeNeLux memorandum of 1955 was drafted by the three BeNeLux countries on 18 May 1955 as a means to reviving European integration on the basis of a general common market.-Background:...

) on 18 May 1955 and presented it to the governments of France, Germany and Italy on 20 May 1955. They proposed to discuss in a conference of the six participating countries of the ECSC the way towards a general integration of the European economy.

This conference, the Messina Conference
Messina Conference
The Messina Conference was held from 1 to 3 June 1955 at the Italian city of Messina, Sicily. The conference of the Foreign Ministers of the six Member States of the European Coal and Steel Community would lead to the creation of the European Economic Community in 1958...

, was held from 1 to 3 June 1955. Beyen headed the Dutch delegation. The final resolution of the conference largely reflected Beyen's point of view. It formed the basis for further work to relaunch European integration and would lead to the Treaties of Rome in 1957 and the formation of the European Economic Community and Euratom in 1958.


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.