Laurens Jan Brinkhorst is a retired Dutch politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister (2005-2006), Minister of Economic Affairs (2003-2006), Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries (1999-2002) and Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1973-1977).
From 1994 to 1999, he was a Member of the European Parliament for the Netherlands, and a Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands from 1977 to 1982. He is also a former Leader of the D66-group in the Second Chamber of the Dutch parliament. He served as Ambassador of the European Union to Japan from 1982 to 1987, and then as Director General for Environmental and Nuclear Safety. In 2002 he became Adviser of European Affairs at NautaDulith in Brussels and was awarded a professorship in transnational and European Governance at the University of Tilburg.
Since 1 November 2006, Brinkhorst is a full professor in International and European Law and Governance at the Leiden University. Brinkhorst is also a member of the Bilderberg Group.In addition, he is the vice-chairman of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation.