Jan Peter Balkenende (Dutch pronunciation: ( listen)) (born May 7, 1956) is a Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal party. He is the Prime Minister of the Netherlands since July 22, 2002. He has led four coalition governments, Cabinets Balkenende I, II, III and IV none of which served a full 4-year term. Despite serious criticism by former prime ministers from the CDA, He will be proposed by the CDA-council to be the Christian Democratic Appeal Lijsttrekker for the Dutch general election of 2010.
Jan Peter Balkenende, legally Jan Pieter Balkenende, was born on May 7, 1956 in the village of Biezelinge near the town Kapelle in the Netherlands. His father Jan Pieter Balkenende was a cereal grains merchant and his mother Thona Johanna Sandee was a teacher. Balkenende currently resides with his wife, Bianca Hoogendijk, and his daughter Amelie in Capelle aan den IJssel. He is renting an apartment in The Hague rather than living in the Catshuis, the formal residency of the Prime Minister. He is a devout member of the Calvinist Protestant Church in the Netherlands.
Balkenende went to a Protestant primary school in Kapelle. He attended secondary school at the "Christian Lyceum for Zeeland" in Goes, graduating in 1974.