Eurodefense Network


Date of creation : 1995

Honorary President : Wim van Eekelen

President: Ernst van Hoek

Secretary-general : Mats van Dijk

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The President

Dr Ernst van Hoek worked at the Ministry of Defence (1970-2005) of The Netherlands. He has in his career focused on science and technology and international cooperation. After studying Nuclear Physics at the VU University Amsterdam, he joined LEOK, the Laboratory for Electronic Developments for the Armed Forces. Through LEOK he joined a NATO group “Improved Hawk Guided Missile System”. Between 1976-1985 he was detached to the NATO Hawk Management Office near Paris, first as missile expert, then as Head of Industrial Division.
In 1985 he returned to the Ministry of Defence, Directorate of Scientific Research and Development (DWOO). In 1989 he was appointed Director there. Ernst van Hoek was active in both NATO and European (IEPG, later WEAG) R&D collaboration. As chairman of the NATO Defence Research Group, he was instrumental in setting up the NATO RTO (later STO).
In 1997 he became the first director of the NATO Research & Technology Agency (RTA) in Neuilly, France. In 2000 he returned to his old job at the Netherlands MoD. When The Netherlands had to provide the chairmanship of the WEAG (part of the WEU) from 2002 till 2005, Ernst van Hoek was awarded this position. After that, Ernst van Hoek represented TNO in Brussels and advised NIDV for several years. He has been participating in Eurodefense Nederland from 2001 onwards.

The Secretary General

Mats van Dijk is a Master’s student in International Relations and Russian and Eurasian Studies at Leiden University and has completed his Bachelor in History with a Minor in American Studies. His primary professional interests are in Russian history and politics (in particular foreign policy, disinformation and corruption), European and transatlantic defence cooperation, military strategy, and civil-military interaction. During his studies, he was an executive board member of YATA Netherlands, Secretary at MOST Leiden and one of the founders of Leiden International Review. He also did an internship at De Ruijter Strategy, a strategic consultancy specialised in scenario-thinking, and at the Economic Department of the Dutch Embassy in Georgia and Armenia in Tbilisi, Georgia. He has organised many different events on the abovementioned subjects and is still a frequent contributor at conferences, both at home and abroad. In addition to being Secretary at EuroDefense Netherlands, he is also an executive board member of the Dutch Association for the United Nations, tasked primarily with supporting its Advisory Council.