Mike Eman is the Prime Minister of Aruba and was elected to his second term in 2013. He also is the leader of the Christian Democratic party of Aruba, Arubaanse Volkspartij (AVP). Prior to becoming Prime Minister he was the vice-president of the International Centrum Democrats (IDC) and a board member of the organization of Christian Democrats of America (ODCA), with special responsibility for Caribbean Affairs.
Mike Eman was born in Aruba on September 1,1961 into a family with a long and admired political tradition in Aruba. His grandfather, father and older brother have been statesmen of the Island at critical moments in Aruba’s history.He is a 1992 graduate of the University of the Netherlands Antilles (UNA), where he wrote his thesis on the institution of the Public Prosecutor as it relates to the Minister of Justice in a small community. He pursued further studies at the UNA, and in 1996 he graduated in Netherlands Antilles Civil Notary Law.
From 1992 to 2001, Mike Eman worked as a deputy civil law notary, and he was a co-founder of several private companies as well as educational foundations for political studies. Since a young age, he has been involved in all aspects of politics: as an activist, supporter, strategic manager and policy developer. He entered politics as a candidate in 2001, and he was elected to the position of leader of the AVP party in 2003. As party leader, he sought to advance Social-Christian values in politics and to establish a new and more constructive constitutional position for Aruba within the Dutch Kingdom and the European Union.
Mike Eman also led the claim for voting rights for citizens of Aruba and the other Dutch Caribbean Islands in the elections for the European Parliament and successfully pursued the case to the European Court of Justice. Based on the Court’s ruling (Eman/Sevinger v. the Kingdom of the Netherlands), the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands amended its voting laws to permit citizens of Aruba and the other Dutch Caribbean Islands to participate in future elections for the European Parliament.
Under his leadership, the AVP party gained in strength, and in the 2005 parliamentary elections the party increased its vote total by 40%. In the 2009 elections, Mike Eman led the AVP to a historical victory winning an absolute majority of 12 seats in the 21 seat Aruban Parliament. In the most recent election in 2013, he again led his a party to victory and increased the party’s majority in Parliament to a record 13 seats. Mike Eman has received the most popular votes of any political candidate in Aruba in every election since 2005.
Since entering office in 2009, Prime Minister Eman has pursued an agenda designed to revive the economy, to improve relations with the Kingdom of the Netherlands and to promote the worldwide brand of Aruba as a country that is stable, democratic, and innovative. He has renewed and strengthened his government’s relations with its stategic business partners. Through his efforts, companies critical to Aruba’s economy have returned to the Island. KLM reinstituted its flights between Amsterdam and Aruba, and Carnival Cruise Lines began visiting Aruba again after a long absence. Prime Minister Eman has a long standing interest in building a stronger sense of community in Aruba. Even before assuming the post of Prime Minister, he led his party’s efforts in promoting social and civic networks in Aruba. Now, as Prime Minister, he is taking the discussions in Aruba to a new level by studying and developing concrete steps to promote greater civic and social engagement on the Island for all Arubans. He is determined that social gains must keep pace with economic gains in Aruba.
Prime Minister Eman also is passionate about Aruba moving to renewable energy and pursuing a strategy of sustainable development. He has announced, together with Sir Richard Branson of the Carbon War Room, a partnership to transition Aruba off fossil fuels by 2020 and to serve as a model for other Caribbean islands. Aruba is actively working towards this goal with the help of several other prestigious strategic partners, such as the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).
He also has a vision for improving the quality of life for Arubans and visitors alike, and to that end he has promoted a vision of urban renewal that includes major improvements to city centers, a new tram system from the Port to the downtown area of the city of Oranjestad, and the world’s largest linear park. Mike Eman is married to Doina Elizabeth Neagoy, who studied Languages and Linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
Prime Minister Mike Eman of Aruba was a presenter during TEDxBinnenhof the 31st of March 2014, in the Hague.
TEDxBinnenhof is the international platform for innovative ideas from Dutch soil. With the theme: “Global Challenges, Dutch Solutions” TEDx Binnenhof stimulates innovations that provide solutions to societal problems, anywhere in the world. For example in the area of climate change, mobility, health, renewable energy and security.
Four years ago, Mike Eman, prime minister of Aruba, expressed a very special ambition. In 2020, Aruba aims to be a fully sustainable, self-sufficient society. A 5-star society, as he likes to think of it. A sustainable society running on green energy, in which economic growth serves the wellbeing of the people. But how? Please watch www.mikeeman.com/tedx or www.tedxbinnenhof.com for more info.
TEDx Binnenhof was live-streamed during viewing parties at prominent locations throughout the Netherlands, but also at more than 40 Dutch embassies and consulates all over the world, reaching a worldwide audience!