Joost van Iersel began his professional career in 1967 as a civil servant in the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. From 1979 till 1994 he was a Member of Parliament, where he focused on trade and industry and EC matters, and also served as president of the Dutch European Movement. From 1992 till 2002 he was chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of The Hague, where he took a particular interest in regional infrastructure and spatial development. Mr van Iersel has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since 2002. He subsequently chaired the EESC Consultative Committee on Industrial Change and Steering committee on Europe 2020. Since 2013 he has chaired the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion. His main areas of interest as a rapporteur on the EESC are industrial and sector policies, (European) metropolitan areas and good EU governance.