The head of the Netherlands' largest political party announced that he will retire next year, ending two terms as prime minister that were marked by economic growth and liberal legislation.
Wim Kok, who has headed the Labor Party since 1986, said he made his decision to make room for younger talent.
"With confidence I give way to a next generation, with its own accents, its own style, a new agenda but the same ideals," he said.
Kok will remain head of the government until a new Cabinet has been formed after national elections in May.
Kok endorsed Ad Melkert, the party's parliamentary floor leader, as his successor.