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Dutch cabinet formation 2024: What we know so far

Dutch cabinet formation 2024: What we know so far

The four parties that came together to attempt to form the next Dutch government have finally reached an agreement between them. The PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB parties are said to be pleased with the agreements they have made, which will pave the way for the new government to start creating policies following their election in November 2023 - here’s what we know about the agreement so far.

Who will be the next Dutch Prime Minister?

Though we already know who the governing parties will be, the question on everyone’s lips remains - who will be the next Dutch Prime Minister? The short answer is that the decision has not yet been officially made, but there are plenty of hints.

One of the names circulating the most has been former Labour Party politician Ronald Plasterk, who helped the parties to negotiate their agreement as an informateur. Though Plasterk has not commented on the speculation, his name continues to be spoken as a candidate in political circles. 

What have the parties agreed upon? 

So far, it’s not certain what specific policies the four cooperating parties wish to deploy to tackle their manifesto objectives, though according to the 26-page agreement they published on May 15, they have agreed to prioritise several key areas. These are as follows:

  1. Protection of people’s livelihoods and purchasing power
  2. Control over asylum and migration
  3. Housing and social housing, infrastructure, public transport and aviation;
  4. A good future for agriculture and fishing, food security and nature
  5. Energy security, specifically security of energy supplies and climate adaptation
  6. Accessible public facilities, care and education
  7. Good governance and a strong rule of law
  8.  National security
  9. International security
  10. Solid public finances, economy and business climate

Geert Wilders aims for strictest asylum policy ever

PVV leader Geert Wilders has said that the cooperating parties are looking to create the strictest asylum policy ever, featuring measures to curb the number of refugees entering the country, as well as limits on the number of foreign students and a reduction in the number of university courses taught in English

Some of the key points agreed upon by the parties relating to immigration are as follows:

  • It will only be possible to obtain Dutch citizenship after 10 years and if legally possible, people will have to give up their foreign nationality to do so. 
  • Extra rules will be introduced to cover foreign workers and the labour inspectorate will have more powers to check up on the use of non-EU workers.
  • Level B1 Dutch will become the standard language level required for naturalisation.
  • Legislation to distribute refugees between different Dutch regions will be scrapped.
  • Refugees who fail in their asylum applications will be deported as much as possible.
  • Refugees who are granted the right to remain will no longer get priority for social housing.
  • The automatic right to bring family members to the Netherlands will be scrapped.
  • The coalition will ask the European Commission to opt-out of European refugee and migration policy and bring in more border checks.
  • More limits will be imposed on foreign student numbers, including boosting the number of Dutch courses, bringing in caps on foreign students and increasing university fees for non-EU students.
  • Knowledge of the Holocaust will become a compulsory part of the integration process.
  • Refugees will no longer be given permanent residence permits.

Opposition parties are not pleased with the policy plans

Leaders of opposition parties are not pleased with the plans announced by the collaborating parties. GroenLinks-PvdA leader Frans Timmermans told the AD: "This is a black day. I knew it would be bad, but I didn't think it would be that bad. All four have promised that the minimum wage would increase, but that is not going to happen. And many of the plans are built on quicksand. If you say: I'm going to get money back from Brussels... that's just not possible. And about asking for exceptions to Brussels rules: it's all wishful thinking. They let people down. Anyway, I don't think this shaky construction will last long." 

D66 leader Rob Jetten told the media that he believes the new coalition's pledges are made up of "fantasies".

Thumb image credit: Orange Pictures / Shutterstock.com

Emily Proctor

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Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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