In a stunning turn of events, the coalition government led by Prime Minister Rutte has collapsed, citing a lack of consensus among the four coalition parties on migration policy. Following a final meeting on Friday, July 7, it became evident that further cooperation was unattainable.
In addition, Prime Minister Rutte, who has been in power since 2010 and is renowned as the second-longest serving leader in the European Union, announced his decision to step away from politics. In a heartfelt statement made to the House of Representatives this morning, he expressed his intention not to run for another term in the upcoming elections, signaling the end of an era in Dutch politics.
Consequently, the current cabinet has transitioned into a caretaker cabinet, effective immediately. While operating with similar powers to a regular cabinet, the caretaker cabinet will solely address pending matters deemed urgent and non-controversial. The determination of controversial topics rests with the House of Representatives, which is expected to make declarations during a plenary debate (expected beginning of September).
The process of identifying controversial topics involves a series of steps. Each parliamentary committee will hold additional procedural meetings, specifically dedicated to deliberating on the status of ongoing matters. The decision-making process entails a majority vote to classify a topic as controversial. However, the voices of the minority within a committee can be respected when declaring specific issues as controversial. It’s expected that budget-related topics in particular could be debated the coming period, as Budget Day takes place on 19 September anyway.
Simultaneously, preparations for new elections are underway, which are expected to take place mid-November 2023. Political parties are currently engaged in activities such as selecting their leaders, establishing election program committees, and compiling candidate lists for the Hous of Representatives. Party congresses are scheduled, providing a platform for the election of political leaders and the formation of committees. Similar to VVD/Liberal Conservatives of PM Rutte, at least CDA/Christian Democrats and GroenLinks/Greens-PvdA/Social Democrats (who’ll share a candidate list) have to choose a new leader.
As this evolving situation unfolds, it is crucial for stakeholders to remain vigilant and stay abreast of the latest developments. Public Matters, the leading public affairs & lobby consultancy in the Netherlands, is dedicated to monitoring political affairs, is committed to providing timely updates on the process leading to a new cabinet and coalition agreement, as well as highlighting opportunities for influence during this transformative period.