Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Dutch cabinet formation: how are we going to achieve the impossible?

In his report, Dutch cabinet negotiator Kim Putters proposes the formation of a ‘programme cabinet’ and an outline agreement. The four political parties involved have agreed on this form of cabinet, and Putters therefore appears to have succeeded in his mission. Wim Voermans, Professor of Constitutional Law, discusses this on public service radio channel NPO Radio 1.

More open collaboration

Putters replaces the confusing term ‘extra-parliamentary cabinet’ with ‘programme cabinet’ in his report. A programme cabinet would be based on an outline agreement, a government programme and looser ties with the House of Representatives. Politicians want a different form of collaboration between the Dutch cabinet and the House of Representatives. ‘The drawback is there will be no major compromises and we’ll have to see what happens each week,’ Professor Voermans tells NPO.

Detailed agreements

Professor Voermans goes on to say that the report is indecisive when it comes to the broader issues. Detailed agreements are essential for major issues such as migration, the climate, farmers, the housing market and nitrogen. ‘How are we going to achieve the impossible: keeping things broad, while still making good agreements?’ Voermans maintains that specific agreements are vital when it comes to such major issues.

Three wishes from the report

  • Different political ties between ministers, the cabinet and political groups
  • Different programmatic ties
  • Different mutual ties between ministers

One of these wishes has since come true: the four political leaders remain in the House of Representatives, ties with the House of Representatives have been slackened and Geert Wilders is no longer in the running for Prime Minister.

Who is set to take over the reins?

According to Voermans, the thorough investigation report contains ‘several findings, great positivity and a high level of optimism’. However, confidence and political will are required for any chance of success. The content phase now seems to have arrived, which is overshadowed by the issue of who’s to become the new Prime Minister of the Netherlands. That will be another thorny issue.

More information

Listen to the NPO Radio 1 clip (in Dutch)

Voermans also discussed this in an episode of NPO-Op1 (in Dutch)

This website uses cookies.  More information.