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Cabinet formation negotiations in The Hague: latest developments

The Dutch cabinet formation – a process that has now been underway for five months – is at a standstill for the time being. Formation discussion leaders Elbert Dijkgraaf and Richard van Zwol are due to publish their report in mid-May. Wim Voermans, Professor of Constitutional Law, updates listeners on daily interview programme Sven op 1 on Dutch radio station NPO Radio 1.

This week, the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) is working on a number of scenarios. The formation discussion leaders’ final report will then follow, Svenop1 reports. Will the parties come to an agreement during this round? In the interview, Professor Voermans says that although there are ‘still ambiguities on key issues, progress has been made and no clear agreements have been made yet’. He doesn’t rule out the possibility that the four parties will need more time and an additional round will probably be needed.

A summary of the issues featured in the interview:

  • the dual role of formation discussion leader Elbert van Zwol, who is also a member of the Dutch Council of State;
  • the asylum situation in the Netherlands cannot be classified as an ‘asylum crisis’, but as an ‘accommodation crisis’; emergency legislation is not an option as these are not exceptional circumstances;
  • if this formation round is not successful, it would be unprecedented; the second party would then have a chance;
  • who decides that elections are required sooner than the next Dutch general election scheduled for 2028;
  • who can dissolve the Dutch House of Representatives, and when;
  • a binding rule in force since 1868 stipulates that a single cabinet does not have the power to dissolve the House of Representatives twice;
  • if the cabinet formation process is successful, a programme government will be formed in line with Putters' advice.

More information

Listen to the Sven op 1 radio clip on NPO Radio 1 (in Dutch)

Photo: Hansjörg Keller through Unsplash

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