First Van Agt cabinet

The First Van Agt cabinet, also called the Van Agt–Wiegel cabinet was the executive branch of the Dutch Government from 19 December 1977 until 11 September 1981. The cabinet was formed by the christian-democratic Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) after the election of 1977. The cabinet was a centre-right coalition and had a slim majority in the House of Representatives with Christian Democratic Leader Dries van Agt serving as Prime Minister. Liberal Leader Hans Wiegel served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

First Van Agt cabinet
Van Agt–Wiegel cabinet

56th Cabinet of the Netherlands
Installation of the cabinet by Queen Juliana at Soestdijk Palace on 19 December 1977
Date formed19 December 1977 (1977-12-19)
Date dissolved11 September 1981 (1981-09-11)
3 years, 266 days in office
(Demissionary from 26 May 1981 (1981-05-26))
People and organisations
MonarchQueen Juliana (1977–1980)
Queen Beatrix (1980–1981)
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Deputy Prime MinisterHans Wiegel
No. of ministers17
Total no. of members21
Member partyChristian Democratic Appeal
People's Party for
Freedom and Democracy

Status in legislatureCentre-right
Majority government
Opposition partyLabour Party
Opposition leaderJoop den Uyl
Election(s)1977 election
Outgoing election1981 election
Legislature term(s)1977–1981
Incoming formation1977 formation
Outgoing formation1981 formation
PredecessorDen Uyl cabinet
SuccessorSecond Van Agt cabinet

The cabinet served in the final years of the radical 1970s and the early years of the economic expansion of the 1980s. Domestically it had to deal with the last days of the counterculture, the abdication of Queen Juliana and the installation of Queen Beatrix, a growing inflation following the recession in the 1980s but it was able to implement several major social reforms to the public sector and civil reforms and stimulating deregulation and privatization. Internationally it had to deal with the 1979 oil crisis and the fallout of the increasing international stand against Apartheid in South Africa. The cabinet suffered several major internal and external conflicts including multiple cabinet resignations, including a informal caucus of several Christian Democrats in the House of Representatives that only supported the cabinet in a confidence and supply construction, but it was able to complete its entire term and was succeeded by the Second Van Agt cabinet following the election of 1981.[1][2][3]