Third Rutte cabinet


The third Rutte cabinet has been the cabinet of the Netherlands since 26 October 2017. It was formed by a coalition government of the political parties People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Democrats 66 (D66) and Christian Union (CU) after the general election of 2017. The cabinet formation took 225 days, a record high in the Netherlands.

Third Rutte cabinet
Rutte–De Jonge–Ollongren–Schouten cabinet

70th cabinet of the Netherlands
(demissionary)
Date formed26 October 2017 (2017-10-26)
Date dissolved15 January 2021 (2021-01-15) (Demissionary)
People and organisations
MonarchWillem-Alexander
Prime MinisterMark Rutte
Deputy Prime MinisterHugo de Jonge
Kajsa Ollongren
Carola Schouten
Total no. of members16
Member partyPeople's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA)
Democrats 66 (D66)
Christian Union (CU)
Status in legislatureCentre to centre-right coalition government
Opposition leaderGeert Wilders
History
Election(s)2017 election
Outgoing election2017
Legislature term(s)2017–
PredecessorRutte II

The cabinet served during the late 2010s and the start of the 2020s. Notable issues during the third Rutte cabinet included the childcare allowance affair (Dutch: toeslagenaffaire), the farmers protests and the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands. The cabinet fell on 15 January 2021 as a response to a critical report about the childcare allowance affair.[1]

Formation


The 2017 general election resulted in a House of Representatives where at least four parties would be required to form a coalition with a majority (76 seats). Media sources speculated that incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD would seek to form a government with the support of the centre-right CDA and liberal D66. The CU was thought to be the most likely candidate to be the fourth member of the coalition.[2] Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers, was selected by the VVD to serve as the party's informateur on 16 March and appointed by Speaker of the House Khadija Arib, seeking to determine whether Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks (GL) solely desired a left-wing government, or instead simply viewed the VVD as an unlikely coalition partner. Similarly, talks with Emile Roemer of the Socialist Party (SP), who repeatedly stated during the campaign that his party would not govern with the VVD, remained a possibility.[3]

The leaders of D66, the CDA, the PvdA, the VVD, the SP, GL and the CU stated that they would not enter a coalition with the PVV;[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Roemer also said that the SP would not join a coalition with the VVD.[11]

The first proposed coalition was one involving the VVD-CDA-D66 and GL. This was the preferred coalition of Alexander Pechtold, Lodewijk Asscher and Gert-Jan Segers, while Jesse Klaver continued to argue that the major policy differences between GL and the VVD would make a coalition difficult.[12] Nevertheless, the four parties began more serious negotiations toward a coalition agreement. The Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) reported that "labour market reform, investment in law enforcement and additional money for nursing homes" would be areas of agreement between the parties, while "refugee policy, income distribution, climate and medical ethics issues are potential stumbling blocks".[13]

On 15 May, talks on the proposed four-way VVD-CDA-D66-GL coalition failed. It was reported that the main dispute concerned immigration, but GL Leader Jesse Klaver cited climate issues and income differences as other issues where the parties disagreed. The end of the talks was reported to be a consensus decision, with no party blaming any others.[14][15]

Coalition talks were reported to be at an impasse, with the VVD and CDA favouring a coalition with the CU, D66 favouring a coalition with either the PvdA or the SP, the SP being absolutely opposed to a coalition with the VVD, the CDA being opposed to a coalition without the VVD, the PvdA rejecting any coalition, and all parties with more than five seats rejecting a coalition with the PVV. D66 said that it would consider a coalition with the CU very difficult due to disagreements on medical-ethical issues such as doctor-assisted suicide, due to the lack of representation of the political left within that coalition, and due to the small majority of one seat in both chambers, which could make for an unstable coalition.[16][17]

In late June 2017, discussions began again between the VVD, D66, the CDA and the CU under the lead of new informateur Herman Tjeenk Willink. After a three-week summer break, talks resumed on 9 August 2017, and were reported to be close to a conclusion due to representatives of unions and employers' organizations joining the discussions, which typically happens near the end of such negotiations.[18][19] In September 2017, a budget deal compromise was reached allowing the coalition talks to continue. While still 'close to conclusion', it appeared likely that the talks about government formation would exceed the record since World War II of 208 days set in 1977.[20] After 208 days of negotiations, the VVD, D66, CDA and CU agreed to a coalition under a third informateur, Gerrit Zalm,[21][22][23] and all members of the House of Representatives of the involved parties approved the agreement on 9 October 2017.[24] On 26 October the new cabinet was formally installed, 225 days after the elections, setting a record for the longest cabinet formation in Dutch history.

On 7 October 2019, the government lost its majority when Wybren van Haga, after being expelled from Rutte's VVD party for allegedly renovating a building he owned without the necessary permits, decided to sit as an Independent. Had he resigned, another member on the VVD electoral party list would have replaced him, maintaining Rutte's parliamentary majority of one. According to Politico EU, van Haga wrote he would vote with the government on established coalition policy, but would make his own decisions on future laws.[25]

Policy


Government

The Third Rutte cabinet repealed the Referendum Act passed in 2015, although that proposal was written in none of the coalition parties' election platforms. It stated the law had not delivered what was expected; results from the 2016 Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum and 2018 Intelligence and Security Services Act referendum have been going against government proposals. The cabinet also deconstitutionalised the method of appointment of mayors and King's commissioners, thus allowing the method to be changed by law.[26]

Finance

The cabinet plans to simplify income tax, reducing the number of tax brackets to two. Income below 68,600 would be taxed at 36.9% and income from 68,600 onward at 49.5%. There are also plans to increase the lower VAT rate from 6 to 9%.[26] A plan to abolish dividend tax proved so controversial that it was discarded in October 2018.[27] Instead, the cabinet will now lower corporation tax more than was initially planned; the higher rate will be lowered from 25 to 20.5%, and the lower rate from 20 to 15%.[26]

Justice

In judicial matters, the cabinet intends to end the automatic conditional release of prisoners after two thirds of their sentence and to shorten asylum permits from five to three years, after which refugees can request an extension of another two years.[26]

Labour

The cabinet intends to reform the labour market and pension system. Laws around the termination of employment will be relaxed, while paid sick leave will be shortened. The cabinet initially planned to allow employers to pay handicapped people below the minimum wage, which would then be supplemented by local government. However, this proposal was later retracted.[26]

Environment

The cabinet pledged to ban the sale of non-emission-free cars by 2030. There are also plans to introduce a flight tax by 2021.[26] In March 2018, the cabinet also pledged to end gas extraction from the Groningen gas field within twelve years.[28]

Composition


Ministers Title Term of office Party
Drs.
Mark Rutte
(born 1967)
Prime Minister 14 October 2010 –
Incumbent
(retained)[lower-roman 1]
VVD
Minister of General Affairs
Hugo de Jonge
(born 1977)
First Deputy Prime Minister 26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
CDA
Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport
Jkvr. Drs.
Kajsa Ollongren
(born 1967)
Second Deputy Prime Minister 26 October 2017 –
1 November 2019
(on leave)[lower-roman 2]
D66
Drs.
Wouter Koolmees
(born 1977)
1 November 2019 –
14 May 2020
(acting)[lower-roman 3]
Jkvr. Drs.
Kajsa Ollongren
(born 1967)
14 May 2020 –
Incumbent
Drs.
Carola Schouten
(born 1977)
Third Deputy Prime Minister 26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
CU
Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
Drs.
Halbe Zijlstra
(born 1969)
Minister of Foreign Affairs 26 October 2017 –
13 February 2018
(resigned)
VVD
Sigrid Kaag
MA, MPhil
(born 1961)
13 February 2018 –
7 March 2018
(ad interim)
D66
Drs.
Stef Blok
(born 1964)
7 March 2018 –
25 May 2021
(appointed)[lower-roman 4]
VVD
Sigrid Kaag
MA, MPhil
(born 1961)
25 May 2021 –
Incumbent
(acting)[lower-roman 5]
D66
Mr. Dr.
Ferdinand Grapperhaus
(born 1959)
Minister of Justice and Security 26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
CDA
Jkvr. Drs.
Kajsa Ollongren
(born 1967)
Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations 26 October 2017 –
1 November 2019
(on leave)[lower-roman 2]
D66
Drs.
Raymond Knops
(born 1971)
1 November 2019 –
14 April 2020
(acting)[lower-roman 3]
CDA
Jkvr. Drs.
Kajsa Ollongren
(born 1967)
14 April 2020 –
Incumbent
D66
Mr. Drs.
Ingrid van Engelshoven
(born 1966)
Minister of Education, Culture and Science 26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
D66
Mr.
Wopke Hoekstra
MBA
(born 1975)
Minister of Finance 26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
CDA
Drs.
Ank Bijleveld
(born 1962)
Minister of Defence 26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
CDA
Drs.
Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
(born 1963)
Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management 26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
VVD
Ir.
Eric Wiebes
MBA
(born 1963)
Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy 26 October 2017 –
15 January 2021
(resigned)
VVD
Drs.
Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
(born 1963)
15 January 2021 –
20 January 2021
(ad interim)
Bas van 't Wout
(born 1979)
20 January 2021 –
25 May 2021
(on leave)[lower-roman 6]
Drs.
Stef Blok
(born 1964)
25 May 2021 –
Incumbent
(acting)[lower-roman 5]
Drs.
Wouter Koolmees
(born 1977)
Minister of Social Affairs and Employment 26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
D66
Ministers without portfolio Title Term of office Party
Sigrid Kaag
MA, MPhil
(born 1961)
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

within Foreign Affairs

26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
D66
Drs.
Sander Dekker
(born 1975)
Minister for Legal Protection

within Justice and Security

26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
VVD
Drs.
Arie Slob
(born 1961)
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education and Media

within Education, Culture and Science

26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
CU
Mr. Drs.
Bruno Bruins
(born 1963)
Minister for Medical Care and Sport

within Health, Welfare and Sport

26 October 2017 –
19 March 2020
(resigned)
VVD
Drs.
Martin van Rijn
(born 1956)
23 March 2020 –
9 July 2020
(ad interim)
Indep.
[lower-roman 7]
Drs.
Tamara van Ark
(born 1974)
9 July 2020 –
Incumbent
VVD
Drs.
Ank Bijleveld
(born 1962)
Minister for the General Intelligence and Security Service

within Interior and Kingdom Relations

1 November 2019 –
14 April 2020
(acting)[lower-roman 3]
CDA
Drs.
Stientje van Veldhoven
(born 1973)
Minister for Environment and Housing

within Interior and Kingdom Relations

1 November 2019 –
14 April 2020
(acting)[lower-roman 3]
D66
State Secretaries Title Portfolio Term of office Party
Mark Harbers
(born 1969)
State Secretary for Justice and Security
(Minister for Migration)[lower-roman 8]
  • Integration
  • Immigration
  • Asylum Affairs
  • Minority Affairs
26 October 2017 –
21 May 2019
(resigned)
VVD
Mr.
Ankie Broekers-Knol
(born 1946)
11 July 2019 –
Incumbent
Drs.
Raymond Knops
(born 1971)
State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations
  • Privatization Policy
  • Government Real Estate
  • Kingdom Relations
26 October 2017 –
1 November 2019
(appointed)[lower-roman 9]
CDA
14 April 2020 –
Incumbent
Mr.
Menno Snel
(born 1970)
State Secretary for Finance
  • Fiscal Affairs
  • Tax and Customs Administration
  • Local Government Finances
  • National Mint
  • Gambling Policy
  • State Lottery
26 October 2017 –
18 December 2019
(resigned)
D66
Dr.
Hans Vijlbrief
(born 1963)
  • Fiscal Affairs
  • Tax Administration
  • Local Government Finances
  • National Mint
  • Gambling Policy
  • State Lottery
29 January 2020 –
Incumbent
Drs.
Alexandra van Huffelen
(born 1968)
  • Benefits
  • Customs Administration
29 January 2020 –
Incumbent
Drs.
Barbara Visser
(born 1977)
State Secretary for Defence
  • Personnel Affairs
  • Equipment Policy
  • Special Ops Policy
26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
VVD
Drs.
Stientje van Veldhoven
(born 1973)
State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management
  • Transport Infrastructure
  • Public Transport
  • Energy Policy
  • Weather Forecasting Service
26 October 2017 –
1 November 2019
(appointed)[lower-roman 10]
D66
14 April 2020 –
Incumbent
Mr. Drs.
Mona Keijzer
(born 1968)
State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
  • Small Business Policy
  • Retail Policy
  • Regional Development
  • Consumer Protection
  • Digital Infrastructure
  • Postal Service
  • Tourism Affairs
26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
CDA
Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius
(born 1977)
  • Climate Policy
  • Energy Policy
25 May 2021 –
Incumbent
VVD
Drs.
Tamara van Ark
(born 1974)
State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment Affairs
  • Occupational Safety
  • Youth Policy
  • Poverty Policy
  • Equality
  • Emancipation
26 October 2017 –
9 July 2020
(appointed)[lower-roman 11]
VVD
Bas van 't Wout
(born 1979)
9 July 2020 –
20 January 2021
(appointed)[lower-roman 12]
Drs.
Paul Blokhuis
(born 1963)
State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport
  • Elderly Policy
  • Disability Affairs
  • Veteran Affairs
26 October 2017 –
Incumbent
CU
Source: Rijksoverheid, Members of the government
  1. Retained this position from the previous cabinet.
  2. Kajsa Ollongren took an extended medical leave of absence on 1 November 2019.
  3. Served in an acting capacity due to the medical leave of absence of Kajsa Ollongren.
  4. Stef Blok was appointed Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (acting) on 24 May 2021.
  5. Served in an acting capacity due to the medical leave of absence of Bas van 't Wout.
  6. Bas van 't Wout took an extended medical leave of absence on 24 May 2021.
  7. Martin van Rijn is a member of the Labour Party, but joined the cabinet independently as Minister for Medical Care (ad interim).
  8. Allowed to use the title "Minister of Migration" while on foreign business.
  9. Raymond Knops was appointed Minister for the Interior and Kingdom Relations (acting) on 1 November 2019.
  10. Stientje van Veldhoven was appointed Minister for Environment and Housing (acting) on 1 November 2019.
  11. Tamara van Ark was appointed Minister for Medical Care on 9 July 2019.
  12. Bas van 't Wout was appointed Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy on 20 January 2021.

References


  1. "Kabinet-Rutte III gevallen". nos.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  2. "Dutch election: Wilders defeat celebrated by PM Rutte". BBC News. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  3. "Nederland Kiest: 'formatie wordt moeilijk, moeilijk, moeilijk'". NOS. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  4. "Wilders: liever een coalitie dan een revolte". NOS. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  5. "Buma weigert regeren met PVV nog steeds". De Telegraaf. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  6. "PvdA-voorzitter Spekman: Henk en Mark, zeg nee tegen de PVV". NOS. 14 January 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  7. "Rutte: kans op regering VVD met PVV is nul". NOS. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  8. Sasha Kester (14 January 2017). "Roemer sluit samenwerking met VVD uit en roept PvdA op hetzelfde te doen". Volkskrant. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  9. "ChristenUnie sluit samenwerking met PVV uit". Groot Nieuws Radio. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  10. Edwin van der Aa; Hans van Soest (14 January 2017). "Emile Roemer sluit VVD uit". Algemeen Dagblad. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  11. Vries, Joost de (20 March 2017). "Van middenkabinet tot 'christelijk progressief', alle formatiewensen op een rij - Binnenland - Voor nieuws, achtergronden en columns". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  12. "Formatie dag 8: de onderhandelingen gaan beginnen". NOS (in Dutch). 23 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  13. Dutch coalition talks failed say officials, (in English) politico.eu.
  14. BBC News, Europe.
  15. Geen kans op slagen met CU (in Dutch), telegraaf.nl.
  16. Formatie in impassie: D66 nog geen zin in CU (in Dutch), nrc.nl, 2017.05.18.
  17. Dutch government talks near finish line Politico, 4 August 2017.
  18. Talks to form Dutch govt kick off again after break Yahoo News 9 August 2017.
  19. "Dutch budget deal prevents collapse of shaky coalition". The Irish Times. 13 September 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  20. "208 Days to Forge Four-Party Coalition Dutch Government". The Australian. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  21. Kroet, Cynthia (9 October 2017). "Dutch Coalition Partners Agree on Government Deal, Seek Party Backing". Politico. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  22. Henley, Jon (9 October 2017). "Dutch Parties Agree Coalition Government After a Record 208 Days". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  23. Kroet, Cynthia (10 October 2017). "Dutch Government Coalition Deal Receives Parliamentary Backing". Politico. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  24. Schaart, Eline (2019-10-07). "Dutch coalition loses majority in parliament". Politico Europe. Retrieved 2019-10-07. The Dutch coalition government on Monday lost its majority in parliament when an MP who had been expelled from Prime Minister Mark Rutte's party said he would sit as an independent.
  25. "Volg hier de wetgeving van Rutte III". NRC (in Dutch). 15 January 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  26. "Kabinet en coalitie schaffen dividendbelasting definitief niet af". NU.nl (in Dutch). 15 October 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  27. "Kabinet: binnen 12 jaar einde aan gaswinning in Groningen". NOS (in Dutch). 29 March 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.