Formal Dutch government coalition talks begin today

Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps)Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps)

Edith Schippers, current Health Minister, is starting her work as "coalition scout" this morning with a meeting with VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte. As coalition scout Schippers will speak to all elected party leader and discuss their desires in forming a coalition and present a report with the best possible coalitions, NOS reports.

After meeting with Rutte at 8:30 a.m., Schippers will meet with the other party leaders. As far as possible, the meetings will take place in order of the size of the parties. The only deviation is that PVV leader Geert Wilders can only meet with Schippers after she's talked to Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks, Sybrand Buma of the CDA and Alexander Pechtold of D66, despite the PVV getting more seats in the projections. The official election results will be presented by the Electoral Board on Tuesday. The talks will end with the new parties DENK and FvD. 

During the talks the party leaders will make clear what possibilities they see for a new cabinet and what they hope to achieve. Schippers hopes to have a report ready by Wednesday, so that the lower house parliament can discuss it in her presence on Thursday. This will also be the first day that the new parliament meets. 

After the debate on Thursday, one or more informants will be appointed to negotiate with the parties on the formation of a new cabinet.