Dutch coalition: Greens, Conservative VVD already work well together at local level

Today the process of forming a new government for the Netherlands continues with a meeting between coalition scout Edith Schippers and the leaders of the VVD, D66, CDA and GroenLinks. During this meeting Schippers will explore whether a coalition between the four parties is viable. Negotiations are expected to be tough, especially between the VVD and GroenLinks. But there is hope - the two parties already work well together in 20 local governments, BNR reports based on its own research.

One such municipality is Bloemendaal, where GroenLinks and the VVD sit on the college of mayor and aldermen. This cooperation started after the municipal elections in 2014. "It took a while for us to get used to each other", GroenLinks alderman Richard Kruijswijk said to BNR. There were and still are disagreements, especially on social issues. "But we always figure it out. It is working together in a business like manner. Make good agreements and you'll go a long way."

In Roermond GroenLinks and the VVD also work together, though the negotiations took a while. "We needed a few weeks to look for what unites us.", VVD faction leader in Roermond Bart Lickfeld said to the broadcaster. There are still large differences between the parties, but they manage to cooperate. Lickfeld believes that this is also possible at national level. "They need to invest a lot in the personal relationships", he advises his national colleagues. "And then see where you can find each other. If that's enough to make a turn, then you can figure it out."

Liza Leusink of GroenLinks in Zutphen is less optimistic. This kind of local partnerships are not a guarantee for national success, she warns. "I must say that the national differences are much larger", she said to BNR. "I don't know. That is up to the formation, but I think that we are very clear about our ideals. Locally we can still shape it."