New Dutch government formed by summer: Schippers

Edith Schippers (Photo: Commonst)Edith Schippers (Photo: Commonst)

Edith Schippers, who is leading the coalition negotiations for the new Dutch government, hopes that the new government will be in place by summer, she said on Wednesday following the first formal coalition negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks. If this succeeds, it means that the new government can prepare the budget for 2018, ANP reports.

Schippers does not expect a quick formation like in 2012, when the VVD and PvdA formed a government within six weeks. All four parties involved in the negotiations admit that there are large differences between them - especially on the grounds of tackling climate change, the asylum policy and addressing income inequality. And unlike four years ago, there is currently no economic crisis putting pressure on public finances. "The intention is to do things differently", Schippers said. She expects that the parties will use their factions as sound boards more in this formation. 

As "informer" it is Schippers' job to lead the negotiations on the coalition. She promised to work impartially, keeping the interests of all parties in sight. This will be easier for the departing VVD Health Minister as she already announced that she will not be a minister again this term. Schippers wants the "public and factions to be part of the process as much as possible" by keeping them informed on what is going on in weekly press updates. "Practice will show whether that works, but it is the intent", she said.