Van Nieuwenhuisen wants to be the Netherlands’ first female PM

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, currently the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, wants to succeed Mark Rutte as Prime Minister and thereby become the first female Prime Minister of the Netherlands. "That would certainly be nice", the 56-year-old VVD Minister said to Elsevier.

If her goal of first female Prime Minister of the Netherlands doesn't work out, she would like to be the country's first female Minister of Finance, she added. 

Speaking to the magazine, Van Nieuwenhuizen described herself as someone who stands up for "the silent majority", speaking out specifically against climate activists campaigning against air travel. According to her, these activists create a completely wrong image of what is going on in the Netherlands. "Activists claim that there is flight-shame, but most people don't even know what that is. They work hard all year. Can they please go to Antalya?" 

According to the Infrastructure Minister, opponents hijack the debate about air travel. "The opponents of Lelystad and Schiphol shout louder than those who have no problem with it. The minority is heard, the majority not." When she visits places in the Netherlands, "nobody speaks to me about he environmental effects of aviation".

The Minister also spoke out against the so-called kilometer tax or road pricing. It was against her will that the government decided to launch an investigation into taxing motorists per kilometer driven, she said to Elsevier. She will also continue to oppose a rush hour tax. "I don't think you should penalize people if they have no choice but to go to work during rush hour. The most important thing is that driving is and remains affordable for everyone, including people who cannot afford an electric car."

Van Nieuwenhuizen is the only female VVD Minister in the Rutte III government, which was formed in 2017. Before that she was a parliamentarian between 2010 and 2014 and a member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2017.