Dutch FM Blok the “designated survivor” for Budget Day event

Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will be the 'designated survivor' this Budget Day. He will not be in the Netherlands next week Thursday and will not attend the King's Budget Day speech in the Ridderzaal, NOS reports.

The entire government and parliament attends the speech on Budget Day, or Prinsjesdag as it is known in the Netherlands. It is the official opening of the parliamentary year. Designated survivor Blok will take over the national government in the event of a disaster or attack that leaves all the other Ministers, State Secretaries and parliamentarians dead or injured. This is the first time that a Minister will not attend the opening of the parliamentary year, in case of an attack, according to the broadcaster. 

Minister Blok will be in Strasbourg on Budget Day for introductory talks with the new Dutch members of European Parliament.

Last year the government announced that it would start appointing designated survivors for large events. "It is not desirable for the entire government to be present at a particular event, in which the Council of State and parliament are also fully present", Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at the time.