Dutch Cabinet deal struck between VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie after 38 weeks
The leaders of VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie agreed on a deal Monday evening to form a new Cabinet. The two Cabinet formation leaders announced this after hours of meetings. It has been more than 38 weeks since the Tweede Kamer elections, making it the longest Cabinet formation process in Dutch history.
"The text is now agreed upon," said a spokesperson for the formation process leaders, known as informateurs. "Final adjustments" are now being made to the text of the negotiators' agreement so that it can go to the political factions on Tuesday, he added. The meeting of the group leaders will continue on Monday evening to settle the last matters.
The factions of the four intended coalition parties will vote on the agreement on Tuesday. After that, party leaders are expected to meet again to discuss possible minor adjustments to the deal that different political groups want. The intention is that the four party leaders will present the coalition agreement on Wednesday afternoon. Then the agreement will go to the rest of the Tweede Kamer.
The coalition deal is expected to include free childcare for most people, along with heavy investments to address climate change, the housing shortage, and the nitrogen crisis, according to several different leaks to various media outlets. The parties also want to make additional investments in education, including making changes to the student loan system. Money could be earmarked for nuclear energy research.
This week the lower house will likely continue to debate with the formation leaders, Johan Remkes (VVD) and Wouter Koolmees (D66), about their final report. After that, a formateur is appointed - VVD leader Mark Rutte - who can then start putting together his fourth Cabinet. He will select the ministers over the next few weeks. In the second week of next year, the fourth Cabinet of Mark Rutte can then stand on the stairs of the royal palace with King Willem-Alexander for their formal presentation.
Sources previously reported that the Rutte IV Cabinet would consist of 40 members - 20 Minister and 10 State Secretaries. The aim is to have an equal number of men and women in the Cabinet. The Rutte III Cabinet consists of 24 members.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.