Rutte hands over final Cabinet formation report; new ministers meet face-to-face for first time
Formateur and caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte handed over the final report of the formation to the speaker of the Tweede Kamer Vera Bergkamp on Saturday, ending the longest-running formation in Dutch history.
In the report, Rutte confirmed the agreements for his fourth Cabinet, for example, about the division of ministerial posts among the parties. He also confirmed that all intended ministers are prepared to join the new Cabinet, which was confirmed in the constituent meeting earlier on Saturday.
Later Saturday afternoon, Rutte went to King Willem-Alexander for a conversation. "The formateur informed the King about the completion of the formation phase and the final report presented to the speaker of the Tweede Kamer today," the Royal House stated in a press release.
The upcoming minister for the Rutte IV Cabinet had their first consultation earlier on Saturday. The intended ministers met for the first time in the Rolzaal in the Ministry of General Affairs for the constituent deliberation. During the meeting, agreements are laid about, among other topics, the division of tasks.
Ministers of Social Affairs Karien van Gennip (CDA) said she is "very much looking forward to it." Minister of Education Robbert Dijkgraaf said he is "greatly" looking forward to his task as minister. Until recently, Dijkgraaf worked in the United States at Princeton University and said he is still not entirely used to living in The Hague. "I'm like a little chick that just came out of an egg," Dijkgraaf said.
No big decisions were made on Saturday. Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra, who was also minister in the previous Cabinet, remembered the deliberations as a "formality." Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the deliberations are the last moment to formally ask his ministers whether they are up to the task.
King Willem-Alexander will officially swear in the minister on Monday at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, followed by the presentation of the new Cabinet on the stairs of the palace. On January 15, 2021, Rutte resigned from his Cabinet due to the conclusion in a parliamentary report on the child benefits scandal.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times