Dutch coalition deal receives parliamentary backing12/10/17Government
A Dutch coalition deal has received backing from the parliamentary groups of the four political parties involved, allowing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to form his next government.
The coalition consists of Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the conservative Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), the Liberal D66 and the conservative Christian Union (CU).
The parties announced that the deal had been struck on Monday (9 October), after the Netherlands having gone without a new government since the parliamentary election in March – the longest the country has been without a government since 1977.
The average length of time taken to form a ruling coalition in modern Dutch history is 72 days.
Gerret Zalm, who led negotiations, will inform parliament about the formation process later in the week. Rutte will now choose his ministers, who are likely to be sworn in later this month.
This will be Rutte’s third government, having been prime minister of the Netherlands since 2010.
D66 is pro-choice, pro-LGBT rights and pro-EU, and wants pioneering Dutch euthanasia laws extended so that not just terminally ill patients can decide to end their lives.
The Christian Union is opposed to abortion, same sex marriage and euthanasia, and has in the past argued that the Netherlands should pull out of the eurozone in its present form.
Nevertheless, an agreement on the government’s key policies, tax, sick pay, welfare payment to refugees, and defence and education spending has been reached.