Dutch Seek New Role for Themselves in Europe of Brexit and Macron

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte gives a speech to leaders of the Baltic nations, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden in The Hague, June 21
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte gives a speech to leaders of the Baltic nations, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden in The Hague, June 21 (Presidency of Lithuania/Robertas Dačkus)

Brexit and a reinvigorated Franco-German partnership have caused the Dutch to seek a new role for themselves in Europe.

For years, the trading nation could rely on the United Kingdom to provide a counterweight to the Mediterranean bloc and its protectionist tendencies. Now the fear in The Hague is that Britain’s exit from the EU will lead to a renewed focus on political, as opposed to economic, integration. Read more

Dutch Liberal, Christian Parties Start Talks to Form Government

Former Dutch finance minister Gerrit Zalm speaks at an event in Rotterdam, March 10, 2016
Former Dutch finance minister Gerrit Zalm speaks at an event in Rotterdam, March 10, 2016 (Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest)

Parties in the Netherlands have asked former finance minister Gerrit Zalm to lead negotiations for forming a government, signaling their seriousness to do a deal before the start of the fiscal year in September. Read more

Dutch Left Forces Liberals into Coalition with Christian Right

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte answers questions in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, July 5, 2016
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte answers questions in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, July 5, 2016 (European Parliament)

The Dutch center-right is due to start negotiations with the Christian right to form a majority government after all three left-wing parties have spurned talks. Read more

Dutch Center-Right Parties Eye Labor for Pact

Mark Rutte and Lodewijk Asscher, the prime minister and social affairs minister of the Netherlands, attend a summit in Brussels, March 16, 2016
Mark Rutte and Lodewijk Asscher, the prime minister and social affairs minister of the Netherlands, attend a summit in Brussels, March 16, 2016 (European Council)

It is starting to look like there may be no way to form a majority government in the Netherlands without the recently vanquished Labor Party. Read more

Dutch Coalition Talks Fail Again, Minority Government Likely

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte leaves his residence in The Hague, January 18, 2012
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte leaves his residence in The Hague, January 18, 2012 (Rijksoverheid)

Four-party talks to form a coalition government in the Netherlands have broken down a second time, making a minority government, led by Mark Rutte, more likely. Read more

Dutch Parties Name Seasoned Negotiator In Bid to Break Impasse

Herman Tjeenk Willink is tasked by the speaker of the Dutch parliament, Khadija Arib, with leading talks to form a coalition government, May 30
Herman Tjeenk Willink is tasked by the speaker of the Dutch parliament, Khadija Arib, with leading talks to form a coalition government, May 30 (Tweede Kamer)

Center-right parties in the Netherlands may attempt a second time to form a coalition government with the Greens following the appointment of a new negotiator.

Parliament on Tuesday asked retired Labor Party politician Herman Tjeenk Willink to take over from Health Minister Edith Schippers, who had been leading the talks since the election in March.

Tjeenk Willink is one of the country’s most respected elder statesmen. He was an advisor to Queen Beatrix and has twice led coalition talks in the past. Read more

Dutch Christian, Liberal Parties End Talks, Putting Pressure on Labor

Dutch liberal Democrat party leader Alexander Pechtold visits Breda, November 7, 2009
Dutch liberal Democrat party leader Alexander Pechtold visits Breda, November 7, 2009 (Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg)

The Christian Union and liberal Democrats in the Netherlands have broken off talks to join a coalition government, citing irreconcilable differences in drug, euthanasia and income policies.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberal party and the Christian Democrats had called for negotiations between the four parties. They share views with the Christian Union and liberal Democrats on labor and tax reform as well as health care.

But during a meeting on Tuesday, the leaders of the Christian Union and liberal Democrats failed to bridge their differences. The former cannot allow the legalization of marijuana and an expansion of euthanasia rights; the latter opposes income policies that favor families over individuals. Read more