How to form a new government

With the votes counted and speculation beginning about which parties can form a workable coalition, the actual process of forming a new government can begin.

● With a majority government requiring at least 76 of the 150 seats in parliament, forming a coalition can be a tricky business. It is a process which takes months. The longest cabinet formation took 208 days, the shortest just 10.
● While the coalition talks are ongoing, the new MPs take their seats and the former cabinet remains in office on a decommissioned basis – meaning it minds the shop and does not take controverisal decisions.
● On Thursday and Friday, Queen Beatrix will consult the party leaders, her own advisors and other senior politicians and appoint an informateur – the person charged with putting together a tentative coalition. The informateur sounds out the party leaders about potential coalitions and reports back to the queen.
● Once a potential coalition has been identified, the queen names a formateur.
● The formateur (usually the next prime minister) does the nitty gritty job of putting together a coalition agreement, or regeerakkord, in which the broad lines of new government policy are set down.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation