Cabinet to focus on solidarity (update)

The new Dutch centre-left cabinet presented its strategy for the next four years to the public today under the motto ‘working together, living together’. The new alliance between the Christian Democrats, ChristenUnie and PvdA (Labour) is focused on growth, respect, solidarity and durability, CDA leader Jan Pieter Balkenende said at the presentation of the cabinet’s plans.

The coalition accord was based on six cornerstones, Balkenende said: an active role for the Netherlands internationally; a competitive, innovative economy; a durable society; social cohesion; security and respect; and decisive government. In all, the government’s plans represented an ambitious programme, Balkenende said.
The CDA leader, who is poised to head up his fourth cabinet, said he expected to have finalised the division of ministerial responsibilities by February 19. The three parties began their negotiations at the beginning of January.
Asked which areas of new policy had been hardest to accept, Balkenende said the amnesty for long-term asylum seekers and the extra tax on wealthy pensioners. But he praised PvdA leader Wouter Bos (pictured at today’s news conference) for his ‘fair’ play during the negotiations.
MPs will be able to debate the cabinet formation process so far in parliament tomorrow.

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