Shuffle to fill Hoekstra’s shoes: Bruins Slot to foreign affairs

The foreign affairs ministry. Photo: Kick Smeets / Rijksoverheid 2016

Hanke Bruins Slot will be the Netherlands’ new foreign affairs minister, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party has revealed.

The current home affairs and intelligence junior minister will replace Wopke Hoekstra, who has been nominated as European Commission (EC) climate commissioner and has resigned as Dutch foreign minister.

Hoekstra’s candidature has been supported by EC head Ursula Van der Leyen, a German Christian Democrat, and it will be discussed at a European Parliament hearing today.

The new CDA deputy prime minister will be Karien van Gennip, while caretaker housing minister Hugo de Jonge takes over Bruins Slot’s former tasks.

“As an Afghanistan veteran and the minister who has been responsible for the intelligence and security services, Hanke is more than qualified for this move to foreign affairs,” said new CDA party leader Henri Bontenbal in a statement.

Hoekstra’s move has been met in Brussels with mixed reactions and there has been some criticism of replacing a foreign minister at a time of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Some felt that well-qualified women from D66 were overlooked.

Former executive vice president of the European Commission and head of the EU green deal Frans Timmermans is returning to domestic politics to stand for election as the head of a new left-wing/green alliance.

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