Saturday 22 January 2022

Mark Rutte’s fourth cabinet: what we know and has been leaked so far

Paleis Noordeinde. Photo: Txllxt TxllxT via Wikimedia Commons

More names of both potential and confirmed ministers in Mark Rutte’s fourth cabinet have been emerging and there are some surprises among them.

D66 leader Sigrid Kaag will not only be the Netherlands’ first female finance minister, but has brought in academic Robbert Dijkgraaf, known for his popular science lectures on television, as education, welfare and culture minister.

Ernst Kuipers, head of the Erasmus medical centre and the acute hospital care association, is set to replace Hugo de Jonge as health minister, also on behalf of D66. Kuipers has become a familiar face on television during the coronavirus pandemic.

Questions have also been asked about the appointment of Dilan Yesilgöz to the heavyweight job of justice minister. Yesilgöz joined the cabinet several months ago as junior economic affairs minister and has no experience in the legal field – making her the first justice minister without a degree in law.

As yet it is unclear which job – either foreign affairs or home affairs – will go to CDA leader and outgoing finance minister Wopke Hoekstra. Both positions are for the Christian Democrats.

Rutte will start his meetings with individual ministers next week and the new cabinet will pose with the king on the steps of the Noordeinde palace in the heart of The Hague on Monday, January 10.

What we know so far:

*not confirmed
** new post

Prime minister
Mark Rutte (VVD) will lead his fourth cabinet, made up of himself plus 19 ministers and nine junior ministers.

Finance
Minister of Finance: Sigrid Kaag (D66)
Junior minister for tax (CDA)
Junior minister for benefits and customs: Aukje de Vries (VVD)**

Foreign affairs
Minister of foreign affairs (CDA)
Minister for foreign trade and development aid: Liesje Schreinemacher (VVD)

Justice and security
Minister of justice and security: Dilan Yesilgöz (VVD)
Minister for legal protection (D66)
Junior minister for asylum and immigration: Eric van der Burg (VVD)

Home affairs
Minister of home and kingdom affairs (CDA)
Minister for housing: Hugo de Jonge (CDA)* **
Junior minister for kingdom affairs and digitalization (D66)*

Education, culture and science
Minister of education, culture and science: Robbert Dijkgraaf (D66)*
Minister for schools: Dennis Wiersma (VVD)
Junior minister of culture and media issues (D66)

Defence
Minister of defence: Kajsa Ollongren (D66)*
Junior minister of defence: Christophe van der Maat (VVD)

Infrastructure and waterways
Minister of infrastructure and waterways: Mark Harbers (VVD)
Junior minister of infrastructure and waterways (CDA)

Economic affairs and climate
Minister of economic affairs and climate: Micky Adriaansens (VVD)
Minister for climate and energy: Rob Jetten (D66) **
Junior minister of mines (the Groningen gas problem): Hans Vijlbrief (D66) **

Agriculture and nature
Minister of agriculture, nature and food quality: Henk Staghouwer (CU)
Minister for nature and nitrogen issues: Christianne van der Wal (VVD)**

Social affairs and employment
Minister of social affairs and employment (CDA)
Minister for poverty strategy, participation and pensions: Carola Schouten (CU)**

Health, welfare and sport
Minister of health, welfare and sport: Ernst Kuipers (D66)*
Minister for long term care and sport: Conny Helder (VVD)
Junior minister for youth and prevention: Maarten van Ooijen (CU)

Ministers of something control a budget and effectively run the department while ministers for something are charged with a particular project and are part of the cabinet. Junior ministers (staatsecretarissen) are not members of the cabinet.

This list will be updated as more positions are confirmed.

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