Update Dutch Politics – New Dutch government not expected soon, but don’t worry about it

Public Matters Political Update 09-08-2017

After a two-week break, the four negotiating parties - VVD (Liberal Conservatives), CDA (Christian Democrats), D66 (Liberal Democrats) and ChristenUnie (Christian Conservatives) - have resumed talks to form a new government in the Netherlands. It’s been 147 days since Election Day (15 March, 2017), which already makes it the third longest formation period in Dutch political history. There are essentially three reasons why forming a government is taking so long:
1. Parliament is very fragmented 13 parties are represented in parliament and the largest party, the VVD (Liberal Conservatives), only has 33 of the 150 seats (22%) and the second largest party, Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) only 20 seats (13%). This means that at least four parties are required to form a majority government. 2. The tradition of negotiating a relatively detailed government programme before the government is actually installed In many other countries where coalition governments are common, they often agree on basic guidelines or principles and then deal with differences of opinion among coalition members as they occur. In the Netherlands, a detailed government programme is written, which dictates the policy direction during the life of the government. This lengthens the time it takes to form a government but on the other hand limits the risk of constant disagreements between coalition parties). 3. Most parties have excluded the second biggest party - Geert Wilders' populist Party for Freedom (PVV) - from the negotiations This makes it more difficult to form a government, as it leaves the other parties less options. Although the outcome of the current talks seems difficult to predict, most insiders believe that an agreement is not expected soon – at least not this month. In addition, the following observations with regards to these talks can be made: 1. Main points of difference between the negotiating parties are policies regarding climate, immigration and medical-ethical topics (euthanasia, etc.). 2. Employers’ organisation VNO-NCW and union federation FNV have been invited to provide input to the talks, which could be a sign the negotiations may be entering their final phase. In the meantime, the situation seems fine - both from a political and economic perspective: 1. It’s business as usual, as the old government stays on as care-taker government, led by the current Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, who is very experienced, well-respected across most political parties and popular among the public. 2. The economic conditions are favorable – high economic growth, low unemployment rate and no significant problems with the public finances - following which there doesn’t seem to be any major acute financial or economic issue that needs to be addressed. Therefore, whatever happens, whether a new government is formed soon or it will take a while - the Netherlands are doing just fine, don’t worry about it.
Welcome New Members

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is very pleased to welcome the following new members:

  Staffan Landén, Private Member Maaike Gerritse, YP Member Sofia Widén, YP Member Marta Radinovic Lukic We are looking forward to welcoming them to our upcoming evens!
New managing director for Anticimex Netherlands

Marco de Lange has been appointed as the new Managing Director for Anticimex Netherlands as of July 1st. De Lange replaces Dick Bisschop, who after 2 years of dedication has accepted to take on a new role within Anticimex Europe. This was announced the 7th of July by group Anticimex, the leading worldwide expert in pest control and prevention.

  “Dick Bisschop really succeeded in establishing Anticimex as a leading partner for pest control and prevention within the Dutch market, but also in expanding the company enormously. As a result, we have now acquired eight companies in 13 months. He will now work on the further expansion of Anticimex in Europe.” His successor Marco de Lange, previously working as a Managing Director at Mitsubishi Motor Sales Netherlands, will continue along the path taken by Dick Bisschop. Marco de Lange will mostly focus on the continuity and further assurance of the company’s ethos for all businesses and acquisition partners of Anticimex Netherlands. “I’m looking forward to a wonderful challenge at Anticimex, a company in full growth that wants to be the leader in digital innovative solutions but at the same time, has a great awareness about their environmental responsibility”, says Marco De Lange about his new position. The Swedish Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Dick Bisschop for the excellent co-operation and wish him lots of success with his new European asignment. At the same time we would like to congratulate Marco de Lange and welcome him to the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and our Swedish - Dutch Business Network and we are looking forward to continue the excellent collaboration with Anticimex Nederland for the future.
Swedish roots with a touch of orange

An early spring morning fifteen years ago, Roland van Pooij stepped in to the office of what a decade later, would become one of the six home markets of Handelsbanken. He was the first employee to open up a branch for Handelsbanken in the Netherlands and today he is the Chief Operating Officer at the headquarters at Schiphol.

Since the start in 2002 the bank has grown steadily, customer-by-customer, branch-by-branch – all in the Swedish Handelsbanken spirit. Today they have 27 established branches and more than 270 employees working to serve the customers of the bank. Handelsbanken has been a member of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce from the start and when the Young Professionals was initiated they were one of the first member companies to support the network. For Handelsbanken, the Young Professionals serves as a platform where their employees can develop and grow their professional network. - The Young Professionals of today think differently than my senior colleagues and I, and they are also intuitively aware of topics such as innovation and sustainability. By introducing them to the Young Professionals we can nourish their curiosity and encourage them to keep developing within these fields as well as the core values that we share with the Swedish Chamber, says Roland. Handelsbanken is now strengthening their ties to the Young Professionals by having one of the credit analysts Rens Ramakers joining the Young Professionals Committee. - We are very happy to have Rens chosen as one the new board members in time for the Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary and we are currently looking into expanding our collaboration with the network to incorporate it as a part of our traineeships and leadership programs, states Roland. The Young Professionals has become an appreciated and well-recognized network among employees and management at Handelsbanken and is being recommended throughout the organization. - We can learn from the Young Professionals and we are proud to be a part of the network, spreading the core values that Handelsbanken share with many other successful Swedish brands such as inclusiveness, sustainability, long-term development and flat organizational structures, says Roland. Handelsbanken is one of the main sponsors for the Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary Celebration. The company wants to support the network and together with the Young Professionals celebrate the mutual benefits that are being created everyday thanks to the collaboration. - We want to relate back to our Swedish roots as we proceed, but of course with a touch of orange. And that is why Handelsbanken is a proud sponsor of the Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber and their 10 Year Anniversary, continues Roland. Roland, Rens and the Handelsbanken team together with the Swedish Chamber wishes the Young Professionals a happy 10 Year Anniversary and are looking forward to many more years of great companionship.
Welcome New Member Public Matters
Public Matters is an all-round public affairs agency based in The Hague, we advise clients that are in the centre of the public and political arena, want to manage reputation, stakeholders and issues, and/or influence decision making. Our consultants have a background in politics, public affairs, media, and/or in-house companies, using their network of connections to support clients' interests. Our core competences include advising on public affairs, framing & positioning of issues, media relations, and influencing perception of stakeholders. If you want more information about how Public Matters can help you with your political communication strategies please contact Cees Westera +31703046483 Twitter @PublicMatters
Young Professionals 10 Years! Time to Celebrate!

Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Fashion Show Filippa K, Whisky Tasting MacMyra, Food, Fun and Music 17.30 - 22.00 Time to Celebrate!

On September 22, 2017 it is time for Young Professionals 10 Year Celebration. Save the date in your agenda and make your pre-registration already to make sure not to miss out on this fantastic event with an inspirational setup in TED Talk format in combination with fun - food - fashion - networking and music! We are very pleased to welcome our co-operation partners Ericsson, Filippa K, MackMyra, Klarna, Innovation 360, StartupDelta, EQT, Handelsbanken and Undutchables!

We are excited to celebrate 10 years of Young Professionals with you in the presence of the H.E. Ambassador of Sweden Mr. Per Holmström. Join us for the celebrations on September 22 and welcome to bring your colleagues and friends!


PS Thanks to our generous sponsors the celebration is offered to you free of charge! Registration however, is compulsory. Please find digital registration below or, send an email to


Program 17:30  Doors open 18:15   Innovation & Entrepreneurship Seminar H.E. Ambassador of Sweden Mr. Per Holmström Former YP Chairmen's Panel Discussion 20.00 Food, Fashion Show Filippa K,  Whisky Tasting MackMyra, Swedish food, fun & music 21.30   Party continues in the City more information TBA

Venue: Swedish Chamber of Commerce Europazaal 5th floor De Ruyterkade 5 Amsterdam

Meet the YP Committee

The Young Professionals network is a unique organization, built for its members to feel at home. Driven individuals from all kind of professions and companies sharing their love for Swedish traditions and culture as well as their eagerness to learn and celebrate the Dutch ways of doing things. Many of the YP members have a rich international background having studied, lived or worked in many countries. This gives the network a unique mix of people and renowned dynamic atmosphere.

The YP Committee is crucial for the Swedish Chamber to monitor and support the network. The YP Committee’s commitment and motivation is the foundation for the continuous organization of activities for the YP Members. They provide platforms where YP Members can feel at home and get to know new people, meet friends and build a professional network that can be valuable not only for business purposes but for social development. Simply put - place for Business and Pleasure. The YP Committee listens to the demands and needs of the YP Members and takes advantage of their great network to share and achieve great events and networking opportunities. The Members of the YP Committee all have a big interest and knowledge in Swedish/Dutch activities and bilateral developments and they also have an extensive network to support their cause. At this moment, the YP Committee is busy preparing the Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary. Yes, that is right! YP has already been around for 10 years within the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. If you do the math you will soon realize how many Young Professionals who have been attending events as Queen’s Day, King’s Day, Lucia, Company presentations and After Works. Let us all join forces for a grand evening celebrating the network and all the greatness YP have succeeded with over the years. Welcome to the Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary on September 22. For more information please see upcoming events! YP Committee today consists of 5 members of the Young Professionals together with Johanna Lundmark - intern Swedish Chamber of Commerce Elin Hellquist - Chairperson Sophie Hansson Henrik Enkel Larsson Magnus Nolgren Rens Ramakers  
Meet Mr. Mikael Damberg, the Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Innovation

Welcome to join the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for a 2-days visit to Stockholm August 31 - Sep 1, 2017 to dive into the Innovation and Startup Scene of Stockholm and to participate in the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Word Trade Day with , among others  Mr. Mikael Damberg, the Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Innovation speaking about Innovation and Technology’s Contribution to Growth and Job Creation.