UPDATE DUTCH POLITICS – By Swe-Cham Member Public Matters

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New right-wing cabinet sworn in by King Willem-Alexander

PM Dick Schoof to lead 15 ministers and 13 state secretaries from 4 different parties.


Yesterday, King Willem-Alexander has inaugurated the new cabinet, marking the first time in 40 years that its members are drawn from four different parties: PVV (Right-wing Populists), VVD (Liberal Conservatives), NSC (Social Conservatives), and BBB (Farmer’s Party).


The inclusion of four parties in the coalition has necessitated a more collaborative approach, led by Dick Schoof, aimed at ensuring stability and coherence within the government. This cabinet is larger than its predecessor, comprising 28 ministers and state secretaries (junior ministers). To address the diverse agendas of the coalition parties, several new ministries and ‘dual ministries’ have been established, resulting in the formation of an extraparlementair kabinet (extra-parliamentary cabinet). This structure aims to better manage the intricate dynamics and broad spectrum of policy areas covered by this government, allowing for greater flexibility and responsiveness to the various political and social issues facing the country.


Alongside PM Dick Schoof, four Deputy Prime Ministers have been appointed, each representing one of the four coalition parties and heading their own ministry:

  • Health – Ms. Fleur Agema (PVV/Right-wing Populists): Known as Geert Wilders’ right-hand in the PVV, Ms. Agema has focused on elderly, disability, and youth care. She aims to reduce healthcare bureaucracy and emphasizes collaboration between The Hague and the healthcare sector.
  • Climate & Green Growth – Ms. Sophie Hermans (VVD/Liberal Conservatives): A senior VVD politician and member of Parliament since 2017, she has held various roles, including acting faction leader and political assistant to Mark Rutte and Stef Blok. She will spearhead initiatives on climate and green growth.
  • Social Affairs & Employment – Mr. Eddy van Hijum (NSC/Social Conservatives): Active in Dutch politics since 1998 for the CDA (Christian Democrats), he has served at municipal, national, and provincial levels. With a Ph.D. in political science, he has been a spokesperson on Social Affairs & Employment and Governance & Finance.
  • Housing & Spatial Planning – Ms. Mona Keijzer (BBB/Farmer’s Party): A long-time politician with a legal background, she has served as a councilor and alderman for the CDA before moving to national politics in 2012. After leaving the CDA in 2023, she joined BBB and has represented them in the House of Representatives since late 2023.

This diverse leadership team aims to ensure comprehensive representation and effective governance across a broad range of policy areas.

Other key ministers include:

  • Finance – Mr. Eelco Heinen (VVD/Liberal Conservatives): A recognized financial specialist, he has served in Parliament since 2011 and previously worked as a policy advisor at the Ministry of Finance. His expertise in financial matters makes him a key figure in shaping economic policy.
  • Foreign Affairs – Mr. Caspar Veldkamp (NSC/Social Conservatives): A former diplomat with extensive experience in international relations and crisis management, he joined Parliament in 2023. His background equips him well to navigate complex global issues.
  • Economic Affairs – Mr. Dirk Beljaarts (VVD/Liberal Conservatives): formerly the general manager at various hotels and director of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (representing hospitality businesses in the Netherlands), he has been nominated by the VVD for his business acumen and expertise in economic policy.
  • Justice and Security – Mr. David van Weel (VVD/Liberal Conservatives): A senior NATO official and former Royal Navy officer, he brings significant experience in security and defense to his new role, ensuring robust national safety measures.
  • Asylum and Migration – Ms. Marjolein Faber (PVV/Right-wing Populists): A former radiodiagnostic technician and IT specialist, she has been active in politics since 2011 and served as a senator focusing on immigration and asylum. Her experience in these areas will be important for managing migration policies effectively
  • Infrastructure and Water Management – Mr. Barry Madlener (PVV/Right-wing Populists): A former real estate agent and member of the European Parliament, he has concentrated on infrastructure issues, such as the integration of NS and ProRail and enhancements to train services. His practical experience in these areas is useful for future infrastructure development.

For more information:

E bbatelaan@publicmatters.nl  |  T +31 6 1985 8401


Photo by Stephan van de Schootbrugge on Unsplash