Energy Minister Jetten, despite criticism, not in General Reflections

Minister Jetten for Climate and Energy will definitely not be present at the General Political Reflections, the big debate in the House of Representatives on the Millions Note, immediately after Prinsjesdag. Prime Minister Rutte writes to the House of Representatives that Jetten is currently at an international meeting on clean energy in the US.

According to Rutte, the cabinet considers it in the Dutch interest that our country is represented there by a minister. “It is an important meeting for cooperation in energy transition,” he writes. “In the near future, the minister wants to invest in cooperation with other countries in preparation for, among other things, the UN Climate Summit in November.”

Several MPs, including Pieter Omtzigt and PVV leader Geert Wilders, have been angry about the announced absence of Jetten from the debate. They point out that it is inappropriate for the Minister for Energy to abstain, while the high energy bills put many Dutch people in financial problems. That is what the debate will be about to a large extent.

Sharing of licorice

It is tradition that in the General Political Reflections, all ministers and state secretaries sit in the House of Representatives, even though the Prime Minister is the only one who speaks on behalf of the cabinet. In the meantime, the others are often busy with other things, such as drawing pieces or sharing licorice.

Rutte announces in his letter that more administrators will not be present this year. Foreign Minister Hoekstra and Minister Schreinemacher for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation are at the annual meeting of the United Nations in New York. The fact that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is absent from the debate is more common.

No place for all State Secretaries

This year, the General Political Reflections are for the second time in the temporary new construction of the House of Representatives. There is less space there than at the Binnenhof, so there will probably be no room for all state secretaries, says Rutte.

Last year, this was no problem, because fewer people were allowed to be present in the room due to corona. There is still consultation with the House of Representatives about which state secretaries will or will not be given a seat this year.

“Of course, the absence of the said ministers does not preclude the cabinets contribution to the deliberations during the General Political Reflections,” the Prime Minister assures the MPs.