He is, according to his own words, not very patient, but that and his military background have been quite useful in some cases over the past few years. As in finding a solution for the cancelled relocation of the marine barracks to Zeeland, and the renovation of the Binnenhof. “I am a man who wants to speed up,” says Secretary of State Knops of Home Affairs in the CCITIT radio programme With the Eye of Tomorrow.
He understands that sometimes that comes up with opposition. Thats how he calls it “very good” that the parliament has questions about the renovation of the Binnenhof. Not only because the renovation is architectural complex, but also because everyone has to move. “But in the end, Im also a man of facts.” And those facts, according to Knops, are that moving during the renovation is the best option, and that costs the least taxpayers money.
What Knops is still not satisfied with is the pace with which reforms in the Caribbean islands are taking shape. He had hoped that they would be further. The situations he sees there on working visits hit him hard. “The circumstances in which some children have to grow up, that deep poverty.”
Knops emphasizes that he and other administrators are not robots. “We are people trying to make things better for others. No one in the cabinet is just sitting there because its so much fun. We are also busy because we all have a mission and feel like we want to make things better.”
The resignation of the cabinet yesterday, according to Knops inevitable, does not change anything about that. According to Knops, the demissionary cabinet continues to fight the coronacrisis. According to Knops, that feeling is there with the whole team.
Knops saw his work – and not just his – completely changed by corona over the past year: a few years ago no one had conceived this scenario. “The debates, consult: everything is going differently now”. As responsible within the cabinet for the digital government, Knops also sees that many digital blows have been made this year.
This may be a small positive effect, the Secretary of State also reflects the suffering that corona has caused to many people: having to sit at home, having no or less work, loneliness. For most of the things the Cabinet does in that crisis, Knops is experiencing, and that is expected to be no different in the coming months.
“ In the end, a politician is just a passerby,” says Knops, to quote a statement by Mark Rutte. “He once said: a politician should always have a travel bag ready. Thats the way it is.”