Now really almost a new cabinet: why did it take so long?

What happened?

Where are we now?

First, just refresh your memory with a flashback to last spring. On 17 March, the parliamentary elections were. The VVD won it and became the biggest party, D66 came second.

After such national elections, the House of Representatives changes: parties that have won get MPs and parties who have lost must say goodbye to people. Thats already happening a week after the election. But at such a moment there will also be a new cabinet. And it takes a lot longer for it to be there.

Form

The parties that won in the elections must first start forming. That means that they are trying to gather a group of parties that have a majority in the House of Representatives. So handy, because these parties then also make agreements and plans with each other for the next four years.

The entire period in which parties find out who wants to whom and what agreements they want to make for the coming years is called the formation. When a group of parties has been found and they have agreed together, they write down the agreements with each other in a coalition agreement.

VVD, D66, CDA and the ChristenUnie are now almost ready and will work together in the coming years.

But why did it take so long?

You might be thinking, โ€œhey, I know those four parties of something?โ€ That may be right, because they have been working together for the past four years. But why did the formation take so long, while the same parties are now going to work together again?

Well, you may still remember the most important reason for that. Just after the elections, things went wrong when the person who supervised the formation at that time, Kajsa Ollongren, got corona. The moment she got her results, she was at work and so she quickly ran out to go home. With all the formation notes still in her hand.

A handy photographer took a picture of it and was so zoomed in to read exactly what was on it. Among other things: Pieter Omtzigt, function elsewhere . Because it seemed that someone wanted to remove the critical MP Pieter Omtzigt during the formation, a lot of fuss arose and the politicians rushed to tell them that they had not said that.

Mark Rutte said this too, but that wasnt quite right. Almost all the other parties accused him of lying and therefore no longer wanted to work with him.

Because Ruttes party, the VVD, had become the largest in the elections and he just didnt have to leave as prime minister, that was quite difficult in the formation. It took a while until the other parties wanted to talk to Rutte about cooperation again.

Eventually, D66 and CDA ended up at the table with Ruttes VVD again, but those parties do not have a majority together. So at least one party had to join, but the parties did not really agree on the question of which that should be then.

VVD and CDA saw the Christian Union again, but D66 did not want that at all. That party wanted to go with a left-wing party such as GroenLinks or the PvdA, but they said again we only want if we both are allowed to participate . And VVD and CDA did not want that at all, because they thought that becoming way too left.

When it almost seemed that no one wanted to go with each other anymore and therefore only new elections were threatening, Sigrid Kaag (D66) changed his mind. Her party wanted to join the Christian Union, to ensure that the formation would succeed.

And that has now finally worked out as well.

How does it go on now?

Well, mission succeeded, so there is almost a coalition agreement. But with that, the formation is not completely ready. A cabinet consists of ministers and secretaries of state. The leaders of the four parties entering the cabinet must now look for people for all the different ministries.

There are also a number of additional new ministers and secretaries of state, so thats still a big job. Just after the Christmas holidays, the politicians hope to have the entire cabinet complete. The ministers and secretaries of state are then officially sworn in by King Willem-Alexander. When that is done, the formation is really ready and so there is a new cabinet.