More and more names of ministers and secretaries of state in Rutte-IV are coming out. The cabinet only came up with a list that states which party belongs to which ministry, but sources in The Hague already confirmed a large number of names of government officials.
What is striking about that – for the time being incomplete – list? We‘ll discuss it with political reporter Arjan Noorlander.
During and after the formation, informator Johan Remkes expressed the wish: a new cabinet had to mean “really a new start”, where “undoubtedly” would be new faces. Faces that would not all come from the established party frameworks, but also from society.
“That only worked out a little bit,” says Noorlander. “There are a number of new names that come from outside, but there are many people in between who have made careers within a party: MPs, politicians from the region, a MEP.”
As far as Noorlander is concerned, there are two names that are an exception to this: those of Robert Dijkgraaf, intended Minister of Education, and those of Ernst Kuipers, who should become the Minister of Health. “Dijkgraaf is really someone outside, who has never been in politics. And Ernst Kuipers, of course, we have seen a lot on television around the corona crisis, but the cabinet also wants to radiate with him: we are really going to do things differently than before.”
Uncertain is still what post CDA party leader Wopke Hoekstra will end up in. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is called a lot, but the last party leader to take that post – Hans van Mierlo of D66 – has said afterwards: that has been a huge mistake. Because every time something important happened in Dutch politics, he was abroad. That is a danger if you want to continue in politics.” Another post to which the CDA party leader is linked to is the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Step towards premiership
It is already clear from another party leader which place she gets: Sigrid Kaag of D66 becomes Minister of Finance. “There was a doubt in advance whether she would want to do Finance, because she has no financial background,” says Noorlander. “It was also said that she wanted to go back to Foreign Affairs, that’s her life. But there she stepped down in the previous cabinet after an adopted motion of censure, so that would not be credible.”
Kaag is the first female minister of finance ever. Noorlander: “It is the second most important post in politics. We also know: finance ministers in the Netherlands are becoming popular, who are about the pennies, have their finger in the porridge everywhere, so this is clearly also a step towards premiership.”
Another name that stands out for Noorlander is that of Dilan Yeşilgöz, who becomes Minister of Justice and Security. “Really a very heavy post,” says Noorlander. “The Ministry of Justice is where organized crime needs to be addressed, where experts fight each other on serious legal issues.”
“In recent years, many ministers have fallen on that: really only top lawyers like Donner, Hirsch-Ballin and Grapperhaus managed to hold their own. She has talent, but we just need to see if she can, without administrative experience and no legal background.”