ANPExterior of the Ministry of General Affairs and the Torentje.
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 18:11
Tomorrow evening, Prime Minister Rutte and Deputy Prime Ministers Kaag, Hoekstra and Schouten will take ‘seconds’ from their own party to the consultation on the consequences of the results of the Provincial Council elections. It is striking that the ‘nitrogen ministers’ Van der Wal (VVD) and Adema (ChristenUnie) are not present, while a large part of the discussion is probably about nitrogen policy.
Rutte forms a team with Minister Harbers (Infrastructure and Water Management). D66 Deputy Prime Minister Kaag is taking State Secretary Vijlbrief (Mining) with him, while CDA member Hoekstra has opted for State Secretary Van Rij (Taxation). CU Deputy Prime Minister Schouten’s second is State Secretary Van Ooijen (Welfare).
The question on the table is how the cabinet can proceed with a credible story. All four coalition parties suffered losses in the March 15 elections, and voter confidence in the cabinet seems to be lower than ever.
At the same time, BBB became the largest in all provinces in one fell swoop. Caroline van der Plas’ party mainly campaigned against the nitrogen policy.
But at tomorrow night’s summit meeting at the Torentje, Rutte and the deputy prime ministers will mainly take seconds with a financial background. For example, VVD member Harbers was financial spokesperson in the group for many years and D66 member Vijlbrief was state secretary at the Ministry of Finance.
This also gives the consultation something of formation negotiations. When the current cabinet was formed, the negotiators also brought along seconds with an understanding of finances.
Credibility Van der Wal
After the dramatic ballot box for the coalition, the CDA (which suffered the biggest loss) was the first to push for policy adjustment. “The voter’s signal is clear, we have to do something with that”, were the words of CDA leader Hoekstra. And nitrogen is one of the most important files on which something must be done. reality”.
But the VVD is also considering a change of course. The voter must be “listened better”, and that means a more right-wing policy, as can be heard within the group. There are also calls from the rank and file to now go more often about the right instead of the left.
For nitrogen, this would mean that 2030 will not be legislated as a deadline for halving emissions. And that expropriation of farmers is off the table.
If that adjustment is indeed made, according to a number of VVD faction members, it would be difficult for Minister van der Wal to defend such a change of course. She has so far defended the policy with great conviction. It would not be credible if she propagated new policy, it sounds.
Also change course asylum?
The same can be said about asylum. The distribution law defended by VVD State Secretary Van der Burg was supported by the VVD party last winter after much resistance. Municipalities should therefore be able to be forced more easily to house an azc.
But after the election results people within the party wonder whether the law should still be supported. And so on the subject of asylum, a VVD minister is also confronted with a part of the rank and file who really prefers to see it differently, and who feel supported by the election results.
At first glance, D66 has less need for major changes. With regard to nitrogen and asylum, the party repeatedly emphasizes the existing agreements in the coalition agreement. Party chairman Paternotte said that the policy should not be adjusted immediately if there is a bit of headwind.
His party leader Kaag wants to stay away from details tomorrow and mainly broaden the conversation about the election results. It must then be about where the dissatisfaction comes from. She wants to look not only at nitrogen, but also at the earthquakes in Groningen and the surcharge affair.
The smallest government party, the ChristenUnie, says it sympathizes with both sides in the discussion. Tomorrow, Deputy Prime Minister Schouten is expected to draw more attention to the Agricultural Agreement that ‘her’ Minister Adema wants to conclude with the agricultural sector.
The ChristenUnie sees this as “a first step” to get out. The Agricultural Agreement must lead to a more sustainable agricultural sector. Adema wants to invest billions of euros there, but there is still a lot of discussion about that in the cabinet.
All involved agree that tomorrow’s deliberations will not be the last. Breakthroughs are therefore not expected.
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