Mark Rutte

Mark Rutte (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɑrk ˈrʏtə] (listen); born 14 February 1967) is a Dutch politician serving as the 50th and current Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010 and Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie – VVD) since 2006. Rutte was previously appointed as State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment from 22 July 2002 to 17 June 2004 and as State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science from 17 June 2004 until 27 June 2006, when he was elected to succeed Jozias van Aartsen as the new VVD Leader.[1][2]

At the 2006 general election, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, already under Rutte, lost six seats, and he became the informal leader of the opposition. At the following general election in 2010, the VVD won the highest number of votes cast, resulting in them occupying 31 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives. After a long formation period, Rutte became Prime Minister and formed the First Rutte cabinet. When Rutte was sworn in on 14 October 2010, he became the first liberal Prime Minister of the Netherlands in 92 years.[3] He offered his government's resignation on 23 April 2012, after an impasse in talks on an austerity budget, prompting a general election in which the VVD won its highest number of seats ever, which led to the formation of the Second Rutte cabinet, a coalition between the VVD and the Labour Party.

At the 2017 general election, the VVD lost seats but remained the largest party, while the Labour Party saw a massive loss in vote share and seats, which necessitated a new coalition between the VVD, Christian Democratic Appeal, Democrats 66 and Christian Union. After a record-long formation period, the Third Rutte cabinet was installed by King Willem-Alexander on 26 October 2017.

Mark Rutte
Mark Rutte 2015 (1) (cropped)
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Assumed office
14 October 2010
MonarchBeatrix
Willem-Alexander
DeputyMaxime Verhagen
Lodewijk Asscher
Hugo de Jonge
Preceded byJan Peter Balkenende
Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Assumed office
31 May 2006
ChairJan van Zanen
Ivo Opstelten
Benk Korthals
Henry Keizer
Christianne van der Wal
Preceded byJozias van Aartsen
Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy in the House of Representatives
In office
23 March 2017 – 13 October 2017
Preceded byHalbe Zijlstra
Succeeded byHalbe Zijlstra
In office
20 September 2012 – 1 November 2012
Preceded byStef Blok
Succeeded byHalbe Zijlstra
In office
29 June 2006 – 8 October 2010
Preceded byWillibrord van Beek
Succeeded byStef Blok
State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science
In office
17 June 2004 – 27 June 2006
Prime MinisterJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byAnnette Nijs
Succeeded byBruno Bruins
State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment
In office
22 July 2002 – 17 June 2004
Prime MinisterJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byHans Hoogervorst
Annelies Verstand
Succeeded byHenk van Hoof
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
23 March 2017 – 26 October 2017
In office
20 September 2012 – 5 November 2012
In office
28 June 2006 – 14 October 2010
In office
30 January 2003 – 27 May 2003
Personal details
Born14 February 1967 (age 52)
The Hague, Netherlands
Political partyPeople's Party for Freedom and Democracy
ResidenceCatshuis (officially)
EducationLeiden University (BA, MA)
Signature
Mark Rutte's signature
WebsiteGovernment website

Education and professional life

Rutte was born in The Hague, in the province of South Holland,[4] in a Dutch Reformed family. He is the youngest child of Izaäk Rutte (5 October 1909 – 22 April 1988), a merchant, and Hermina Cornelia Dilling (born 13 November 1923), a secretary. Izaäk Rutte worked for a trading company; first as an importer in the Dutch East Indies, later as a director in the Netherlands.

Rutte attended the Maerland Lyceum from 1979 until 1985[5], specialising in the arts. Although Rutte's original ambition was to attend a conservatory and become a concert pianist,[6] he went to study history at Leiden University instead, where he obtained a MA degree in 1992.[7] Rutte combined his studies with a position on the board of the Youth Organisation Freedom and Democracy, the youth organisation of the VVD, of which he was the chair from 1988 to 1991.[8]

After his studies, Rutte entered the business world, working as a manager for Unilever (and its food subsidiary Calvé). Until 1997, Rutte was part of the human resource department of Unilever, and played a leading role in several reorganisations. Between 1997 and 2000, Rutte was staff manager for Van den Bergh Nederland, a subsidiary of Unilever's. In 2000, Rutte became a member of the Corporate Human Resources Group, and in 2002, he became human resource manager for IgloMora Groep, another subsidiary of Unilever's.[9]

Between 1993 and 1997, Rutte was a member of the national board of the VVD. Rutte also served as a member of the VVD candidate committee for the general election of 2002. Rutte was elected as Member of Parliament in 2003.

Early political career

Mark Rutte secretary of the state
Rutte in 2006

Rutte served as State secretary in the Social Affairs and Employment ministry from 22 July 2002 to 17 June 2004 in the First and Second Balkenende cabinets. Rutte was responsible for fields including bijstand (municipal welfare) and arbeidsomstandigheden (Occupational safety and health). After the 2003 elections Rutte was briefly also a member of the House of Representatives, from 30 January to 27 May 2003.

Rutte later served as State secretary for Higher Education and Science, within the Education, Culture and Science ministry, replacing Annette Nijs, from 17 June 2004 to 27 June 2006, in the Second Balkenende cabinet. In office, Rutte showed particular interest in making the Dutch higher education system more competitive internationally, by trying to make it more market oriented (improving the position of students as consumers in the market for education). Rutte would have been succeeded by former The Hague alderman Bruno Bruins. Before Bruins could be sworn into office, the second Balkenende cabinet fell. In the subsequently formed Third Balkenende cabinet Bruins succeeded Rutte as State secretary.

Rutte resigned from his position in government in June 2006 to return to the House of Representatives, and he soon became the parliamentary leader of the VVD. Rutte became an important figure within the VVD leadership. Rutte was campaign manager for the 2006 municipal elections.

Party leadership election

After the resignation of Jozias van Aartsen, the VVD having lost in the 2006 Dutch municipal election, the party held an internal election for lijsttrekker, in which Rutte competed against Rita Verdonk and Jelleke Veenendaal. On 31 May 2006, it was announced that Mark Rutte would be the next lijsttrekker of the VVD. He was elected by 51.5% of party members. Rutte's candidacy was backed by the VVD leadership, including the party board, and many prominent politicians such as Frank de Grave, former minister of Defence, Ivo Opstelten, the mayor of Rotterdam and Ed Nijpels, the Queen's Commissioner of Friesland. The Youth Organisation Freedom and Democracy, the VVD's youth wing, of which he had been chair, also backed him. During the elections he promised "to make the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy a party for everyone and not just of the elite". His youthful appearance has been likened to the successful former leader of the Labour Party, Wouter Bos.

Rutte said that the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party was a group that "the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy could do business with".[10] He had also stated that with the social security ideas of the Labour Party, which he called too socialist, it was unlikely that the VVD would cooperate or form a coalition after the elections.

2006 general election

VVD campagne kick off 2006
Rutte with Henk Kamp (left) and Rita Verdonk (right) during the campaign in 2006

For the 2006 general election, the VVD campaign with Rutte as leader did not get off to a good start; he received criticism from within his own party.[11] Rutte was said to be overshadowed by his own party members Rita Verdonk and Gerrit Zalm, as well as being unable to penetrate between Wouter Bos and Jan Peter Balkenende, who were generally seen as the prime candidates to become the next Prime Minister. On 27 November, it became known that Rita Verdonk managed to obtain more votes than Mark Rutte; he obtained 553,200 votes against Verdonk's 620,555.[11][12] After repeated criticisms by Verdonk on VVD policy, Rutte expelled her from the party's parliamentary faction on 13 September 2007.[13]

2010 general election

In the 2010 general election, Rutte was once again the lijsttrekker for the VVD. It won 31 seats to become the largest party in the House of Representatives for the first time ever.[14] A long period of negotiations followed, with several personalities succeeding each other, being appointed by Queen Beatrix in order to find out what coalition could be formed. Efforts to form a coalition between the VVD, CDA and PvdA failed. Instead the only possibility appeared to be a center-right coalition of liberals and Christian Democrats (CDA), with the outside support of the Party for Freedom (PVV), led by Geert Wilders.

Prime Minister

First cabinet

Rutte-persconferentie
Mark Rutte on his first day as Prime Minister of the Netherlands on 14 October 2010
Aan boord van de KBX (6195639590)
Mark Rutte reading the Financial Times on board the government's plane

After garnering support for such a coalition, Rutte was appointed as formateur on 8 October 2010. Rutte then appointed the ministers, with Maxime Verhagen (CDA) as his deputy prime minister. On 14 October, Beatrix formally invited Rutte to form a government. Later that day, Rutte presented his first cabinet to Parliament, and it was confirmed in office by the smallest possible majority.

Rutte is the first Prime Minister since 1918 who is neither a Christian Democrat nor a socialist, as well as the first liberal to hold that post since Pieter Cort van der Linden, who was Prime Minister from 1913 until 1918.[14] He is also the first VVD Prime Minister, and the second-youngest Prime Minister of the Netherlands ever, after Ruud Lubbers.

During the Dutch provincial elections, 2011, the VVD confirmed its first party status. In March 2012, seeking to comply with European Union requirements for the nation's deficit, Rutte began talks with coalition parties VVD and CDA and supporting party PVV on a budget for 2013, which would cut 16 billion euros of spending. However, PVV leader Geert Wilders withdrew his party's support on 21 April, stating that the budget would hurt economic growth;[15] which led to the downfall of the government. Rutte submitted his resignation to Queen Beatrix on the afternoon of 23 April.[16] His government lasted for 558 days, making it one of the shortest Dutch cabinets since World War II.[15]

Second cabinet

Gesprek minister-president Cameron
Rutte with British Prime Minister David Cameron on 21 February 2014

In the 2012 general election, Rutte was the VVD's lijsttrekker for the third time. The party won 41 seats and remained the largest party in the House of Representatives.[17] On 5 November 2012, the Second Rutte cabinet was formed, a coalition cabinet with the Labour Party (PvdA).

In 2014, The Hague held a Group of Seven special meeting after the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine with aboard 193 Dutch nationals. During the municipal elections of 2014, the VVD finished third behind local parties and the CDA; at the European Parliament election the same year, it finished fourth. At the Dutch provincial elections, 2015, the VVD however remained the largest party in the province's legislatures with about 15% of the vote, but lost 23 seats in the States-Provincial. In April 2016, Rutte was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim to the High-Level Panel on Water. Co-chaired by President of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, the joint United Nations-World Bank Group panel was set up to accelerate the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6).[18] That month was also held the Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum, 2016. In November 2016 the House of Representatives approved by 132 votes against 18 a ban on the Islamic burqa in some public spaces including schools and hospitals, a bill supported by the VVD.[19]

Working visit to the United States (29).jpeg
Rutte with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on 1 April 2016

Rutte's second cabinet completed its four-year term without collapsing or losing a vote of no confidence, becoming the first cabinet to do so since the First Kok cabinet (1994–1998).[20]

Third cabinet

The VVD approached the general election of 2017 with a ten-seat lead on the PVV in most of the polls. Rutte was found to have well-managed the 2017 Dutch–Turkish diplomatic incident by the public opinion; he presented his third cabinet on 26 October 2017 with Ministers of the VVD, CDA, D66 and CU. The coalition agreement's plan to abolish the 15% dividend tax (providing the state €1.4 billion per year) in 2019 is however highly unpopular as it was not mentioned in any party's program and later appeared that major Dutch companies like Shell and Unilever had secretly been lobbying for that measure.[21]

Rutte's government provided materials to the Levant Front rebel group in Syria.[22] In September 2018, the Dutch public prosecution department declared the Levant Front to be a "criminal organisation of terrorist intent", describing it as a "salafist and jihadistic" group that "strives for the setting up of the caliphate".[23]

On 21 March 2018 the Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act referendum was held. It resulted in a rejection.

Honours

Personal life

Rutte is single.[4][24] He is a member of the Dutch Protestant Church.[25] Rutte still teaches two hours a week at a secondary school, the Johan de Witt College in The Hague.[7] Rutte is known to be a big fan of the writing of Robert Caro, especially his book about Robert Moses, The Power Broker.[26]

References

  1. ^ "Mark Rutte teruggekeerd in Tweede Kamer" (in Dutch). DeNederlandseGrondwet.nl. 28 June 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Government". government.nl. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Mark Rutte: eerste liberale premier sinds 1918" (in Dutch). eenvandaag.nl. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) Drs. M. (Mark) Rutte, Parlement & Politiek. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  5. ^ nl:Maerlant-Lyceum
  6. ^ "Rutte had pianoleraar kunnen zijn". De Pers. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  7. ^ a b "CV | Mark Rutte". rijksoverheid.nl. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Mark Rutte" (in Dutch). VVD.
  9. ^ "Biografie – Mark Rutte". elsevier.nl. Archived from the original on 24 May 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  10. ^ "CDA calls for longer working week". dutchnews.nl. 18 August 2006.
  11. ^ a b ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) "Onvrede binnen VVD over Rutte," Algemeen Dagblad (31 October 2006). Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Tension mounts as VVD waits for Verdonk's reaction to voters' support". dutchnews.nl. 28 November 2006.
  13. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) Oranje, Joost and Guus Valk, "Kamp: VVD moet Rutte nu steunen," Archived 15 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine NRC Handelsblad (15 September 2007). Retrieved 14 May 2014. Literal English translation: "Verdonk was yesterday by Mark Rutte formally expelled from the VVD's parliamentary party in the House of Representatives after she had again voiced criticism of the party in the press." Dutch original: "Verdonk werd gisteren formeel door Mark Rutte uit de Tweede Kamerfractie van de VVD gezet, nadat zij in de pers opnieuw kritiek had geuit op de fractie."
  14. ^ a b "Election 2010 – The Netherlands shifts to the right". NRC Handelsblad. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  15. ^ a b "Dutch government falls in budget crisis". BBC News. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  16. ^ Gilbert Kreijger and Thomas Escritt (23 April 2012). "Dutch Prime Minister resigns in budget cuts row". Reuters. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  17. ^ "Volg de verkiezingen 2014 live". De Volkskrant. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012.
  18. ^ United Nations Secretary-General, World Bank Group President Appoint High-Level Panel on Water United Nations, press release of 21 April 2016.
  19. ^ The Netherlands votes for partial restrictions of the burqa in public space, independent.co.uk, 29 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Kabinet-Rutte II verslaat Lubbers III: langstzittende kabinet". NOS (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  21. ^ Rutte: effect afschaffen dividendbelasting op bedridden niet bekend (in Dutch), rtlnieuws.nl.
  22. ^ "Dutch govt under fire for Syria opposition support". MSN. 11 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Dutch funded 'jihadist' group in Syria, terror trial may now falter". Dutch News. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Ten things you didn't know about prime minister Mark Rutte". Dutch News. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  25. ^ Interview with Reformatorisch Dagblad, 09-10-2010. https://www.rd.nl/vandaag/politiek/rutte-het-geloof-blijft-een-worsteling-voor-mij-1.247996
  26. ^ "The Dutch Prime Minister Is a Big Fan of Robert Caro". New York Times. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2017.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Hans Hoogervorst
State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Henk van Hoof
Preceded by
Annette Nijs
State Secretary for Higher Education and Science
2004–2006
Succeeded by
Bruno Bruins
Preceded by
Jan Peter Balkenende
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
2010–present
Incumbent
Minister of General Affairs
2010–present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jozias van Aartsen
Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
2006–present
Incumbent
2010 Dutch general election

General elections were held in the Netherlands on Wednesday, 9 June 2010. It was triggered by the fall of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's fourth cabinet on 20 February with Queen Beatrix accepting the resignation of the Labour Party ministers on 23 February. The conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), led by Mark Rutte, won the largest number of seats in the House of Representatives while the social-democratic Labour Party (PvdA), led by Job Cohen, came a narrow second. It was also noted for the rise of the controversial politician Geert Wilders and the Party for Freedom (PVV), which came in third. On the other hand, the election was a poor result for Balkenende and his Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), which lost half its seats and dropped from first to fourth place. The Socialist Party (SP) also lost seats. Notably, the 31 seats won by the VVD is the most in years, and the one-seat margin between the VVD and PvdA is the closest on record.After the election, it took 127 days to form a new government, with both the VVD and PvdA hoping to have a leading role. Talks with the PvdA and other left-wing parties (trying to form a so-called Purple Coalition without Christian parties) broke down and Rutte was able to form a right-wing coalition of the VVD and CDA, with the PVV formally making an agreement (gedoogakkoord) to support the government but without holding any cabinet seats. It was the first coalition government not to be led by a Christian democratic or socialist party in 92 years, as well as the first to be led by the VVD. Rutte was sworn in as Prime Minister on 14 October, becoming the first liberal to hold that post since 1918.

The 150 seats of the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal) were contested, and were filled using party-list proportional representation for a nominal four-year term.

2012 Dutch general election

Early general elections were held in the Netherlands on 12 September 2012 after Prime Minister Mark Rutte handed in his government's resignation to Queen Beatrix on 23 April. The 150 seats of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands were contested using party-list proportional representation. The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) received a plurality of the votes, followed by the Labour Party (PvdA).

Prior to the election, polls had predicted an increase in support for the Socialist Party, primarily at the expense of the PvdA, but the PvdA regained support during the campaign, which was attributed to the leadership of Diederik Samsom and in the election the Socialist Party failed to increase its seats. The Party for Freedom (PVV) and Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) both lost seats.

After 49 days of negotiations, a new VVD-PvdA centrist government was formed on 5 November 2012, comprising Mark Rutte as prime minister along with 7 VVD ministers and 6 PvdA ministers.It was the first Netherlands-wide election in which the Caribbean Netherlands participated.

2017 Dutch general election

General elections were held in the Netherlands on Wednesday 15 March 2017 to elect all 150 members of the House of Representatives.The incumbent government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte was the first to serve a full term since 2002. The previous elections in 2012 had resulted in a ruling coalition of his People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Labour Party (PvdA). Because the second Rutte cabinet lacked a majority in the Senate, it relied on the support of Democrats 66 (D66), the Christian Union (CU) and the Reformed Political Party (SGP).

The VVD lost seats but remained the largest party, while the PvdA saw a massive loss in vote share and seats, failing to win a single municipality for the first time in the party's history. The Party for Freedom (PVV) made gains to reach second place, with the CDA, D66 and GroenLinks also increasing their number of seats. It was clear that at least four partners would be needed for a coalition with a parliamentary majority. The official election results were certified and published on 21 March. The elected MPs took their seats on 23 March.

Arno Rutte

Arno Rutte (born 24 April 1972 in Hengelo) is a Dutch politician. As a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) he has been an MP since 20 September 2012. Previously he was a member of the municipal council of Groningen from 2010 to 2012. He is unrelated to the Prime Minister and Party Leader. Mark Rutte

Bas van 't Wout

Bastiaan (Bas) van 't Wout (born 22 April 1979 in Amersfoort) is a Dutch politician. As a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) he has been an MP since 20 September 2012. He has also been a member of the municipal council of Amsterdam since 2006.

Previously he was political assistant to fellow party members Geert Dales and Mark Rutte.

Catshuis

The Catshuis (English: House of Cats), initially known as Huis Sorgvliet (English: Sorgvliet House), is the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Built between 1651 and 1652 for Jacob Cats, the edifice was renamed after him after his death.

It lies in the governmental seat The Hague on the road to Scheveningen. It has been the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 1963 although Dries van Agt was the last premier to live in the building. Current Prime Minister Mark Rutte lives in a flat in the centre of The Hague, closer to his office, the Torentje in the Binnenhof. The residence is currently used to house political meetings and receive official guests.

First Rutte cabinet

The First Rutte cabinet, also called the Rutte–Verhagen cabinet was the cabinet of the Netherlands from 14 October 2010 until 5 November 2012. The cabinet was formed by the political parties People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) after the election of 2010. The right-wing cabinet was a minority government in the House of Representatives but was supported by the Party for Freedom (PVV) for a majority. It was the first of three cabinets of Mark Rutte, the Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy as Prime Minister, with Maxime Verhagen the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal serving as Deputy Prime Minister.

Halbe Zijlstra

Halbe Zijlstra (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦɑlbə ˈzɛilstraː]; born 21 January 1969) is a retired Dutch politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 26 October 2017 to 13 February 2018 in the Third Rutte cabinet. He is a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).

Zijlstra, a management consultant by occupation, was elected as a member of the House of Representatives after general election of 2006 serving from 30 November 2006 until 14 October 2010 when he was appointed as State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science in the First Rutte cabinet, serving until 5 November 2012. Following the election of 2012, he returned to the House of Representatives, serving from 20 September 2012 until 26 October 2017; he was chosen as parliamentary leader, serving from 1 November 2012 until 23 March 2017. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 26 October 2017 to 13 February 2018.

List of Ministers of Education of the Netherlands

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science (Dutch: Minister van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap) is the head of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The current Minister of Education, Culture and Science is Ingrid van Engelshoven of the Democrats 66, who has been in office since 26 October 2017.

List of Ministers of Finance of the Netherlands

The Minister of Finance (Dutch: Minister van Financiën) is the head of the Ministry of Finance and a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The current Minister of Finance is Wopke Hoekstra of the Christian Democratic Appeal, who has been in office since 26 October 2017.

List of Ministers of Justice of the Netherlands

The Minister of Justice and Security (Dutch: Minister van Justitie en Veiligheid) is the head of the Ministry of Justice and Security and a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The current Minister of Justice and Security is Ferdinand Grapperhaus of the Christian Democratic Appeal, who has been in office since 26 October 2017.

List of Ministers of Social Affairs of the Netherlands

The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment (Dutch: Minister van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid) is the head of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The current Minister of Social Affairs and Employment is Wouter Koolmees of the Democrats 66, who has been in office since 26 October 2017.

List of Prime Ministers of the Netherlands

The following is a list of Prime Ministers of the Netherlands since the inception of that office as a result of a revision of the Constitution of the Netherlands in 1848. The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Council of Ministers; since 1945 he has held the Dutch title of minister-president van Nederland, also referred to as premier.

Mark Rutte is currently serving as the 50th and current Prime Minister of the Netherlands, having been appointed to the office for the first time on 14 October 2010.

Ministry of General Affairs

The Ministry of General Affairs (Dutch: Ministerie van Algemene Zaken; AZ) is the Dutch Ministry responsible for Government policy, Planning, Information and the Dutch royal house. The Ministry was created in 1937 and dissolved in 1945, but in 1947 it was reinstated by then Prime Minister Louis Beel. The Ministry remained small until 1967, when it was greatly expanded by then Prime Minister Piet de Jong. Since his premiership the Ministry has continued to expand to the present day. The Minister of General Affairs (Dutch: Minister van Algemene Zaken) is the head of the Ministry who is also Prime Minister and a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The current Minister and Prime Minister is Mark Rutte.

The Ministry is comparable to the German Chancellery, the British Cabinet Office or the U.S. Executive Office of the President, but its designation as a Ministry emphasises the role of Prime Minister of the Netherlands as primus inter pares among the ministers of the government.

The Ministry has three responsibilities: coordination of government policy, the Dutch Royal House, and government communications about the royal house and government policy. The Ministry also houses the Secretariat of the Cabinet of the Netherlands.

The main offices of the Ministry are located in the Binnenhof, the political centre of the Netherlands. With only about 400 employees, it is by far the smallest Ministry in the Netherlands.

Next Dutch general election

The next Dutch general election to elect the members of the House of Representatives is scheduled for 17 March 2021, but may be held at an earlier date if a snap election is called.

The current government was inaugurated after the longest coalition formation in Dutch history, with 225 days between the election and swearing in of the cabinet. The current cabinet is led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who presides over a coalition consisting of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Democrats 66 (D66), and Christian Union (CU). The coalition holds a narrow majority in both legislative chambers, with 76 of 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 38 of 75 seats in the Senate before the 2019 Dutch Senate election.

People's Party for Freedom and Democracy

The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Dutch: Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie, VVD; Dutch pronunciation: [vɔl(ə)kspɑrtɛi voːr vrɛiɦɛit ɛn deːmoːkraːˈtsi]) is a conservative-liberal political party in the Netherlands.

The VVD, whose forerunner was the Freedom Party, supports private enterprise and economic liberalism.Mark Rutte has been the party's leader since 31 May 2006 and on 14 October 2010 became Prime Minister of the Netherlands, marking the first time that the VVD led a government. The First Rutte cabinet's parliamentary majority was provided by the Christian Democratic Appeal and the Party for Freedom, but this majority became unstable when the latter refused to support austerity measures amid the Euro crisis. Therefore, a general election was held in September 2012. The VVD remained the largest party, with 41 seats. From November 2012 until March 2017, the VVD was the senior partner in the Second Rutte cabinet, a "purple" coalition government with the Labour Party. VVD remained the largest party in the March 2017 election (though was reduced to 33 seats); therefore, Rutte was expected to remain as Prime Minister. However, continuing the existing coalition was impossible, as the Labour Party had lost 29 seats, therefore a centre-right coalition was negotiated with the D66, CU and CDA, which became the Third Rutte Cabinet.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands

The Prime Minister of the Netherlands (Dutch: Minister-president van Nederland) is the head of the executive branch of the Government of the Netherlands in his capacity as chair of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is de facto the head of government of the Netherlands and coordinates its policy with his cabinet. The current Dutch Prime Minister is Mark Rutte, in office since 2010.

Second Rutte cabinet

The Second Rutte cabinet, also called the Rutte–Asscher cabinet, was the cabinet of the Netherlands from 5 November 2012 until 26 October 2017. The cabinet was formed by the political parties People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Labour Party (PvdA) after the election of 2012.

The grand coalition (purple) cabinet was a majority government in the House of Representatives. The second of three cabinets headed by Mark Rutte, the Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, it was the last cabinet installed by Queen Beatrix. Lodewijk Asscher of the Labour Party, an alderman from Amsterdam, served as Deputy Prime Minister.

Stef Blok

Stephanus Abraham "Stef" Blok (born 10 December 1964) is a Dutch politician serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Third Rutte cabinet since 7 March 2018. He is a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).An accountant by occupation, Blok served as a member of the House of Representatives from 25 August 1998 until 23 May 2002 and from 3 September 2002 until 5 November 2012. After the election of 2010 the Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives Mark Rutte became Prime Minister in the First Rutte cabinet with Blok chosen to succeed him as parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives serving from 8 October 2010 until 20 September 2012. Following the election of 2012 Blok was asked to become Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector in the Second Rutte cabinet taking office on 5 November 2012. Blok served as Acting Minister of Security and Justice from 10 March 2015 until 20 March 2015 following the resignation of Ivo Opstelten and ad interim Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations from 29 June 2016 until 16 September 2016 during a sick-leave of Ronald Plasterk.

On 27 January 2017, Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur resigned to avoid a vote of no confidence, Blok was appointed to serve out the remainder of his term and subsequently resigned as Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector the same day. He did not stand for the election of 2017 and announced his retirement. Following the resignation of Halbe Zijlstra as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Third Rutte cabinet on 13 February 2018, Blok was nominated to succeed him taking office on 7 March 2018.

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