Mark Rutte to meet all 29 new cabinet members one-by-one

Mark Rutte to meet all 29 new  cabinet members one-by-one

Prime Minister Mark Rutte. (Twitter photo)

 

THE HAGUE--The new Dutch government includes the participation of many more women than the outgoing third Rutte cabinet. Fourteen of the 29 cabinet members are women, including ten out of the twenty ministers, and four out of nine state secretaries, a junior position subordinate to ministers. The twenty people in the most senior roles of the cabinet make up the Council of Ministers.

  The average age of the new cabinet members, expected to be sworn in on Monday, January 10, is slightly older than that of those in the Rutte-III government. When that cabinet took office, the average member’s age was 49. In the Rutte-IV cabinet, the average is 50 years.

  The youngest candidate minister is Maarten van Ooijen. The 31-year-old politician for the Christian Union (CU) will become state secretary at the Ministry of Health.

  Eleven of the 29 ministers were part of the previous cabinet at some point. Coalition partner centre-democrat D66 brought the most professionals from outside the world of politics to the new government, including chairman of Erasmus University Medical Centre and head of the National Acute Care Network Ernst Kuipers and scientist Robbert Dijkgraaf who will take over the prominent ministerial posts of Public Health, Welfare and Sport and of Education, Culture and Science, respectively.

  D66 leader Sigrid Kaag will become the Netherlands’ first-ever female finance minister. Like Kaag, foreman of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) wants to lead his party from the Trêveszaal, the historic space inside Rutte’s Ministry of General Affairs, which serves as the board room for the Council of Ministers. Hoekstra will leave the Ministry of Finance to become both deputy prime minister and the minister of Foreign Affairs.

  CU party leader Gert-Jan Segers will resume his work at the Dutch Parliament’s Second Chamber. He once again put Carola Schouten forward to serve as deputy prime minister. She will switch from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, where she will be the minister handling issues related to poverty and social participation.

  Leader of the conservative VVD party Mark Rutte will return to his office in the small tower that serves as the prime minister’s office and the Ministry of General Affairs. Rutte put forward a relatively high number of women for senior cabinet positions. Of the eight VVD ministers in the incoming government five of them are women.

  In 2017, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen was the only female minister from the VVD to be sworn in by King Willem-Alexander, a decision which led to heavy criticism.

  Although their party leader is a woman, D66 is only filling two of its six minister jobs with women, while CDA and CU each have put forward an equal number of female and male ministers.

  Rutte met six of the candidate ministers on Monday, starting with Hoekstra (CDA). He then met with new Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Yesilgöz, followed by the candidate Minister for Legal Protection Frank Weerwind (D66). Additionally, he also met with the new State Secretary of Asylum and Immigration Eric van der Burg.

  Rutte held an online meeting Dijkgraaf, who is currently the director of the prestigious Institute for Advanced Research at Princeton University in New Jersey, the United States.

  VVD member Dennis Wiersma, who will become Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, was the last candidate minister to visit on Monday.

  For Rutte, the coming days will be dominated by meetings with the new cabinet members. He will then discuss the proposed cabinet with King Willem-Alexander, who is expected to swear in the Cabinet on January 10.

The Daily Herald

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