After almost 7 months after the general election results have been announced, four parties agreed upon on a center-right programme.
“I am very happy,” said Mark Rutte, who is forming his third government. “Precisely on the day that this formation is overtaking the longest previous formation we have.”
Leaders of the four leaders of the new coalition organized a press conference in the Hague, on October 10. Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), D66, Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), and the Christian Union (CU) gathered for forming the new ruling coalition whose a clear rightward shift.
The most disputed things were taxation, migration, and euthanasia. Especially migration, intensively debated because of Geert Wilders’ stance on anti-Islam and anti-refugees, constituted the key to the new programme.
“It took a long time, but we have an ambitious and balanced plan that will benefit all” the Dutch PM, presenting the programme.
No Clampdown in Migration
There is a strong emphasis on the national identity. But the programme does not include a restriction or quote on migration. The new government pledged to increase its resettlement admission goal, under a UNHCR programme, from 500 to 750 annually.
However, there are some changes in the status of refugees. Accordingly, the residence permit of refugees will be reduced to 3 years from 5 years. A permanent residence permit will be issued after a 2-year extension if necessary. Refugees who can not get a residence permit will be deported as soon as possible.
Also, the need for a more active counter-terrorism measures is underlined. The new government will allocate €13 million extra annually on counter-terrorism. Also, the policy includes making pressure to Brussels for a “much tougher EU approach to jihadism”
In a More European Way
While there is a remarkable rise of Euroscepticism in some parts of Europe, the Netherlands, with its new government, seem to be a part of the “more connected” Europe.
Another issue that was wondered was whether the extreme right in the various countries and the accompanying Euroscepticism would affect the new government programme. It came to the forefront with a strong EU emphasis. The programme says the Netherlands is an “integral part” of the EU. It has been stated that active cooperation with EU institutions and the Member States will be enhanced.
Part of the program included statements about Turkey: The current situation of human rights and rule of law in Turkey means that Turkey has “no perspective” to join the EU.
It was also announced that the EU would support Turkish-style readmission agreements with other countries in order to curb the migration uptick.