The government's policy statement

The new cabinet first draws up the government's policy statement, stating the most important facets of the coalition agreement. The prime minister delivers the government's policy statement in the House of Representatives. The same day, or in the next sitting, the House of Representatives holds a debate about the content of the government's policy statement.

As a rule, all MPs, ministers and state secretaries attend the debate about the government's policy statement. The debate lasts two or three days. It is not formally part of the cabinet formation process, but is associated with the confidence rule: a cabinet can only remain in power if it has parliament’s confidence.


All ministers and the cabinet as a whole must have parliament’s confidence. Consequently, a minister, or the entire cabinet, must resign if a majority in parliament no longer has confidence in them. The House of Representatives can withdraw confidence, for example, by adopting a motion of no-confidence. In the event of an internal conflict, the cabinet will tender its resignation to the Head of State, which is often followed by early elections and the formation of a new cabinet.

The new cabinet

Will the House of Representatives accept the new cabinet? This becomes clear after the debate about the government's policy statement. What matters is that the cabinet can rely on good cooperation from the House of Representatives. It is unlikely that the cabinet will fall at its first performance. After all, the coalition parties have had intensive consultation throughout the formation process. They support the coalition agreement and the government's policy statement. Only once in Dutch parliamentary history has a cabinet fallen immediately after its formation in 1939. The main reason for this was that the cabinet had been formed without direct involvement of the political parties.