Duties of the formateur
The formateur is the man or woman who is likely to become the new Prime Minister. He or she concludes the formation talks.
The formateur will then look for people who are eligible to become minister or state secretary on behalf of the coalition parties. The division of the "portfolio's", the policy areas of the ministers and state secretaries, is based on the number of seats of the parliamentary groups.
When the team is complete, the new Cabinet holds a so-called constituent assembly, where the ministers must state that they agree with the Coalition Agreement. Subsequently, the Head of State swears in the ministers and state secretaries.
Formation process changed
On 27 March 2012 the House adopted a change of the rules governing the formation process, laid down in its Rules of Procedure. The aim of the amendment was to enable the House of Representatives to take the initiative in the formation of a new Cabinet. Before the House decided to amend its Rules of Procedure, the Head of State played a key role in the formation process, which followed an established pattern. After consultation with her advisers, the Head of State appointed an informateur, whose task was to explore the possibilities to form a Cabinet that would gain sufficient support from the House of Representatives. Once the information process had yielded a clear result, the Head of State appointed a formateur.