On Wednesday 9 August 2017, the leaders of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will continue their preliminary talks aimed at forming a coalition government in the Netherlands. These talks will be presided by Informateur Gerrit Zalm. The four parties met for the last time on Wednesday 19 July, ahead of a three-week break.
On Wednesday, 28 June, Mr Zalm was officially appointed as Informateur by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms Khadija Arib. The Informateur's assignment is to explore the possibilities of forming a Cabinet consisting of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, that seeks broad-based political support. In order to keep the momentum, the aforesaid political parties conducted their negotiations almost every weekday. A speedy formation process, however, is not the primary goal, Mr Zalm communicated when he started his job.
Until now, most of the negotiation talks were held in the Stadholder's Room of the House of Representatives. But during the last weeks, the negotiators also met in the historic Johan de Witthuis, near the parliament buildings.
Final report of outgoing Informateur
Mr Zalm succeeds Mr Herman Tjeenk Willink as Informateur. In his final report, presented to the Speaker of the House, Ms Arib, on Tuesday, 27 June, Mr Tjeenk Willink wrote that the only possible majority government will consist of a coalition of four parties: VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie.
On his first working day as Informateur – Wednesday, 28 June 2017 – Mr Gerrit Zalm met with the negotiators of the political parties involved. The negotiators are:
VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy): Mark Rutte and Halbe Zijlstra
CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal): Sybrand van Haersma Buma and Pieter Heerma
D66 (Democrats 66): Alexander Pechtold and Wouter Koolmees
ChristenUnie (Christian Union): Gert-Jan Segers and Carola Schouten
On Thursday, 29 June, Informateur Zalm and the negotiators of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie were briefed by Mr Klaas Knot, President of De Nederlandsche Bank (central bank of the Netherlands), Ms Laura van Geest, director of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), Ms Manon Leijten, chairperson of the Study Group on the National Budget and Mr Kim Putters, President of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP).
The day after – Friday, 30 June 2017 – the negotiators and the Informateur met with President Ms Mariëtte Hamer, President of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER). This meeting was followed by a consultation between the Informateur and the negotiators.