The informateur examines which parties are able and ready to form a new cabinet and any obstacles which have to be overcome. Never in Dutch parliamentary history has a single party gained more than 50% of the votes. Consequently, parties have to cooperate to form a coalition government. Parties who are not included in the coalition constitute the opposition.
The scope of the assignment given to the informateur depends on the polling results. If two parties have a majority and they agree with each other, the informateur will have a limited role. This was the case in 2012. The mission entrusted to the informateurs was to explore the option of a stable VVD/PvdA Cabinet in the shortest time possible. After completion of their duties the informateurs propose the House to appoint a formateur.
There are a multitude of political parties in the Netherlands. Never in Dutch parliamentary history has a single party obtained more than 50% of the votes. Consequently, parties must cooperate and form a coalition government. Parties that are not included in the coalition constitute the opposition. All the Dutch Cabinets since WO II have been coalition Cabinets, supported by two or more political groups, who together have had a majority in the House of Representatives.
The Coalition Agreement
The scope of the assignment given to the informateur may involve the drafting of a Coalition Agreement. Sometimes a new informateur is appointed for this task. The informateur negotiates with the coalition parties about the common goals and the key policy themes of the future Cabinet. When they have reached an agreement, the coalition parties set out the arrangements in a so-called Coalition Agreement. The new Cabinet is bound by the Coalition Agreement and has to implement concrete policy measures over the coming years, on the basis of the agreements set out in the Coalition Agreement.