Coalition leaders will discuss the recent provincial elections’ results and the impressive victory of the right-wing political party BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) tonight.
In addition, the Cabinet leaders, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Deputy Prime Ministers Sigrid Kaag, Wopke Hoekstra, and Carola Schouten, will try to understand the dissatisfaction and unease among the Dutch citizens.
The BBB is against the government’s nitrogen policy, which aims to reduce nitrogen emissions by 50% by 2030, requiring farmers to contribute significantly.
BBB’s leader, Caroline van der Plas, has made the party the largest political party in all provincial councils from scratch.
The BBB is expected to become the largest party in the Senate with seventeen seats, making the party impossible to ignore at the national level, despite currently having only one seat in the Tweede Kamer.
The Cabinet leaders believe that voter dissatisfaction is not just limited to the nitrogen policy but also includes growing poverty and inequality, rising prices, housing shortages, asylum reception crisis, and climate challenges.
The Cabinet leaders will also discuss whether the consequences of the voters’ decision should be attached to the key issues, like nitrogen emissions policy and environmental concerns, and renegotiate the coalition’s agreement.
Rutte has repeatedly said that the BBB’s significant gains are a strong signal from the voters, and he wants to evaluate how the Cabinet should deal with this.
The CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra also emphasized that the voter’s “crystal clear signal” cannot be ignored.
Kaag (D66) emphasized the need to balance the government’s ambitions in the coalition agreement and today’s reality.
For example, the coalition agreement states that nitrogen emissions must be halved by 2030; for the CDA, that year is no longer set in stone, and the VVD also wants to shift.
However, for now, the D66 is sticking to the 2030 deadline.