AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS, July 9, 2023—The Dutch government collapses after an 18-month unorthodox coalition fell apart over immigration policies on Friday. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte issued his resignation on Saturday, July 8, to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands who abruptly returned from Greece to accept the outgoing prime minister’s resignation.
The four-party coalition comprised of Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the liberal democratic Democrats 66, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and centrist ChristenUnie.
The Dutch government collapsed Friday after two members of the coalition — Democrats 66 and the ChristenUnie — disagreed with Rutte’s bill to limit the number of children joining their parents who are already war refugees living in the Netherlands and imposing an additional two-year wait to reunite those families.
“It is no secret that the coalition partners have differing opinions about immigration policy,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a press conference on Friday night announcing the collapse of the government. “Today we unfortunately have to conclude that those difference have become insurmountable.”
At the request of King Willem-Alexander, the government will stay in place in “caretaker” mode until a General Election that will likely take place in November, according to CNN.
Earlier this year the Farmer Citizen Movement (BBB) — a center right to right party — won 16 of 75 Senate seats, receiving the most seats in all twelve provinces with 137 of 572 Provincial seats. The party was founded in October 2019 in response to the widespread farmers’ protests. The BBB won a huge victory by opposing government agricultural policies to reduce nitrogen emissions by 50% nationwide by 2030 which critics said would not only hurt farm owners but lead to food shortages. The Netherlands is currently experiencing a housing crisis, high gas prices and inflation.
Find more statistics at Statista
According to The Guardian, Geert Wilders, head of the Party for Freedom and Caroline van der Plas, head of the BBB, who both lead right of center parties, have started campaigning to be the country’s new Prime Minister.
The latest election wins in Europe is showing a political shift to the right. The peoples of Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and recently Greece have elected right leaning government majorities. The Netherlands, one of Europe’s most liberal countries, may be next to join the prevailing direction of right leaning representation.
On June 27, the European’s Environment Committee rejected the European Green Deal’s Nature Restoration Law which aimed to rehabilitate habitats and species that have been degraded by human interference and climate change. The law would have set legally binding targets in farmlands, free-flowing rivers and marine ecosystems to be achieved by 2030.