Netherlands Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark

New government: open attitude towards Europe and the wider world

The new Dutch government was today sworn in by Her Majesty the Queen. The members of the government responsible for foreign policy are Frans Timmermans (Minister of Foreign Affairs) and Lilianne Ploumen (Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation). Mr Timmermans, 51, was Minister for European Affairs from 2007 to 2010. Ms Ploumen, 50, worked for various development organisations before serving as chair of the PvdA (Labour Party).

The new government has an open attitude to Europe and the wider world. The second Rutte government’s foreign policy will be aimed at advancing and protecting Dutch interests, for example by supporting Dutch business abroad and by providing effective consular services to Dutch nationals who get into difficulties in other countries.

The Netherlands will also promote human rights and the international legal order. The Netherlands will continue its efforts in developing countries in the fields of water management, food security, security and the rule of law, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). These are fields in which the Netherlands has considerable expertise and can make a difference.

Entitled ‘Building Bridges’, the coalition agreement is the culmination of the process of forming the new government. After a period of negotiations, the free-market liberal VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) and the social-democratic PvdA have succeeded in forming a coalition. The two parties won the most seats in the House of Representatives in the parliamentary elections of 12 September.