First Rutte cabinet

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First Rutte cabinet
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
68th Cabinet of the Netherlands
Date formed October 14, 2010
Date dissolved November 5, 2012
People and organizations
Head of government Mark Rutte
Deputy head of government Maxime Verhagen
Head of state Beatrix of the Netherlands
Ministers removed
Total number of ministers 13
Member party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA)
Election(s) Dutch general election, 2010
Outgoing election Dutch general election, 2012
Legislature term(s) 2010-2012
Incoming formation 2010 Dutch cabinet formation
Outgoing formation 2012 Dutch cabinet formation
Previous Fourth Balkenende cabinet
Successor Second Rutte cabinet
Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
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The First Rutte cabinet, also called the Rutte-Verhagen cabinet,[1] is the previous Dutch coalition cabinet formed by the political parties People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA).

VVD party leader Mark Rutte was Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Maxime Verhagen was Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands on behalf of the CDA.[2][3]

The cabinet succeeded the fourth Balkenende cabinet following the Dutch general election of 2010, and was installed by Queen Beatrix on 14 October 2010.

The coalition was a minority cabinet, but as it was supported by the Party for Freedom (PVV), it had a small majority in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands until 20 March 2012, the day Hero Brinkman left the PVV. Although Brinkman has stated he would continue supporting the minority cabinet as an independent, the PVV withdrew it support on 21 April 2012 as negotiations on new austerity measures collapsed, paving the way for early elections.[4]


Further information: 2010 Dutch cabinet formation

Following the collapse of the fourth Balkenende cabinet on 20 February 2010, elections for the House of Representatives were held on 9 June 2010. As usual in Dutch politics, none of the parties had a majority and several informateurs were appointed to investigate the formation of a coalition cabinet. A broad coalition consisting of VVD, CDA and the Labour Party (PvdA) was briefly looked at, but dismissed. Then negotiations for a "purple plus" coalition consisting of VVD, PvdA, Democrats 66 (D66) and GreenLeft (GL) lasted for about three weeks, but the parties could not reach agreement on the amount of budget cuts. Finally, a construction which is rare for the Netherlands was investigated: a minority coalition consisting of VVD and CDA (together 52 out of 150 seats in the House of Representatives), supported in parliament by the PVV (24 seats), to make the smallest possible majority of 76 seats. The reason for this construction was that parties agreed that the largest party (VVD) and the largest winner in the elections (PVV) needed to be in power; only the CDA could or wanted to help make a majority, but they were against forming a proper coalition with PVV because of their different views on Islam and immigration. Therefore, negotiations were held to form a coalition agreement between VVD and CDA, and to form a "parliamentary support agreement" between all three parties, which were successfully finished on 30 September 2010.

The opposition parties expected that the coalition would prove to be unstable[5] because at a special CDA conference, about a third of the CDA members voted against the formation of this cabinet. Also, in the CDA parliamentary fraction at least two people indicated they have difficulties with the cabinet, but say they will support it because the majority of the party approves of the cabinet.

When the cabinet took office, the three parties had a minority in the Senate of the Netherlands of 35 out of 75 seats. The parties hoped this would change following the May 2011 elections for the Senate, but they obtained 37 seats, one short of a majority. However, it is expected that the small Christian party SGP, which obtained one seat, will support the cabinet in the Senate.[6]

Withdrawal of support of the PVV[edit]

Because of the financial crisis in the Netherlands and because of the rules of the European Union that the deficit should be maximum 3%, the CDA (Maxime Verhagen), the VVD (Mark Rutte), and the PVV (Geert Wilders) decided to talk with each other about new, severe austerity measures, worth about 14 billion Euro. The negotiations about the measures lasted 7 weeks and ended on 21 April when Geert Wilders walked out of the negotiations. The reason he gave was that the measure would negatively impact people who receive benefits from the Dutch pension act.[7][8]

Both Rutte and Verhagen blamed Wilders for the failure of the negotiations.

As a result, the government resigned. General national elections were held on 12 September 2012.[9]


The cabinet consists of 12 ministers and 8 junior ministers (state secretaries). These positions are divided equally among the coalition members, regardless of their respective size: People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (31 seats in parliament) supplied 6 ministers and 4 state secretaries, and Christian Democratic Appeal (21 seats) also supplied 6 ministers and 4 state secretaries.

The number of ministers and state secretaries was reduced from the previous cabinet by merging several ministries: the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality was merged with the Ministry of Economic Affairs to form the new Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation; the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment was merged with the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management to form the new Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment; some tasks of the Ministry of the Interior went to the Ministry of Justice, which was renamed the Ministry of Security and Justice. Also the ministers without portfolio for Development Cooperation, for Youth and Family, and for Housing, Neighbourhoods and Integration were scrapped, the latter to be replaced by a minister without portfolio for Immigration and Asylum.

On December 16, 2011 Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner resigned after he was selected as the new Vice President of the Council of State succeeding Herman Tjeenk Willink, he was replaced as Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations by fellow Christian Democratic Appeal party member Liesbeth Spies.[10][11][12][13]

Office-holder Title/Portfolio Party
Mark Rutte
Mark Rutte Prime Minister General Affairs VVD
Maxime Verhagen
Maxime Verhagen Deputy Prime Minister /
Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation CDA
Piet Hein Donner
Piet Hein Donner
(2010 - 2011) [Appt]
Minister Interior and Kingdom Relations CDA
Liesbeth Spies
Liesbeth Spies
(from 2011)
Uri Rosenthal
Uri Rosenthal Minister Foreign Affairs VVD
Jan Kees de Jager
Jan Kees de Jager Minister Finance CDA
Ivo Opstelten
Ivo Opstelten Minister Security and Justice VVD
Hans Hillen
Hans Hillen Minister Defence CDA
Edith Schippers
Edith Schippers Minister Health, Welfare and Sport VVD
Marja van Bijsterveldt
Marja van Bijsterveldt Minister Education, Culture and Science CDA
Melanie Schultz van Haegen
Melanie Schultz van Haegen Minister Infrastructure and the Environment VVD
Henk Kamp
Henk Kamp Minister Social Affairs and Employment VVD
Gerd Leers
Gerd Leers Minister without portfolio Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Affairs
(within Interior and Kingdom Relations)
Ben Knapen
Ben Knapen State Secretary Foreign Affairs
(European cooperation and Development cooperation)
Frans Weekers
Frans Weekers State Secretary Finance
(Fiscal affairs, Finances of lower governments)
Fred Teeven
Fred Teeven State Secretary [Note] Security and Justice
(Prevention, Family law, Youth justice, Copyright law)
Henk Bleker
Henk Bleker State Secretary [Note] Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation
(Agriculture, Nature, Food quality, Trade, Tourism, Postal affairs)
Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten State Secretary Health, Welfare and Sport
(Nursing and care, Elderly policy, Youth policy, Biotechnology)
Halbe Zijlstra
Halbe Zijlstra State Secretary Education, Culture and Science
(Higher education, Science and Knowledge, Teachers, Culture)
Joop Atsma
Joop Atsma State Secretary Infrastructure and the Environment
(Water policy, Environment, Aviation)
Paul de Krom
Paul de Krom State Secretary Social Affairs and Employment
(Unemployment insurances (partial), Equality, Long-term unemployment, Poverty, Health and Safety)
Source: Rijksoverheid
Note. The State Secretaries for Security and Justice and Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation were allowed to use a ministerial title while on foreign business.
Appt. Appointment: Piet Hein Donner appointed Vice President of the Council of State.


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