(L-R) Dutch party leaders Geert Wilders (PVV), Dilan Yesilgoz (VVD), Caroline van der Plas (BBB) and Pieter Omtzigt (NSC) pose for a group photograph during the presentation of the main lines agreement for a new cabinet. EPA-EFE/KOEN VAN WEEL


In depth: The new right-wing Dutch coalition agreement

With Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) as its biggest partner, the coalition has promised the toughest-ever laws on asylum, a relaxation of climate policies and more "breathing room" for low-income families


After months of difficult negotiations in the Netherlands, a right-wing coalition Government has been formed.

With Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) as its biggest partner, the coalition has promised the toughest-ever laws on asylum, a relaxation of climate policies and more “breathing room” for low-income families.

In what observers said was the most logical constellation, the PVV, the right-Liberal VVD, the centrist New Social Contract (NSC) and the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) have formed the coalition.

According to their 26-page agreement released on May 16, the four parties have promised to take the country in a new direction.

Starting in 2025, working people will be relieved of some financial burdens while low-income families will receive higher benefits.

The new Government also pledged “the strictest admission regime for asylum and the most comprehensive package for controlling migration ever”.

There will also be what was termed a “big impulse” for housing construction, infrastructure and the energy transition, with the building of four nuclear power plants.

Another major change will be the halving of healthcare charges, from €385 to €165, a hotly debated item before the national election. In the Netherlands, those aged 18 or older pay a fixed sum for healthcare received under the general insurance.


Asylum seekers from the reception center (AZC) in Ter Apel collect their belongings as they arrive at a crisis shelter. EPA-EFE/VINCENT JANNINK

To achieve “targeted and maximally reduced inflows” of migrants, the new coalition said it aimed to tackle the current “acute situation” in order to maintain popular support for refugees who genuinely required asylum.

The 2000 immigration legislation will be replaced with a temporary crisis law on asylum.

The dispersal law, which forcibly located migrants throughout all municipalities in the country, will be repealed.

A reversal of the burden of proof will be introduced so that it is not up to the Dutch Government to prove that someone does not have the right to stay – and an appeal can only happen once.

Rejected asylum seekers will be “expelled as much as possible, including forced expulsion” and beneficiaries of “protected status” will no longer have priority in the allotment of social housing.

The so-called indefinite asylum permit will be abolished and the permit for temporary residence will be modified, while the country will also introduce a dual statute system for people who either need short- or long-term asylum.

Automatic family reunification will be abolished and the number of people allowed to join family members already residing in the country will be “significantly limited”, the new coalition stated.

The designation of “safe country” status will be broadened to include safe parts of nations based on official reports that will not be made public. The Netherlands Government will push for in-region resettlement for refugees and migration deals with third countries.

Knowledge of the Holocaust and its victims will be essential for migrants, and Dutch language requirements will also become tougher.

The standard duration for naturalisation will be 10 years and, if possible, those who want to become Dutch will have to waive any other nationality.

Publicly amplified prayer calls will be regulated.

The new Government will also ask the European Commission for an opt-out of the European migration and asylum policy.


BBB party leader Caroline van der Plas arriving by tractor after 2023 elections. EPA-EFE/Remko de Waal

Farmers, horticulturists and fishermen, a key demographic for the Farmer-Citizen Movement, will see a turnaround from previous strict “green” policies.

The nitrate directive will be adjusted, livestock numbers will not be forcibly reduced and if something cannot be produced domestically, it will no longer be automatically permitted for import.

Next to a whole list of practical, financial and fiscal improvements, farmers are to get tax cuts on fuel for work, and the Netherlands should no longer have more ambitious environmental regulations than the rest of Europe.

The new administration promised to do everything within its power to bring back electric pulse fishing in Europe.

Urban planning will also be a major theme of the new Government. The country has been struggling with a housing shortage and rising property and rental prices.

There will be no new sustainability rules for building and there will be a co-ordinating minister charged with building 100,000 new homes a year. Local municipalities will be limited in terms of how much they can tax housing.

Non-urban areas and regions will be better catered for, for example, by guaranteed bus services.

Energy and climate

King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands visits food forest Lingehout by cooperation West-Betuwe and WattHub charging place for heavy construction equipment and electric trucks. (Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)

To reduce the Netherland’s dependency on third countries, an overhaul on energy has also been announced, with a focus on people with limited financial means and small companies.

The country will shift toward climate adaptation rather than fighting climate change.

“Climate policy must be sustainable, feasible and practicable”, the agreement stated, adding: “We will hold to existing engagements; only if we fail to meet targets will we make alternative policies.”

Sustainable energy and carbon reduction will remain major issues but more attention will go to the potential negative effects on those with a low income.

Not only will the Government try to soften the effects of energy bills, requirements on energy labels for houses and mandatory heat pumps will also be eliminated. An announced heightened carbon tax will be pulled back and subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles will end in 2025.

Next to the four new power plants, the Government will also invest in securing reserves of gas and critical commodities. Wind farms will be prioritised at sea and away from land but not before fishing industry approval.

Another symbolic change, likely to prove popular with many drivers, is that the maximum speed on motorways will be raised to 130kph. Since March 2020, the daytime (06:00h-19:00h) limit has been restricted to 100kph for all motorways.

Care & education

At the University of Amsterdam, there will be less room English and more for Dutch. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

Workforce shortages in care and education will be tackled by making working in those sectors more attractive. Aggression towards healthcare providers and fraud will be punished more harshly.

Despite fear-mongering from progressive politicians, nothing has changed in terms of medical ethics. “The legal frameworks remain intact” regarding embryos, abortion and euthanasia, the statement said.

In recent years, the standard of education has dropped in the country. The new coalition wants to tackle this with what it called a recovery plan.

It wants to cut the proliferation of subsidies. An “absolute priority” will go to basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic.

Another focus point will be making sex-education “neutral” and more age-appropriate, together with promoting “effective and politically neutral educational methods”.

The overuse of the English language is also mentioned, with strategic exceptions for courses in preparation for jobs where there are labour shortages.

The statement said anti-democratic attitudes have to be combated at schools and the prevention of radicalisation was paramount.


The Parliament will get more power. (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

The coalition promised to better protect its citizens and reinforce the rule of law, improve democracy and controls on Government.

A new electoral system for the Parliament will be pushed forward, with reinforced regional representation. The Parliament will also have a bigger say on the approval of international treaties.

A constitutional court to control legislation will be introduced.

Citizens will be given the “right to make mistakes”.

“A single error can no longer plunge a citizen deep into trouble. Government reminder and collection costs are to be significantly reduced,” the statement said.

Government organisations will also need to be more accessible to the public, with more ways and time to contact services.

Whistleblowers will receive enhanced protection and there will be a cut in the number of civil servants and budgets.


The Dutch Army will get more funds, in line with NATO agreements EPA-EFE/SEM VAN DER WAL

Leading the chapter on international security is political co-operation with NATO, followed by a commitment to become a “constructive partner” to the EU and a promise to maintain support for Ukraine – politically, military, financially and morally.

The commitment to meet the NATO standard of investing 2 per cent of GDP in the military will be enshrined in law.

The Netherlands will also fully move in the direction of Israel, the coalition stating it supported the nation’s right to exist and the security of the State of Israel. Regarding a solution to the conflict with Palestine, it said it wanted to relocate the Dutch Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Armenia will also be supported “in a European context”.

Furthermore, the Netherlands will take the initiative of creating an international tribunal against the crimes of the Islamic State. (IS or Da’esh).

A final line goes to the “crucial” element of national sovereignty.

“The Netherlands is highly critical of further enlargement of the European Union. No concessions will be made to the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership.”