Saturday

2nd Jul 2022

Dutch leader to extend 10-year rule

  • Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is a veteran on the EU stage (Photo: European Council)

Dutch centre-right prime minister Mark Rutte is poised to extend his 10-year rule after elections on Wednesday (17 March), in which new liberal and far-right faces also gained.

"The voters of the Netherlands have given my party an overwhelming vote of confidence," Rutte said in parliament in The Hague after exit polls came in.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Not everything has gone well in the last 10 years ... But of course the main issue also on the table for the next years is how to rebuild the country going forward after corona," he added.

"I have the energy for another 10 years," the 54-year old said.

The victory came despite "this unprecedented crisis" of the pandemic, Sophie Hermans, one of Rutte's senior MPs, also said.

For her part, Sigrid Kaag, the new face of the D66 liberal party, jumped on the table in her campaign HQ after coming second.

The old face of the far-right, Geert Wilders, lost a few seats, but still came in third place.

And corona-denier Thierry Baudet also gained (7th place), while left-wing parties suffered.

The most likely result is more of the same under Rutte with D66 and other conservatives.

Some 16 parties out of 37 that ran made it into the legislature and will splinter its 150 seats based on proportional representation.

Rutte had campaigned as a safe pair of hands on the pandemic and for the Dutch economy.

His past 10 years in office also covered the 2015 EU migration crisis and the earlier euro earthquake.

And he is a veteran on the EU stage in a year of change in which German chancellor Angela Merkel is to step down.

Rutte's government had resigned in January in a fiscal scandal, but Wednesday's elections were scheduled to have taken place anyway.

The vote was held under an evening curfew and amid a third wave of corona infections in Europe.

Turnout was 82 percent, but most campaigning took place on screen.

Opinion

The Dutch election is boring - and that's a good thing

Where there is consensus, it should be welcomed. Critics who lament the Dutch tendency to woolly compromises should be careful what they wish for. Muddling through has served the Netherlands well.

Dutch government resigns two months before election

The four parties of the Dutch government, lead by prime minister Mark Rutte, have decided to let the government fall. On 17 March, two months from now, there are parliamentary elections in the Netherlands.

Opinion

Sudan asylum decision signals Dutch moral collapse

Dutch decision to start deporting Sudanese refugees despite atrocious violence in their home country disfigures the notion of the Netherlands being one of the more progressive societies on earth.

Opinion

Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways

For the most part Nato and its 30 leaders rose to the occasion — but it wasn't without room for improvement. The lesson remains that Nato still doesn't know how or want to hold allies accountable for disruptive behaviour.

Opinion

Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways

For the most part Nato and its 30 leaders rose to the occasion — but it wasn't without room for improvement. The lesson remains that Nato still doesn't know how or want to hold allies accountable for disruptive behaviour.

MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship

Two MEPs have withdrawn their nominations from the MEPs Awards over the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis's participation as a sponsor — currently involved in an alleged bribery scandal in Greece.

News in Brief

  1. EU Parliament 'photographs protesting interpreters'
  2. Poland still failing to meet EU judicial criteria
  3. Report: Polish president fishing for UN job
  4. Auditors raise alarm on EU Commission use of consultants
  5. Kaliningrad talks needed with Russia, says Polish PM
  6. Report: EU to curb state-backed foreign takeovers
  7. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  8. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways
  2. Czech presidency to fortify EU embrace of Ukraine
  3. Covid-profiting super rich should fight hunger, says UN food chief
  4. EU pollution and cancer — it doesn't have to be this way
  5. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  6. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  7. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  8. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us