19th Oct 2017

Dutch right-wing coalition talks abandoned

Talks to cobble together a right-wing coalition in the Netherlands combining the conservative liberals of Mark Rutte's VVD, the far-right Freedom Party of Geert Wilders and the centre-right Christian Democrats have ended without result after eight days.

Both the VVD and the Freedom Party (PVV) blame a rejectionist Christian Democrat position for the failure.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The Christian Democrats of outgoing prime minister Jan Peter Balkanende refused to participate in the talks until the Freedom Party and the VVD had first reached an agreement.

"The Christian Democrats are simply pulling the plug," Mr Wilders told reporters on Thursday.

Mr Rutte, who won the election by one seat, for his part, said the anti-immigrant group had tried to come to an understanding.

"Mr Wilders took a constructive approach," he told the local media. The two parties, he added, had "sufficient common ground for a coalition with the Christian Democrats."

"Something like this has never happened in the history of parliament," he said.

Maxime Verhagen, currently leading the Christian Democrats (CDA) after Mr Balkanende's post-election resignation, rejected responsibility for the collapse of talks, saying that his party had to first wait for a concord between the other two parties.

The VVD are free-market liberals and intend to introduce swingeing austerity measures worth €45 billion, while the Freedom Party mixes anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric with opposition to cuts to pensions and some other public services.

Uri Rosenthal, the leader of the VVD in the Senate and the appointed broker of the talks said: "A VVD, PVV and CDA majority cabinet is impossible."

The three parties would have had a one-seat 76-member majority in the 150-seat house.

A coalition including Mr Wilders' party is now all but ruled out, with eyes instead turning to the possibility of a so-called purple coalition, between Labour, the VVD, the Green Left and the social liberals of D66.

Tusk summits to create new-model EU

Tusk has proposed a series of 13 top-level talks to take forward European reform, but his backing for a multi-speed Europe risks deepening divide.

Catalonia to declare independence in a few days

Spain's king, Felipe VI, said Catalonia's leaders were breaking up the country's unity as hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied against police violence at Sunday's referendum.

EU Commission's credibility eroding, says Catalonia

A former commission official who now represents the Catalan government says some European commissioners do not agree with the EU commission's official statement on Catalonia's bid for independence from Spain.

Spain points at elections as exit to Catalan crisis

Spanish political leaders called on Catalan separatists to organise regional elections as a way to avoid emergency measures due to be taken on Thursday. That's "not on the table", a Catalan official replied.

Tusk summits to create new-model EU

Tusk has proposed a series of 13 top-level talks to take forward European reform, but his backing for a multi-speed Europe risks deepening divide.

News in Brief

  1. EU summit moved to previous building after fumes scare
  2. Catalonia will 'not back down'
  3. New toxic incident in EU building ahead of summit
  4. Murdered Malta journalist's family invited to Parliament
  5. EU food safety chief denies keeping studies 'secret'
  6. EU states pledge 24,000 resettlement places so far
  7. US ready for arms sale to update Greece's F-16 fleet
  8. Austria's Green leaders step down following election failure

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. EU okays Privacy Shield's first year
  2. EU seeks to decrypt messages in new anti-terror plan
  3. EU agencies defend research ahead of glyphosate vote
  4. Spain points at elections as exit to Catalan crisis
  5. How EU can ensure Daphne Caruana Galizia's legacy survives
  6. Juncker dinner to warm up relations with eastern EU
  7. Court hearing in MEPs 'private' expenses battle
  8. The unbearable lightness of leadership