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Updated Jul 7, 2023, 5:43pm EDT
Europe

What it means: The Dutch government has collapsed

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte walks with Foreign Affairs and Defence Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Geoffrey van Leeuwen.
REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
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The News

The current Dutch coalition government, formed in January 2022, has fallen apart over disagreements surrounding the country’s immigration and asylum policies, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced Friday.

The government’s cabinet includes members from four political parties, who could reportedly not reach an agreement on ways to limit an influx of asylum seekers. Rutte said he and the entire cabinet will resign.

We’ve curated insightful reporting to understand what this means for country’s government.

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Insights

  • The outgoing cabinet — the fourth that Rutte has overseen — took more than nine months to form, and seemed doomed to fail from the start, Dutch broadcaster NOS reported. It had split into two camps that were especially divided on migration and nitrogen emission policy.
  • The Netherlands has one of the strictest immigration policies in Europe, Reuters reported, but Rutte has been under pressure from right-wing parties to reduce the number of asylum seekers. Applications for asylum jumped by a third last year to 46,000, and could reach a new high of 70,000 this year. And the country’s facilities for migrants are in poor shape, forcing an outside humanitarian group to send a team into the Netherlands for the first time.
  • New elections are expected to be held, possibly in the fall, the BBC reported. The Dutch opposition parties are predictably pleased that the government has fallen, and want an election to happen as soon as possible. The leader of the largest opposition party has already requested that debates take place as early as next week. Another member of Parliament tweeted a photo of herself smiling with the caption, “How did you look when the cabinet fell?”
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