Fourth Balkenende cabinet

Fourth Balkenende cabinet
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
67th Cabinet of the Netherlands
Kabinet-Balkenende IV.jpg ZetelsBalkenendeIV.svg
The installation of the Fourth Balkenende cabinet on 22 February 2007
Date formed 22 February 2007 (2007-02-22)
Date dissolved 14 October 2010 (2010-10-14)
3 years, 234 days in office
(Demissionary from 20 February 2010 (2010-02-20))
People and organisations
Head of state Queen Beatrix
Head of government Jan Peter Balkenende
Deputy head of government Wouter Bos
André Rouvoet
No. of ministers 16
Total no. of members 19
Member party Christian Democratic Appeal
(CDA)
Labour Party
(PvdA)
Christian Union
(CU)
Status in legislature Centrist
Majority government
(Grand coalition)
Opposition party Socialist Party
Opposition leader Jan Marijnissen
History
Election(s) 2006 election
Outgoing election 2010 election
Legislature term(s) 2006–2010
Incoming formation 2006–2007 formation
Outgoing formation 2010 formation
Predecessor Third Balkenende cabinet
Successor First Rutte cabinet

The Fourth Balkenende cabinet was the executive branch of the Dutch Government from 22 February 2007 until 14 October 2010. The cabinet was formed the christian-democratic Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and Christian Union (CU) and the social-democratic Labour Party (PvdA) after the election of 2006. The cabinet was a centrist grand coalition and had a slim majority in the House of Representatives with Christian Democratic Leader Jan Peter Balkenende serving as Prime Minister. Labour Leader Wouter Bos served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Social Christian Leader André Rouvoet served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister without Portfolio for Health, Welfare and Sport.

The cabinet served during the unstable late 2000s, domestically it had to deal with the financial crisis of 2008 and major reforms to the education system, internationally it had to deal with the War on terror and the government support for the Task Force Uruzgan. The cabinet suffered several major internal conflicts including multiple cabinet resignations. The cabinet fell prematurely on 20 February 2010 after the Labour Party refused to supported a extension of the Task Force Uruzgan mission with the Labour Party cabinet members resigning on 23 February 2010 and the cabinet continued in a demissionary capacity until it was replaced after the election of 2010.

Formation

Following the fall of the Second Balkenende cabinet on 30 June 2006 the Democrats 66 (D66) left the coalition and the Christian Democratic Appeal and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) formed a rump cabinet. The Third Balkenende cabinet was installed on 7 July 2006 and served as a caretaker government until the election of 2006 on 22 November 2006. After the election the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) of incumbent Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was the winner of the election but lost 3 seats and had now a total of 41 seats. The Labour Party (PvdA) of Wouter Bos lost 9 seats and had now 33 seats. The Socialist Party (SP) of Jan Marijnissen was the biggest winner with 16 new seats and had now 25 seats. Two new parties won representation in the House of Representatives, the recently founded Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders, a former Member of the House of Representatives for the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy won nine seats and the Party for the Animals (PvdD) of Marianne Thieme, a noted animal rights activist won two seats, the first time an animal advocacy party won representation in a national legislative body.

On 25 November 2006 Queen Beatrix appointed Member of the Council of State Rein Jan Hoekstra (CDA) as Informateur. Hoekstra explored the possibilities for the different three party coalitions, since no two parties could form a majority in the House of Representatives together. This resulted in a coalition agreement between the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Labour Party (PvdA) and the Christian Union (CU), together these three parties had 79 seats out of 150 seats in the House of Representatives.[1]

On 20 December 2006 Queen Beatrix appointed former Chairman of the Social-Economic Council Herman Wijffels (CDA) as Informateur to start the second information round and negotiate a coalition agreement between the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal Jan Peter Balkenende, the Leader of the Labour Party Wouter Bos and the Leader of the Christian Union André Rouvoet. On 7 February 2007 a coalition was reached with the motto of the agreement: "Samen leven, samen werken" ("Living together, working together"). On 9 February 2007 Queen Beatrix appointed incumbent Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (CDA) as Formateur to start the last phase of the formation.[2] On 22 February the cabinet members were sworn in by Queen Beatrix.

Term

Policy

The coalition agreement titled "Living together, working together" was presented on 7 February in a press conference by Balkenende, Bos, Rouvoet. It is structured into six commitments of the new cabinet. If a proposal was included in a party's electoral manifesto, this is mentioned as well.[3][4]

  • An active and constructive role in the world, which is characterized by these policies:
    • Continued investments into the Joint Strike Fighter (as the CDA proposed).
    • The new cabinet is not in favour of a new referendum on the European Constitution, which was voted down in 2005, but will consider new initiatives (both the CDA and CU opposed the referendum initially).
  • An innovative, competitive and entrepreneurial economy, which is characterized by these policies:
    • 1 billion increased spending on education (as all parties proposed).
    • Privatization of Schiphol airport is shelved (as the CU and the PvdA proposed).
  • A durable environment, which is characterized by these policies:
    • 800 million euros additional spending on renewable energy (as both the PvdA and the CU proposed).
    • Pollution will be taxed more heavily (as both the PvdA and the CU proposed).
    • A tax on airline tickets totalling 350 million euros (as all parties proposed).
    • No new investments in nuclear energy (as the CU and the PvdA proposed).
  • Social cohesion, which is characterized by these policies:
    • A reform of the system of basic state pensions: people who have private pensions of 15,000 euros and higher and who stop working before the age of 65 will pay an additional tax as of 2011. People who work beyond 65 receive tax breaks. This measure should guarantee an affordable basic state pension (AOW) despite trends in population ageing (a compromise between the PvdA, which wanted to tax all rich elderly and the CDA which wanted incentives to make people work longer).
    • Public social housing will not be liberalised, rent rates may be raised only in line with inflation (as the PvdA proposed).
    • The tax deduction on mortgage interest payments remains unchanged (as the CDA proposed).
    • Investments in problem areas in the large cities to make them "beautiful neighbourhoods" (as the PvdA proposed).
    • Re-implementation of the subsidized jobs-scheme for the unemployed (as the PvdA proposed).
    • Childcare spending totalling 700 million euros (free child care was a PvdA election promise and opposed by CDA).
  • Safety, stability and respect, which is characterized by these policies:
    • Reduction of all crimes by 25%.
    • A ban on burqas and other face covering clothing for security reasons (as the CDA proposed).
  • Government and a servile public sector[5]
    • In response to opposition to extravagant wages earned by some top civil servants and top level managers of quangos, sometimes five times that of the prime minister, no one will be allowed an income greater than the prime minister's. In order to accomplish this, the prime minister's salary will be increased.
    • Cutting the number of civil servants to save 750 million euros.
    • Women seeking an abortion are to expect an additional waiting period between first consultation and actual procedure on top of the already mandatory five days waiting period (as the CU proposed).
    • Minor reforms of the health care-system, including the abolishment of the no claim and the re-inclusion of dental care into the basic insurance.
    • Increased taxation on cigarettes and liquor, smoke-free bars and restaurants by 2011.
    • A general pardon for asylum seekers who entered the Netherlands before the new Asylum Law came into effect (as both the CU and the PvdA proposed).
    • The coalition wants to have a budget surplus of 1% of the GDP by 2011 with a projected 2% annual economic growth (as all parties proposed).

Fall and aftermath

In February 2010, NATO had officially requested the Netherlands to extend its military involvement in Task Force Uruzgan, the ISAF operation in the Afghan province of Uruzgan, aimed at training Afghan security forces and transfer of responsibilities to the local authorities.[6][7][8] Coalition party PvdA strongly opposed the extension of the mission.[9][10][11] The collision between the government and the parliament, of which the majority disagreed with an extension of the mission, as well as between the coalition partners in the cabinet, threatened the existence of the cabinet[12] and led to its fall in the night between 19 and 20 February 2010, after 16 hours of deliberations between the cabinet members. The Labour members resigned from the cabinet.[13][14][15][16]

As queen Beatrix was on holiday in Austria (Lech am Arlberg) at the time, Balkenende informed her formally by phone about the break-up of the cabinet. She returned soon to The Hague and held consultations with advisors and with the leaders of all political groupings in parliament on 22 and 23 February. On the latter day, the queen accepted the resignations of the PvdA ministers and secretaries, and maintained the 15 remaining cabinet members of CDA and Christian Union (whose positions had also been offered to the queen for consideration, a customary procedure in the Netherlands) to run a demissionary cabinet (caretaker government), which meant that it could not make large decisions or proposals on topics deemed controversial. No new cabinet members were appointed, the already functioning ministers and state secretaries taking care of the empty positions until a new government would be formed. Early elections were held on 9 June 2010. The cabinet formation started a day later.[citation needed]

Labour leader Wouter Bos, who resigned as deputy prime minister and finance minister, announced that he wanted to continue to lead his party. Labour Party leader Bos denied that the upcoming local elections in the Netherlands played a role in the decision to refuse to compromise on a possible extension of the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan.[17]

Cabinet Members

Ministers Title/Ministry/Portfolio(s) Term of office Party
Jan Peter Balkenende Dr.
Jan Peter
Balkenende

(born 1956)
Prime Minister General Affairs 22 July 2002 –
14 October 2010
[Retained]
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Wouter Bos Wouter Bos
(born 1963)
Deputy
Prime Minister
Finance 22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Minister
André Rouvoet André Rouvoet
(born 1962)
Deputy
Prime Minister
Health, Welfare
and Sport
Youth Care
Family Policy
22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian Union
Minister
Minister Education, Culture
and Science
23 February 2010
14 October 2010
Guusje ter Horst Dr.
Guusje ter Horst
(born 1952)
Minister Interior and Kingdom
Relations
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Ernst Hirsch Ballin Dr.
Ernst Hirsch Ballin
(born 1950)
23 February 2010 –
14 October 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Minister Justice 22 September 2006 –
14 October 2010
[Retained]
Maxime Verhagen Maxime Verhagen
(born 1956)
Minister Foreign Affairs 22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Minister Development
Cooperation
23 February 2010 –
14 October 2010
Jan Kees de Jager Jan Kees
de Jager

(born 1969)
Minister Finance 23 February 2010 –
5 November 2012
[Continued]
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Maria van der Hoeven Maria van
der Hoeven

(born 1949)
Minister Economic Affairs 22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Eimert van Middelkoop Eimert van
Middelkoop

(born 1949)
Minister Defence 22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian Union
Minister Housing, Spatial
Planning and the
Environment
Integration
Public Housing
Minorities
23 February 2010 –
14 October 2010
Ab Klink Dr.
Ab Klink
(born 1958)
Minister Health, Welfare
and Sport
22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Piet Hein Donner Piet Hein Donner
(born 1948)
Minister Social Affairs and
Employment
22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Ronald Plasterk Dr.
Ronald Plasterk
(born 1957)
Minister Education, Culture
and Science
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Camiel Eurlings Camiel Eurlings
(born 1973)
Minister Transport and
Water Management
22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Gerda Verburg Gerda Verburg
(born 1957)
Minister Agriculture, Nature
and Food Quality
22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Jacqueline Cramer Dr.
Jacqueline Cramer
(born 1951)
Minister Housing, Spatial
Planning and
the Environment
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Tineke Huizinga Tineke Huizinga
(born 1960)
23 February 2010 –
14 October 2010
Christian Union
Ministers without portfolio Title/Ministry/Portfolio(s) Term of office Party
Bert Koenders Bert Koenders
(born 1958)
Minister Foreign Affairs Development
Cooperation
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Ella Vogelaar Ella Vogelaar
(1949–2019)
Minister Housing, Spatial
Planning and the
Environment
Integration
Public Housing
Minorities
22 February 2007 –
14 November 2008
[Res]
Labour Party
Eberhard van der Laan Eberhard van
der Laan

(1955–2017)
14 November 2008 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
State Secretaries Title/Ministry/Portfolio(s) Term of office Party
Ank Bijleveld Ank Bijleveld
(born 1962)
State Secretary Interior and Kingdom
Relations
Kingdom
Relations

Municipalities
Provinces
Emergency
Management
22 February 2007 –
14 October 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Frans Timmermans Frans Timmermans
(born 1961)
State Secretary
[Title]
Foreign Affairs European Union
Benelux
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Jan Kees de Jager Jan Kees de Jager
(born 1969)
State Secretary Finance Fiscal Policy
Tax and Customs
Governmental
Budget
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[App]
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Nebahat Albayrak Nebahat Albayrak
(born 1968)
State Secretary Justice Immigration
and Asylum

Penitentiaries
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Frank Heemskerk Frank Heemskerk
(born 1969)
State Secretary
[Title]
Economic Affairs Trade and Export
Small and
Medium-sized
Businesses

• Consumer
Protection
Telecommunication
Postal Service
Tourism
[Title]
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Cees van der Knaap Cees van
der Knaap

(born 1951)
State Secretary Defence Human
Resources

Equipment
22 July 2002 –
18 December 2007
[Retained] [App]
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Jack de Vries Jack de Vries
(born 1968)
18 December 2007 –
18 May 2010
[Res]
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Jet Bussemaker Dr.
Jet Bussemaker
(born 1961)
State Secretary Health, Welfare
and Sport
Elderly Care
Disability Policy
Medical Ethics
Sport
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Ahmed Aboutaleb Ahmed Aboutaleb
(born 1961)
State Secretary Social Affairs and
Employment
• Social Security
• Unemployment
Occupational
Safety

• Social Services
22 February 2007 –
18 December 2008
[App]
Labour Party
Jetta Klijnsma Jetta Klijnsma
(born 1957)
18 December 2008 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Marja van Bijsterveldt Marja van
Bijsterveldt

(born 1961)
State Secretary Education, Culture
and Science
Secondary
Education
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
Christian
Democratic Appeal
Higher
Education

Secondary
Education

Science Policy
Media
Culture
Art
Emancipation
23 February 2010 –
14 October 2010
Sharon Dijksma Sharon Dijksma
(born 1971)
Primary
Education

Special
Education

Preschool
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[Res]
Labour Party
Tineke Huizinga Tineke Huizinga
(born 1960)
State Secretary Transport and
Water Management
Public
Transport

Water
Management

Weather
Forecasting
22 February 2007 –
23 February 2010
[App]
Christian Union
Resigned
Retained from the previous cabinet
Continued in the next cabinet
Designated with the diplomatic rank of Minister
Appointed as Minister of Finance
Appointed as Mayor of Ede
Appointed as Mayor of Rotterdam
Appointed as Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment

Trivia

References

  1. ^ "Balkenende clings to power as Dutch head for uneasy coalition". The Independent. 23 November 2006. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Balkenende benoemd tot formateur" (in Dutch). NOS. 11 February 2007. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Coalitieakkoord tussen de Tweede Kamerfracties van CDA, PvdA en ChristenUnie" (PDF) (in Dutch). NOS. 7 February 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Hoofdpunten regeerakkoord" (in Dutch). NOS. 7 February 2007. Archived from the original on 9 February 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  5. ^ Overheid en dienstbare publieke sector
  6. ^ (in Dutch)"NAVO verzoekt nieuwe missie Afghanistan"
  7. ^ "NATO would like Dutch to train Afghan troops"
  8. ^ (in Dutch)"Kabinet onderzoekt langere missie Afghanistan"
  9. ^ "Nato troop request sparks political row"
  10. ^ (in Dutch)"Conflict naar climax: nog deze week Uruzgan-besluit"
  11. ^ "Labour says final 'no' to Afghanistan". DutchNews.nl. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Will the Dutch government fall over troop deployment?"[dead link]
  13. ^ (in Dutch)"Verklaring Balkenende na afloop ministerraad"
  14. ^ (in Dutch)"Kabinet-Balkenende IV gevallen"
  15. ^ ""Dutch government falls over Afghanistan mission"". Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  16. ^ "Dutch Government Collapses Over Afghan Mission"
  17. ^ "Bos denies decision influenced by March poll"

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