Dick Schoof is the nominated new Prime Minister

Unexpectedly but not illogically, Dick Schoof characterized his nomination as the new prime minister. After 36 years in the civil service, he wants to contribute to restoring trust in politics and being prime minister for all Dutch people. Schoof parked difficult questions for a while.

Dick Schoof, nominated prime minister

More than six months after the elections, the intended prime minister was finally introduced to the Dutch public.

During a short press conference, journalists were asked to stick to one question in particular. That is difficult to reconcile with the many questions that exist for the man who, together with informateur Richard van Zwol, will put together a cabinet in the coming weeks.

Especially with complicated questions. Such as his role in influencing independent investigations into the MH17 disaster, following citizens through social media with fake accounts during his time as NCTV boss, and how does Schoof, who was a member of the PvdA until 2021, actually relates to the PVV’s party program?

Schoof made a decision ‘not lightly but with full conviction’

There were no answers to that on Tuesday. However, he did say that he had “not taken lightly” the decision to say “yes” to the nomination. He had first looked “deeply into the eyes” of his girlfriend and adult children before agreeing to the request. “Not lightly, but with full conviction.”

Because, Schoof said, he is convinced that with his 36 years of administrative experience at the top of the civil service, he can do “something good”. Such as contributing to connection. “For me, it’s a value in itself,” says Schoof. For him, the most important points of the outline agreement are getting a grip on migration and asylum, livelihood security and international security. “That’s why I’m here.” ‘I’m not here for the PVV’

But before Schoof was there, there were quite a few hurdles to overcome. First of all, Wilders is not there, because Pieter Omtzigt (NSC) and Dilan Yesilgöz (VVD) do not want that. There are too many concerns about the PVV’s handling of the rule of law for that. Wilders should therefore not be allowed to become prime minister, otherwise, this coalition would never have come about in the first place.

Schoof himself touched on these concerns in a recent interview with De Groene Amsterdammer. Due to the election victory of the PVV, employees with a different cultural background or who wear a headscarf at the Ministry of Justice and Security feel “less comfortable”. As the most senior civil servant in the department, he says he cares about that. “Some of the Dutch people are concerned about whether this cabinet is for all Dutch people,” Schoof replied when asked what exactly he meant by “less easy”. “And I repeat: I will be prime minister for all Dutch people.”

In that context, Schoof did not consider questions about whether he subscribes to the ideas of the PVV to be relevant. “I’m non-partisan,” he said. “I’m not there for the PVV. I have been asked by the four group chairmen.”

What still needs to be done before the June 26 deadline?

  • The formation continues with informateur Van Zwol, Prime Minister-designate Schoof and the party leaders of PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB.
  • The portfolio allocation for the new government is being compiled.
  • Candidate state secretaries and ministers are nominated and assessed by the coalition parties and Schoof.
  • For the first time, the House of Representatives will hold hearings with all candidates.
  • The cabinet team is holding its first meeting to make agreements about the division of tasks, among other things. The Constituent Assembly.
  • Swearing-in of the ministers by the king.
  • Debate with the House of Representatives on the government statement.
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