The Dutch government has experienced a collapse following the resignation of Prime Minister Mark Rutte due to a disagreement within the ruling coalition regarding migration policy. Rutte, the longest-serving premier in the Netherlands, made the announcement on Friday, highlighting the irreconcilable differences among the coalition partners.
During a press conference in The Hague, Rutte candidly acknowledged the well-known fact that the coalition partners held divergent views on migration policy. “It is no secret that the coalition partners have very different views on migration policy. And today, unfortunately, we have to draw the conclusion that those differences are irreconcilable,” Rutte stated.
Dutch media, citing anonymous sources, reported that the government failed to reach a consensus on a new migration package after tense negotiations among the four parties comprising the ruling coalition. The discussions centered around finding effective ways to control and limit migration but ultimately ended without a deal.
Rutte had taken charge of late-night meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in an attempt to broker an agreement, but his efforts proved unsuccessful. This development has shed light on the stark ideological differences that exist within the coalition when it comes to implementing a strict crackdown on migration. The government had been working to devise a comprehensive policy aimed at reducing the influx of new migrants into the Netherlands, a country with a population of nearly 18 million. In 2022 alone, over 21,500 individuals from outside Europe sought asylum in the Netherlands, further highlighting the urgency of the issue.
With Rutte’s resignation, the Netherlands will now proceed with general elections later this year to elect the 150-seat lower house of Parliament. However, it is anticipated that Rutte’s Cabinet will continue to serve as a caretaker administration until the formation of a new government.