Netherlands: Dick Schoof to Become New Prime Minister

The six-month political stalemate has been broken. The first words of the new head of government: “I will be the prime minister of all Dutch people”

After six months of grueling negotiations, Dick Schoof is appointed as the new Prime Minister of the Netherlands. The coalition, led by Geert Wilders’s ultra-nationalist party, which won the November 22, 2023 election but lacks enough deputies to govern, chose Hendrikus Wilhelmus Maria Schoof, known as Dick, a career civil servant and former head of the General Intelligence and Security Service.

The government of The Hague will be headed by a technician who immediately declared that he wanted to serve “all Dutch people and unite the Netherlands.” “I did not take this decision lightly, and I am here with full conviction,” Schoof explained. He added that he would represent not Wilders, but “all four parties in the coalition” that have a “good program.”

An agreement between the coalition parties of Wilders’s PVV, the right-wing Liberals (VVD) of previous PM Rutte, Peter Omtzigt’s NSC (centrist party), and the BBB farming movement was reached on May 15. The name of the new premier was announced only on May 28.

Schoof was born in 1957. He is an independent figure. A former member of the Labor Party, he served as secretary of the Justice Department and was head of the intelligence service from 2018 to 2020.