Here’s a breakdown of the new right-wing Dutch coalition agreement

"Hope, courage and pride", apparently

Finally, a coalition agreement between the PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB has been reached, forming the most right-wing Dutch government coalition the Netherlands has seen in decades.

Yesterday, the new coalition released an outline agreement of their proposed policies. So naturally, we spent our morning translating it, dissecting it, and wiping the odd tear away. 

The outline begins by reminding us that The Netherlands is “a beautiful country” and one “to be proud of”. The new government then emphasises that they will be “taking a new path” in their leadership.

They insist their policies are for “people who deserve legal certainty and good governance” and people who want “safety for their family in their own neighbourhood.”

So, let’s take a look at some of the most important points. 👇

Housing and public transport

Expect more construction sites cropping up — if the new coalition has their way, 100,000 new homes will be added per year.

According to their agreement outline, “an extra street, inner-city and outer-city” should be built. Though it’s unclear how literally we should take this. 🤔

What they do make clear is that at least 30% of these new homes must be for social rental housing.

Any increases in rent for social housing will be limited if you already own a house, plus the increase in property taxes will be capped.

READ MORE | The 2024 guide to private housing and social housing in the Netherlands: what’s the difference?

As for homeowners in the Netherlands, another key point they make is that: “the mortgage interest deduction will not be compromised”.

The coalition also made sure to address the roads n’ rails, announcing that cars will be able to drive on Dutch roads at 130km/h “where possible” and the construction of the Lelylijn, connecting Lelystad and Groningen by train, continues.

Healthcare and education

The coalition hopes to strengthen the Netherlands’ primary care offering for patients and workers alike through “good employment conditions and limitations of regulatory and administrative burdens.”

This includes plans to cut the healthcare deductible in half by 2027, from €385 per year currently to €165.

When it comes to ethical topics, such as abortion and euthanasia, the “legal frameworks remain unchanged”.

READ MORE | This 28-year-old Dutch woman with mental illness will be euthanised in May

In education, however, the four parties are clamping down on “anglicisation” and “politicisation.”

This means they are looking at ways to reduce the English-language influence and that teaching methods must not only be “proven effective” but also “politically neutral”…

Control over asylum and migration

If you are reading this article, you’re probably an international in the Netherlands, so let’s talk about what all this could mean for you. 

Unsurprisingly, the forming parties want to see big changes when it comes to asylum and migration.

READ MORE | Always an expat, never a local: an international’s attempt to integrate into Dutch life

They describe their plans for asylum seekers as “The strictest admission regime for asylum and the most comprehensive package for the control of migration ever.” 

This means the asylum and migration system as we know it will be “reformed,” and a temporary Asylum Crisis Act could be introduced if necessary.

This act may be implemented for a maximum of two years and would include significant policy changes, for example:

  • Those with an asylum status will no longer be given priority when social housing is allocated.
  • Asylum seekers who have been rejected are “deported as much as possible, including forcibly”.

This will also impact international students and workers, as tighter qualification requirements for highly skilled migrants mean fewer people will qualify for a visa.

READ MORE | The Netherlands has a new coalition: Here’s how it affects internationals and expats

Ultimately, the coalition is calling for a reduction of highly skilled migrants, asylum seekers and study migrants.

Tweet translation: Hope, courage and pride? More like: Despair, fear and weakness

National and international security

When it comes to keeping the Netherlands safe, the coalition wants to take a reinforced approach to organised crime.

They will introduce heavier penalties for terror, violent and sexual crimes, as well as increase the maximum sentences for juvenile criminals.

READ MORE | How safe is the Netherlands? The safety guide to visiting and living in Holland

As for their international policies, they state that “The Netherlands continues to support Ukraine politically, militarily, financially and morally against Russian aggression”.

And, in spite of the ongoing conflict Israel-Palestine conflict, the forming parties want to look into moving the Dutch embassy to Jerusalem.

READ MORE | Amsterdam’s pro-Palestine protests: in videos

While other countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv, the coalition stands by their potential Jerusalem move: “The Netherlands supports the right to exist and the security of the state of Israel.”

Lifestyle

The agreement does promote social security, improved debt assistance and (almost) free childcare.

However, if you’re looking to celebrate these changes with a night away in a Dutch hotel, the savings stop looking so good.

That’s because the VAT rate on hotel stays will return to 21% and will increase for other goods and services.

READ MORE | A tax on terraces? Here’s how it could affect you

However, you could swap the hotel for a cinema date since the VAT spikes will not apply here — or for other daytime recreational activities.

Climate and energy

And will there be new policies when it comes to climate and energy? Only if the existing goals are not achieved.

READ MORE | 14 dang smart ways to save on energy costs in the Netherlands [UPDATED 2024]

However, the coalition has agreed on one tangible target: they want to double the expected number of large nuclear power stations, increasing the number from two to four.

READ MORE | 9 surprisingly unsustainable Dutch habits 

So, nuclear energy is covered, but what about more sustainable options?

Well, heat pumps will not become mandatory as previously suggested, and subsidies for electric cars will be abolished next year — so we don’t have much good news for you.

Spending and governance

The agreement should also mean cuts totalling 14.7 billion euros per year, with expenditure (tax reductions and investments) reduced by 4.7 billion euros per year.

Has all this talk about targets already got you thinking about the next election?

READ MORE | The Dutch language guide to understanding Dutch politics

Well, one final major point from the agreement includes preparing a new electoral system for the House of Representatives.

So, by the time we know how successful these policies are, the way we vote next could change.


While these are the policies outlined by the new coalition government, it’s important to note that these may change as they try to put them into practice. 

That being said, you may want to strap yourselves in, it looks like it’s going to be a bumpy ride for internationals in the Netherlands.

What do you think of the new coalition and their agreement? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lottie Gale 🇬🇧
Lottie Gale 🇬🇧
Lottie joins DutchReview as an editorial intern after gaining a Bachelor’s in English from her native England. She continues to pursue all things literature in her MA Literature Today at Utrecht University. She is loving life here, and the ever-looming rainclouds often make it feel like a home from home. Lottie arrived to complete her studies and hone her writing skills — she’ll stay for the Dutch tranquility, tulips and tompouce.

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