Hugo van der Baar
Hugo van der Baar
Now that the scouts have also completed their work in Overijssel this week, it is more or less clear in all the provinces in which direction the formation of the regional executive is headed. As the largest party and the biggest winner in elections, the BBB sits at the negotiating table everywhere.
In recent weeks, the party has emphatically presented itself as a party of center, thus creating a comfortable starting position, so that work can be done “on the right” as well as on the “left”.
It shows that VVD and PvdA share formation in nine provinces, sometimes together. Remarkably, the CDA, estimated in advance as the most sensible partner for the BBB, was only invited to six counties.
Perhaps most surprisingly, GroenLinks was also allowed to participate in formation talks in six provinces. This is particular because the national nitrogen positions of GroenLinks appear to be inconsistent with those of the BBB. The party’s provincial leaders are aware of the differences, but say they are not excluding each other and will at least engage in talks.
There is no such guide for D66. The party is nowhere at the table.
This is how it stands in the different provinces:
Groningen is on its way to the board of directors of the BBB, PvdA, Groninger Belang and ChristenUnie, with 23 seats out of 43. The idea is that the BBB will provide two deputies, the other party one. Their names are already known. In addition, the BBB wants to appoint a sixth deputy, preferably politically neutral, especially for the gas problem.
Formateur Oebele Brouwer has devised that negotiations between the BBB, PvdA, CDA and ChristenUnie (together 25 out of 43 seats) will take place outside the door of the county government, in a pavilion on a lake near Drachten. “It should not be an ordinary meeting in the canteen of the provincial government building. It should be separate in an environment that invites you to do something new,” Breuer told Omrop Fryslân. Two members of parliament from each party will participate in the talks. The coordinator does not know how long it will take before an agreement is reached. “It would be nice if it didn’t take so long, but our first conviction is: It has to be right.”
Scout Astrid Nienhuis advised to work for the coalition of the BBB, PvdA, VVD and CDA (28 out of 43 seats). In the parliamentary debate on advice, it turns out that the VVD and the CDA are fully involved. PvdA leader Yvonne Turnhout described it as a “cautious flirtation, but we don’t know yet if it will lead to a lasting relationship.”
Oversil was the last to submit the Scouting Report this week. Just like in Drenthe, the BBB won 17 seats here and the party could easily form a 25-seat majority council with the VVD and CDA. But surprisingly, the scouts advise something completely different: BBB, VVD, GroenLinks, PvdA and SGP (30 out of 47 seats) with six deputies. BBB leader Carla Evers called the advice “unexpected, not counterintuitive, and certainly exciting.” The CDA, which has been involved in governance in Overijssel for many years, is on the sidelines, but keeps the door open. Since many parties did not know what BBB thought about topics other than cultivation, it was decided to first hold an intermediate round in which the two parties would get to know each other better.
In Gelderland there are still eight parties in the race for coalition negotiations. The BBB, CDA and VVD are exploring what this alliance should look like. This is done under the leadership of the former minister Ank Bielefeld. The talks are necessary because no clear coalition emerged from the first round. This is why the Engine Block Build with BBB, CDA and VVD. Together they do not have a majority and therefore other parties are needed. SGP, ChristenUnie, JA21 and PvdA are in the running for this one. Since PvdA has committed itself to GroenLinks, this party has not yet withdrawn.
Things are not going well in Utrecht yet. Explorer Danny de Vries demonstrated that no majority coalition is possible because the different parties are mutually exclusive. Under the leadership of former politician Anne-Lize van der Stoel, a new exploration has begun as BBB and GroenLinks (in Utrecht with seven seats of the same size) must come out with two of their own. After that, other parties can participate in the formation.
The advice in Flevoland is to go ‘to the right’. Talks are taking place between BBB, VVD, SGP, PVV and ChristenUnie, while JA21 is still on the reserve bench. Inside ChristenUnie there has been concern about the mix due to PVV’s involvement. The intended coalition has a slim majority: 21 of the 41 seats.
The four largest parties BBB, VVD, PvdA and GroenLinks will conduct an information tour to see if they can form a coalition. It would mean a majority of 30 out of 55 seats. “We are very curious about the thematic plans for the BBB in particular and realize that many more discussions will follow,” says GroenLinks. Former Secretary of State Anki Brokers-Knoll and former Mayor Bernt Schneider were appointed as informants.
In the south of the Netherlands, GroenLinks and PvdA are also on the table with the BBB and VVD, as well as the CDA, together well for 30 of the 55 seats. The talks are being led by former minister Ari Slub (Christian Union Party). His ambition is to finish the negotiations by mid-May. Until then, he wants radio silence.
Zeeland may come closest to a coalition agreement. The situation is clear: the BBB, CDA, VVD and SGP (together 23 of 39 seats) have been talking to each other since last week. There is already an agreement about the deputies: the existing deputies of the CDA, VVD and SGP will continue and the BBB will provide new staff. These are farmer Arnaud Weil and business consultant Wilfried Nehlen.
Formateur Pieter Verhoeve (Mayor of SGP in Gouda) has been speaking to the BBB, VVD, PvdA and GroenLinks (29 out of 55 seats) for a week now. If necessary, Local Brabant may join later to strengthen the majority by two seats. However, significant differences must be bridged, certainly in the field of nitrogen. For example, the BBB wants the July 1 deadline for a low-emissions barn to be put in place, but if it were up to VVD and GroenLinks, the nitrogen targets would still stand. PvdA wants it too, but realizes that it becomes more difficult if the talks drag on for a longer period. BBB leader Frenken was optimistic: “Let’s work in a good atmosphere. Letting each other do something is also part of reaching an agreement that allows you to move forward.” For now, there’s radio silence here, too.
In Limburg, a coalition of BBB, VVD, CDA, PvdA and SP is currently being run, with a majority of 26 out of 47 seats. Informants Jan Schrein and Petra Dassen will speak to these parties twice a week in the coming period to investigate whether they can reach an agreement in broad lines. Schrijen, who was also a scout, sees opportunities. “But if there is a lot of discussion later, I’m afraid we will still have to repeat it,” he told broadcaster L1. The aim is to reach an agreement by the end of June.
In collaboration with country correspondents from regional broadcasters.
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