The Dutch elections that took place on March 17th saw grood results for two of the political parties that currently form the ruling coalition: the liberal VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Liberal Democrats D66, led by current minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag. NABC congratulates these two parties.
Prime Minister Rutte’s VVD party has, together with the Christian-Democrats of the CDA, been instrumental in pushing for more government support in encouraging the Dutch private sector in becoming more active in Africa. The CDA, that initiated a parliamentary motion on this matter via the dedicated Members of Parliament Mustafa Amhaouch and Anne Kuik, lost 4 seats but is still the fourth-largest political party of the Netherlands after VVD, D66 and far-right winged PVV.
Prior to the elections, NABC noticed that three of the political parties called for more circular labour migration from outside the European Union. Both GroenLinks and the labour party (PvdA) mentioned that in their programmes, but both didn’t score very well. Labour held on to their number of seats, which were at an all-time low, while GroenLinks saw its number of seats halve. Just days before the elections D66 leader Sigrid Kaag and PVV leader Geert Wilders clashed hard during a debate, which mainly focused on D66’s stance on making it easier for African skilled workers to come and work in the Netherlands for a number of years.
The NABC, which carries out a pilot project whereby we actively link African talents to Dutch companies, in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), believes that circular labour migration from Africa can have tremendous benefits for African countries while helping fill labour shortages on the European continent at the same time.
Since the Netherlands is traditionally ruled by a coalition of parties, we are awaiting the coming weeks to see which new government will be formed. We do hope that the parties which have a clear interest in cooperation with the African continent on a fair and equal basis will be considered to take part in that. It is likely that the VVD and D66, as the two largest parties, shall start negotiations within the next few days.