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The search for the new ministers can start with Dick Schoof and the four party leaders.

Foreign media, including Süddeutsche Zeitung, Politico, Nieuwsblad and the BBC, have reported extensively on this surprising choice. Schoof, known as a 'pure technocrat' with no political background, was put forward by Geert Wilders as the new leader of the country. This development marks a significant turning point in Dutch politics.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Schoof stated: “It will be a surprise to many that I am standing here. When I was asked for this position, I didn't think I would be here today.” With these words he emphasized the unexpectedness of his candidacy, something that has caused much discussion both within and outside the Netherlands.

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung describes Schoof as a non-politician who was found after a long and difficult search for a new leader. Schoof, 67 years old, is currently the Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice and Security and has in the past headed the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security ( NCTV). He played a crucial role as Director General of Police, where he merged regional police forces into a national police force. According to Wilders, this extensive administrative experience is exactly what the Netherlands needs.

Politico described how the choice of Schoof, a technocrat with no political background, is in line with the need for an experienced crisis manager in the Netherlands' current turbulent political climate. Schoof's previous positions as head of the AIVD and the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) underline his capabilities in the field of national security and crisis management. Politico also stated that Schoof, despite his lack of political experience, is seen as a stable and expert leader who can bridge the divisions within Dutch politics.

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Politico
Illustration: © Pitane Blue - Politico

In their article "Geert Wilders eyes former spy chief Dick Schoof as Dutch prime minister," Schoof was quoted during a press conference.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV), expressed his satisfaction with Schoof's candidacy. “I am happy and proud of this candidate,” Wilders said. “Schoof stands above the parties and has a lot of experience with important themes. All four coalition partners jointly chose him.” Dilan Yeşilgöz of the right-wing liberal VVD praised Schoof for his unifying qualities and called him a “very strong personality” who is able to keep the government together.

For the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Dick Schoof wasted no time in emphasizing that he will not be Prime Minister of Wilders but of all Dutch people. The top Justice official seems to fit Geert Wilders perfectly. He already drew a line in the sand. “I will become prime minister, I don't believe in Geert Wilders' line.” However, according to the newspaper, the past is an asset for Wilders. On Monday, Schoof put the finishing touches on the question of whether it will be Wilders' government or his. “There is only one prime minister and that will be me. I have been asked by four parties with a large majority in the House of Representatives,” he emphasized.

British broadcaster BBC noted that Schoof's nomination comes after 14 years of leadership by Mark Rutte. The four parties that form the new Dutch coalition chose Schoof, a former domestic intelligence chief, as their successor. Schoof has made it clear that he wants to be prime minister for all Dutch people, not just for the parties that elected him. Under the 25-page agreement between the coalition partners, it is agreed that the PVV and the three other leaders in the coalition will remain in parliament and not be part of the cabinet. About half of the ministers will be chosen from outside politics.

The coalition has committed to the “strictest asylum regime ever” and wants stricter controls on migrants and international students, as well as strict limits on family reunification for refugees. Wilders has abandoned some of his party plans, such as banning the Koran, before the elections, but is sticking to certain immigration policy points that will cause friction with some EU partners. The conservative-liberal VVD, the center-left New Social Contract and the BoerCurgerBeweging (BBB) ​​have expressed their support for this deal.

Schoof's appointment marks a new phase in Dutch politics, where technocratic expertise is combined with strong political cooperation. The near future will reveal how this unusual choice will unfold and what impact it will have on the Dutch political landscape.

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