The Dutch Caribbean will get a State Secretary for Kingdom Relations in the new Dutch Government in the person of Raymond Knops of the Christian Democratic Party CDA, it was confirmed on Friday.
Knops (45) is a Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, where he has been active for 11 years. He is a member of the Permanent Committees for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. Knops is also a member of the Presidium, the Second Chamber’s daily management team consisting of the President and the deputy chairpersons. He studied at the Royal Military Academy in Breda, as well as public administration at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
He has been an Alderman and Deputy Mayor of the Municipality Horst aan de Maas and served in Iraq as a reserve officer for a few months before his appointment as Member of the Second Chamber in 2005. His motto stated on his personal page on the website of the Second Chamber: “Improve the world, start with yourself.” As State Secretary of Kingdom Relations, Knops will handle the relations with the Dutch Caribbean countries Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten, and the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba which together form the Caribbean Netherlands.
The name Kajsa Ollongren of the Democratic Party D66, Alderman and Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam, was mentioned earlier this week as the candidate to become the new Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations.
In the new cabinet, the portfolio Kingdom Relations will be covered by a State Secretary instead of a Minister as has been the case in the past seven years. The last State Secretary to hold this portfolio was Ank Bijleveld, who served from 2007 to 2010. Bijleveld, the current Commissioner of the King of the Province Overijssel, is the candidate to become the next Minister of Defence.
The list of 16 new Ministers and eight State Secretaries is now complete: Mark Rutte, Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs (VVD); Kajsa Ollongren, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations (D66); Hugo de Jonge, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports (CDA); Carola Schouten, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs and Agriculture (ChristianUnion); Wopke Hoekstra, Minister of Finance (CDA); Menno Snel, State Secretary of Finance (D66); Eric Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate (VVD); Mona Keijzer, State Secretary of Economic Affairs (CDA); Wouter Koolmees, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour (D66); Tamara van Ark, State Secretary of Social Affairs and Labour (VVD); Halbe Zijlstra, Minister of Foreign Relations (VVD); Sigrid Kraag, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (D66); Raymond Knops, State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations (CDA); Ank Bijleveld, Minister of Defence (CDA); Barbara Visser, State Secretary of Defence (VVD); Ferdinand Grapperhaus, Minister of Security and Justice (CDA); Sander Dekker, Minister of Security and Justice in charge of the jurisdiction (VVD); Mark Harbers, State Secretary of Security and Justice in charge of asylum affairs (VVD); Arie Slob, Minister of Education, Culture and Science (CU); Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education, Culture and Science (D66); Bruno Bruins, Minister of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports (VVD); Paul Blokhuis, State Secretary of Education (CU), Wellbeing and Sports (CU); Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Environment (VVD); Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary of Infrastructure (D66).
Formateur Rutte can now start the talks with the candidate Ministers and State Secretaries. “I am satisfied. It concerns intended appointments, but if everyone gets through, we will have a great cabinet,” said Rutte on Friday.
The new government is slated to be installed on Thursday, October 26.
The Daily Herald.