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Dutch coalition cabinet slims down bureaucracy

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE – Dutch governments have attempted to slim down the country’s bureaucracy for some years already but usually failed to accomplish this goal. The current coalition led by Premier Mark Rutte of the conservative liberal faction VVD (the D66 being the progressive liberal variety) has undertaken a multifaceted approach to achieve this objective: allow a smaller bureaucracy along with department mergers less office space. The drive for smaller is better also targets a slimmer Second Chamber (from 150 to 100 seats) and First Chamber (75 down to 50 seats). The latter plan actually requires constitutional changes, with simple majorities in both chambers now to be ratified by a two-thirds plurality after the next elections. This objective is a reversal of a postwar development which saw an increase in the number of seats in both chambers. The current cabinet already is the smallest in decades.