The new coalition in the municipal government in Groningen should include GroenLinks, ChristenUnie, D66 and the Labour Party.
Translation by Traci White
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that Ineke van Gent, the facilitator for GroenLinks for the coalition formation, has advised that the coalition should consist of left wing parties. The new council members will be sworn in as of 1 January.
If the coalition formation goes according to plan, they would have 25 seats, which is a solid majority: there will be 45 seats in the newly formed municipal council for Groningen, Haren and Ten Boer. The current coalition consists of D66 (Democrats 66), GroenLinks (Green Left), the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) and PvdA (Labour). The VVD was informed on Monday that they would not be included in the new coalition government. VVD alderperson and top candidate Joost van Keulen called the decision to exclude the VVD as “unwise and disappointing.”
An informateur or facilitator is a representative who speaks on behalf of one party, typically the one with the most votes, with the leaders of the other parties following an election to see if they could form a coalition. The informateur gives his or her advice to the party about the formation of the coalition, but is there to help identify points of agreement: coalition members have to agree to a platform of common issues and stances in order to govern.
Van Gent was selected to serve as informateur for GroenLinks in late November to help the party form a stable coalition focused on sustainability and inclusivity. Formateurs have been a part of Dutch politics since the ’50s, but the role is not formally legally defined. A formateur will work with the parties during the formal coalition formation process.
This story has been updated and corrected. More context has been added to explain what the position of informateur entails. The PvdA is also a part of the current government coalition in Groningen and has now been included in the relevant paragraph. We have also added translations of several political party names and made a distinction between “informateur” and “formateur”.