Schoof I Cabinet taking shape; Wilders meets with far-right leaders over EU cooperation

THE HAGUE - The Schoof I Cabinet is increasingly taking shape as more names of candidates for Minister and State Secretary posts leak to the press. On Wednesday, PVV leader Geert Wilders met with far-right leaders in Brussels to discuss cooperation in the European Parliament. 

Mona Keijzer confirmed that she would be the Housing Minister and Deputy Prime Minister for the BBB. Eppo Bruins told Nederlands Dagblad that he would be the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science for the NSC. Bruins was previously a parliamentarian for ChristenUnie, and party leader Mirjam Bikker expressed disappointment about his decision. 

Sources told the Telegraaf that Dirk Beljaarts, the retiring general for the hospitality association KHN, will be Minister of Economic Affairs on behalf of the PVV. 

Tax economist and former VVD member Folkert Idsinga will be State Secretary of Taxation under Finance Minister Eelco Heinen, ANP reported. It is not yet clear who will fill the second State Secretary position (Allowances) in the Finance Ministry. 

Sources told the news wire that Femke Wiersma, currently a BBB deputy in Friesland, will be the Minister of Agriculture, and Jean Rummenie will be the State Secretary. 

These names have not been officially announced and could still change in the run-up to the new Cabinet taking office. The appointment is only final once they’ve been sworn in by the King. 

On Wednesday, Wilders met with other far-right leaders in Europe at a hotel in Brussels. He spoke with Marine Le Pen of the French Rassemblement National, Matteo Salvini of the Italian Lega, and Tom van Grieken of Vlaams Belang, among others. They hope to “unite all center-right forces in a clear resistance to the left,” the Lega said after the meeting, the Volkskrant reports. 

Le Pen’s French Rassemblement National, Slavini’s Lega, and Wilders’ PVV belong to the radical right ID faction in the European Parliament. Le Pen has been seeking contact with other right-wing factions and parties, hoping to start one large far-right “super faction.” The PVV has also expressed interest in this. 

Wilders posted photos of the meeting on X, but said nothing about the broadening of their cooperation to which he previously alluded.