• Thomas Yaw Voets

Mark Rutte’s imminent European Union leadership opportunity

Mark Rutte - also known colloquially as Teflon Mark - is a force to be reckoned with, both inside and outside the Netherlands. His People's Party for Freedom and Democracy has emerged from the general elections as the largest party in the Dutch parliament, meaning that the 54-year-old Rutte will be first in line to form the country's next governing coalition and begin a fourth term in office. This makes him the longest-serving Dutch prime minister, overtaking the 12-year tenure of Ruud Lubbers.[I]

On the European scene as well, Rutte is due to prolong his membership in the European Council - making him one of the most experienced members in the collegiate body that defines the overall political direction as well as the priorities of the European Union. With Angela Merkel stepping down from her Chancellorship in September, and Emmanuel Macron’s re-election being at stake in 2022 - this is a fact that will certainly be considered in the next European Council meetings. Expect Rutte to return as an emboldened and increasingly assertive leader. And, in doing so, perhaps establishing himself as the new leading figure within the European Union.

Rutte’s domestic domination