The longest sitting prime minister of the Netherlands: Mark Rutte
Rutte is the sixteenth official prime minister of the Netherlands and the one who has been serving the longest. He is currently in his fourth term, but his first started in October 2010. But who is this prime minister, what does he stand for, and how did he get into the position he is in today?
Mark was born in The Hague on February 14th, 1967. He was raised as the youngest son in a family of nine. His father had three kids with a woman who died in a Japanese concentration camp. His second wife is Mark’s mom, and they had four children in total. Mark finished the highest high school education in the Netherlands and then studied history at the University of Leiden, which he graduated in 1992 (VVD, n.d.). He then started working in the Human Resources department of Dutch multinational Unilever (Andere Tijden, n.d.).
Besides working for Unilever, Rutte also started his career in politics. In 1983 he joined the JOVD, the youth party of the VVD. There, opinions were scattered. However, Mark made the organisation come together again and vote for his ideas. His talent for politics became apparent. In 2002, Mark became State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment and after that of Education, Culture and Science. In 2006, he became the leader of the VVD, after which he is elected prime minister in 2010 (Andere Tijden, n.d.).
The VVD is the reigning party in the Netherlands and the party where Rutte is the leader. The party is liberal, and among other things, they aim to give opportunities to entrepreneurs, inclusivity in the job market and a strong European Union to solve big issues (VVD, n.d.). During the last elections, the party had most of the votes, almost 23% of the total (Kiesraad, 2021).
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