Mark Rutte
Prime Minister, Minister of General Affairs

The Prime Minister presides over the Cabinet and is also Minister of General Affairs. He is accountable for the actions of members of the Royal House. He also has an active role in international affairs.

Mark Rutte
Image: Arenda Oomen

Head of the Cabinet

The Cabinet rules of procedure give the Prime Minister various powers. He sets the Cabinet agenda, chairs its meetings and monitors implementation of its decisions.

The prime minister may be represented in Cabinet meetings by the Deputy Prime Minister. Any minister serving as deputy prime minister does so in addition to their other duties and is generally a member of another political party in the governing coalition.

A press conference is held after the weekly Cabinet meeting, during which the Prime Minister explains government policy and discusses current political events.

Minister of General Affairs

The Prime Minister also heads the Ministry of General Affairs. The 1947 Constituent Instrument states that the Ministry is in charge of matters relating to general government policy in the Kingdom, where these are not expressly dealt with by other ministries. The Ministry's duties as described are hard to specify in detail but amount to responsibility for coordinating overall government policy.

The Prime Minister’s office is in the ‘Torentje’ (the ‘turret’), which is part of the Binnenhof complex in The Hague. The Prime Minister’s official residence is known as the Catshuis.

Accountability for the Royal House

The Prime Minister is the minister primarily accountable for the Royal House. He meets with the King once a week to discuss government policy.

International duties

The Prime Minister attends several international conferences each year and handles a wide range of bilateral international relations.

The European Council is a regular meeting bringing together the heads of government of the European Union member states, plus the Finnish and French heads of state and the President of the European Commission. Important European and international issues are discussed at European Council meetings, at which the Prime Minister is accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who has specific responsibility for European policy. The Prime Minister is accountable to Parliament for his actions as a member of the European Council.