Policy Update

Dutch Cabinet disagrees on forthcoming ODA funding decisions

The parties within the Netherlands' ruling coalition were unable to reach a consensus regarding the Netherlands’ ODA budget and unable to agree on what to do with the advice of the Advisory Council for International Relations (AIV), which suggested the government add an additional €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) to support the most vulnerable countries in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

The disagreement centered on the link between the Netherlands’ ODA spending and the country's domestic economic growth. Given that the Netherlands' economy is shrinking as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Democrats 66 (D66), and ChristianUnion (CU) want to eliminate the link between the country's gross national income (GNI) and ODA. This would automatically prevent an estimated 10% cut into the 2020 ODA budget. However, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) wants to maintain the policy, as it was part of the Coalition Agreement.

The parties are also in disagreement on whether to act on the AIV's advice and to allocate an additional €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) in ODA to support countries in dealing with COVID-19. The CDA, D66, and CU are in favor of this allocation, while the VVD is more reluctant.

The final discussion to reach an agreement on the GNI/ODA link and on the advice of the AIV will likely take place in August, together with the 2021 budget discussions.

News article - NOS (in Dutch)