Wednesday

31st Aug 2016

Focus

Dutch parties dress in same colours at EU level

  • Different at home but not so different in the EU parliament (Photo: European Parliament)

In a recent speech, Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld tried to distinguish her liberal-democrat party D66 from Liberal and Labour, the two parties that are currently in a national government coalition.

Speaking about the way forward for the European Union, she said: "Cosmetic changes, which Liberal and Labour suggest, are not enough. A new Treaty is needed."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The D66 and Liberal parties compete politically at the national level, but the five representatives of those parties all sit together in the European Parliament. The three D66 deputies and their two Liberal colleagues are part of the same political group – the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

And while they might snipe at each other at home, an analysis of their EU voting behaviour shows they are more alike than their domestic rhetoric might lead you to believe.

This website compared the voting behaviour of all 26 Dutch MEPs.

The comparison showed that D66 and Liberal are the two Dutch parties whose MEPs have the most similar voting behaviour.

One of the Liberal MEPs, Jan Mulder, has more in common with D66 MEPs than with his fellow Liberal. His voting pattern matches D66 MEP's In 't Veld (93 percent), Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (93 percent), and Marietje Schaake (92 percent) more than Hans van Baalen (82 percent) and his former fellow Liberal MEP Toine Manders (86 percent).

Manders was an MEP for the Liberal party since 1999, but he left the Liberal party in October last year. He hopes to be re-elected to the European Parliament in May as the delegation leader for 50PLUS, a party for elderly people.

Manders is still an independent member of the ALDE group and his voting behaviour still matches the remaining two Liberal MEPs with 88 percent and 86 percent.

And despite her speech distancing herself from the Liberals, In 't Veld also voted the same as Van Baalen and Manders respectively, 84 and 85 percent of the time.

The lowest percentage of overlap of votes between a Liberal and a D66 MEP is 83 percent, the highest - where an MEP from each party voted in the same way - is 93 percent.

Although none are as high, there are other Dutch parties whose MEPs also have similar voting patterns. The voting behaviour of the three Labour MEPs, for example, matches that of the three GreenLeft MEPs between 78 and 80 percent of the time.

The MEPs farthest away from each other are Auke Zijlstra – MEP for Geert Wilders' right-wing Party for Freedom – on one side, and the three Labour MEPs on the other. Only 20 percent of the votes that Zijlstra has cast were the same as those of the Labour MEPs.

The other Party for Freedom MEPs also vote in a distinct manner. The only MEPs that have voted the same way as them more than half of the time are former Party for Freedom MEP Daniël van der Stoep and the Christian Union's Peter van Dalen. Van Dalen votes the same as Party for Freedom members between 51 and 53 percent of the time.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EuridThe 2016 .eu Web Awards is a Chance to Make Dreams Come True so Vote Today !
  2. Nordic CouncilNordic-Baltic Co-operation Vital in Turbulent Times
  3. GoogleBrussels: Home of Beer, Fries, Chocolate and Google’s Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  4. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students to China for ICT Training
  5. EFASpain is Not a Democratic State. EFA Expresses Solidarity to A. Otegi and EH Bildu
  6. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  7. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  8. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  9. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Applies Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  10. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  11. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  12. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER

Latest News

  1. Verheugen did not think VW cheating was morally possible
  2. Greece and EU to tackle labour market reform
  3. EU's €13bn tax decision angers Ireland, US, and Apple
  4. EU and US continue trade talks despite French criticism
  5. UK cannot have and eat EU cake
  6. Apple ordered to repay a record €13 billion to Ireland
  7. End in sight for EU-Poland dispute, says deputy PM
  8. Turkey pledges loyalty to EU and Nato