Saturday

24th Jun 2017

Focus

Almost half of Dutch want to limit EU powers

Barry Madlener of the far-right party, PVV, yesterday asked his colleagues in the Dutch parliament: "Do you want more or less European Union?"

The answer was an awkward silence.

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.

  • Dutch PM Rutte (l) acknowledges that EU reforms are necessary (Photo: spitsnieuws.nl)

The phrasing Madlener used was loaded because his leader, Geert Wilders, recently asked a crowd in the Hague if they wanted "more or fewer Moroccans" in their city and in the Netherlands.

The crowd's chanting of "Fewer! Fewer!" and Wilders' reply – "We'll take care of that" – have been widely criticised.

Madlener posed his question, which he said was not meant as a joke, during an annual day-long debate in national parliament on the state of the European Union. He was an MEP prior to becoming a member of the national parliament in 2012.

Madlener then proceeded to answer his own question.

"This house chooses more Europe, while most people in the country are done with Europe," he claimed. In his hands was a copy of yesterday's newspaper, De Volkskrant, which carried the poll showing that a majority want to curb European cooperation.

Of those polled, 21 percent wanted the Netherlands to leave the EU, while 47 percent wanted to curb EU powers.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte acknowledged that EU reforms are necessary, but pointed out that the poll results can also be viewed positively.

"Eighty percent want the Netherlands to remain a member of the European Union," he said.

Members of the Dutch parliament debated this year's 'State of the European Union', an annual government document with a vision of European cooperation.

This is the third edition and it was published in February.

In it, the Dutch government write that EU cooperation has "shortcomings" which need to be addressed, but that European cooperation is "essential" for the Netherlands.

"Our country would be worse off outside of the EU," it says.

Dutch euroscepticism moves mainstream

Dutch voters critical of the European Union will have an array of parties to choose from when they go to the polls in next month's EU elections.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit