Sunday

27th May 2018

Focus

Dutch asked to declare their love for EU

  • Are the Dutch EU flag-wavers? Some think so (Photo: mooste)

The Netherlands might not be the first country where you would look for Europhiles. But they exist, according to a member of the Dutch parliament, Jesse Klaver. And he is calling on all pro-European Dutch citizens to have a "European coming-out" today (9 May).

The GreenLeft politician has written a pamphlet declaring his love for Europe. Klaver, 27, hopes that "all Europeans in the Netherlands" will sign the declaration, which has been published online.

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.

"We are coming out as proud Europeans," the pamphlet reads. "We are proud of Europe as a cultural and historical project. Proud of our women's rights and gay rights, the Eurovision Song Contest and 69 years of peace."

The statement ends with a declaration that 9 May is "Coming Out Day" for all Dutch that are proud of Europe.

May 9 is Europe Day, which marks the speech in which Robert Schuman, then foreign minister of France, proposed a European Coal and Steel Community.

In an interview on a Dutch talk show Thursday night, Klaver explained that he doesn't deny that the EU has its faults. "Sure, there are a lot of things that can be improved in Europe."

But he feels it is now time for a more positive note. "The debate is only about the negative sides and aspects of Europe, but it has brought us so many good things, and we tend to forget that," Klaver said.

The young MP has never hidden his affection for Europe. In an election debate in 2012 in Amsterdam, he defended European integration as a factor that has brought the continent stability and peace.

GreenLeft has four of 150 seats in the Dutch parliament and three seats in the European Parliament. It is doing well in the polls, but nowhere near as well as D66, the other outspokenly pro-European political party in the Netherlands.

Polls in the Netherlands translate support for parties to national parliament seats, and most grant GreenLeft about six. D66 has been polled as the largest party by some polls, sometimes sharing that position with the anti-EU Freedom Party (PVV).

According to the most recent Eurobarometer poll, 58 percent of the respondents from The Netherlands agreed with the statement 'I feel like a citizen of the EU' – although 92 percent feel more Dutch than European. (These percentages are close to the EU average.)

According to the same poll, 31 percent of the respondents from The Netherlands have a positive view of the EU, 32 percent have a negative view and the largest group, 37 percent, have a neutral view.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Italy set to pick eurosceptic finance minister
  2. UK foreign minister fooled by Russian pranksters
  3. Rajoy ally gets 33 years in jail for corruption
  4. Close race as polls open in Irish abortion referendum
  5. Gazprom accepts EU conditions on gas supplies
  6. Facebook tells MEPs: non-users are not profiled
  7. Commission proposes ending France deficit procedure
  8. UK households hit with Brexit income loss

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach