Friday

21st Jul 2017

Focus

Wilders says he wants to take up EP seat

  • Geert Wilders - critics say this latest move is just a publicity stunt (Photo: Roel Wijnants)

Geert Wilders announced Tuesday (10 June) that he has started a legal procedure to take up his seat in the European Parliament without having to give up his seat in the Dutch national parliament.

Such a 'dual mandate' is currently not allowed under EU law.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Wilders, who was 10th on his party's list at the ballot, received 289,000 preferential votes in the recent European Parliament elections, more than his party's proposed delegation leader Marcel de Graaf.

The PVV won four of the 26 Dutch seats.

On the basis of the number of preferential votes, Wilders has the right to take up a seat in the European Parliament and he told the Electoral Council on Tuesday he accepts that seat.

However, the populist politician does not want to give up his seat in the Dutch national parliament, which he has held almost continuously since 1998.

While dual mandates used to be legally possible, a member of the European Parliament may no longer also have a seat in the national assembly.

Geert-Jan Knoops, Wilders' lawyer, has requested the Court of Justice to annul the 2002 decision by the European Union on these so-called 'dual mandates'.

The rules of procedure of the European Parliament state that until a dispute has been resolved, elected members “shall take their seat in Parliament and on its bodies and shall enjoy all the rights attaching thereto”.

Secretary-director Melle Bakker of the Dutch Electoral Council estimates that the court procedure might take as long as six months.

“That could mean, unless we have misread the rules of procedure, that Wilders could at least combine these two positions for some time”, Bakker said in a radio interview on BNR.

An EP spokesperson said holding two mandates simultaneously is illegal.

"Following the European law, it is not possible at all because the European act on the European elections, it's quite clear forbidding the double mandate," said Jaume Duch.

"So, No, following the European law you have to choose, but you cannot be at the same time at the national parliament and at the European Parliament," he added.

The eurosceptic PVV wants to abolish the European Parliament and wants the Netherlands to exit the European Union.

Wilders has tried a dual mandate in the Netherlands before. He was elected in the municipal council of the Hague in 2010, but he gave up that seat after 16 weeks. In March, before the elections, Wilders had said in an interview that he did not want to take up a seat in the European Parliament.

Questions have been raised how serious Wilders is in his attempt at keeping both seats. Critics have suggested that it is a publicity stunt as his party did less well than expected in the May EU vote.

No criticising Russia

Wilders was in the news on Tuesday for another reason too.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that Wilders has asked his fellow party members not to be too critical of Russia.

The newspaper wrote that Wilders wants a moderate tone towards Russia because of the PVV's attempts to co-operate with the French National Front, which is friendly towards the party of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Wilders' party suffers blow, according to exit poll

Geert Wilders Freedom Party lost almost five percent of its votes compared to 2009 while the pro-EU D66 emerged at the top, according to exit polls for the EU vote in the Netherlands.

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.

Cameron mends ties with Juncker

British PM Cameron has reached out to Juncker, after having failed to prevent his nomination as European Commission chief.

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. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary