Sunday

24th Jul 2016

Focus

Dutch eurosceptics defiant after EU vote

  • "You can still conclude that the old European politics is finished" (Photo: European Commission)

If “European dinosaurs” like Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz get appointed to top jobs in the European Commission and Parliament, then the European institutions are ignoring the voters of eurosceptic parties, said Harm Beertema, member of the Dutch parliament for the anti-EU PVV.

“If European politics wants to remain credible, then there should be some political consequence of the eurosceptic election result,” Beertema, the party's European affairs spokesperson, told this website.

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“What you see happening, is that incarnate federalists like Juncker and Schulz are ending up at spots where they should not be,” he adds.

Former Luxembourg PM Juncker is expected to be nominated president of the commission Friday (June 27) while Martin Schulz, a socialist MEP, is expected to be re-elected to the post of EP president.

“If the European Parliament and European Commission do that, then they are saying: I am emphatically going to stand with my back to the voters, I am pretending the new wind is not there and continuing my own divine way towards more federalisation.”

Beertema's party, PVV, did not do as well as expected in May's EU vote. It received four European Parliament seats, just like directly after the 2009 election.

Although the number of seats remained the same, the support from voters shrunk. The party received 13.2 percent of the votes in May, down from 17 percent in 2009. The share of votes was also less than in the most recent national elections in 2012, when the party secured 15.5 percent of the votes.

“Yes, well, I think that has to do with the political waves of the moment. In the end, we did not receive less seats,” says Beertema, who has been a PVV MP since June 2010.

“It goes up and down a bit and we have had some bad luck here and there. The next time we will have some more luck and we will end up with more [votes].”

Before the vote, PVV party leader Geert Wilders had declared it as “the most important election ever” and polls predicted a big win for the populist eurosceptics.

Beertema acknowledges the party did not manage to achieve the projected landslide. “But it is not as if we have been wiped out. You can still conclude that the old European politics is finished.”

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.

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