1st Apr 2023

MEPs unite over Dutch anti-immigrant hotline

  • MEPs united in condemning the anti-immigrant website set up by Geert Wilders' far-right party (Photo:

MEPs from across the political spectrum have united against an anti-immigrant internet hotline set up by the party of controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

Deputies from all political groups - aside from the nationalist EFD group - backed a resolution on Thursday (15 March) describing the website as an “ill-intentioned initiative aimed at creating divisions within the society and obtaining political gains to the detriment of workers from Central and Eastern Europe.”

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte came in for criticism too. Unusually, the reproach also came from fellow members of Alde group. Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt described Rutte's lack of action as "unacceptable," with the prime minister reliant on Wilders' PVV party for its majority in the Dutch parliament.

The resolution calls on the Dutch government to “condemn and distance themselves from this deplorable initiative.”

Wilders launched the "Meldpunt Midden en Oost Europeanen" hotline in February. It urges people to report complaints caused by the "massive labour migration" of "Middle or Eastern European citizens", in particular Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians. It asks whether potential complainants have experienced any problems in terms of antisocial behaviour or lost their job to migrants from the former Eastern bloc.

PVV MEP Auke Zijlstra insisted that the website was a necessary response to the effects of the 2004 EU enlargement, when eight former Eastern Bloc countries joined the EU, which he claimed had seen countries joining the EU "before they were ready".

"The Brussels elite are responsible for the importing of criminality from Eastern Europe" he said, adding that more than 100,000 people had accessed the website.

The PVV, which campaigns on a ticket of euroscepticism and hostility to immigration, has gained increasing support among Dutch voters in recent years, emerging as the third largest party at both the national and European elections.

The five MEPs elected under the PVV banner at the 2009 elections do not sit in any of the Parliament’s political groups,

It is unusual for Parliament resolutions condemning practices in an individual member state to be backed by all the main party groups.

Since the 2009 elections, attempts to back resolutions attacking Italy's former leader, Silvio Berlusconi, and Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, were defeated with the centre-right EPP and centre-left Socialist and Democrat group unable to agree a text.

EU funding for the far-right

Meanwhile, the Parliament's political group leaders have announced that they will launch a review of the financing of pan-European political parties, with a view to halting funds for far-right parties.

The agreement by the Conference of Presidents comes following outcry after it was revealed that a pan-European party including the far-right British National Party and its Hungarian counterpart Jobbik had received nearly €300,000 in EU funds.

The group leaders are likely to seek to amend the guidelines for funding so that eligible parties are required to observe the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law in the EU.

Dutch far right opens anti-Polish hotline

The Dutch far-right Freedom Party, a key ally of the centre-right coalition government, on Wednesday opened up a website to collect complaints about people from Central and Eastern Europe residing in The Netherlands.


Biden's 'democracy summit' poses questions for EU identity

From the perspective of international relations, the EU is a rare bird indeed. Theoretically speaking it cannot even exist. The charter of the United Nations, which underlies the current system of global governance, distinguishes between states and organisations of states.


Turkey's election — the Erdoğan vs Kılıçdaroğlu showdown

Turkey goes to the polls in May for both a new parliament and new president, after incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided against a post-earthquake postponement. The parliamentary outcome is easy to predict — the presidential one less so.

Latest News

  1. EU to press South Korea on arming Ukraine
  2. Aid agencies clam up in Congo sex-for-work scandal
  3. Ukraine — what's been destroyed so far, and who pays?
  4. EU sending anti-coup mission to Moldova in May
  5. Firms will have to reveal and close gender pay-gap
  6. Why do 83% of Albanians want to leave Albania?
  7. Police violence in rural French water demos sparks protests
  8. Work insecurity: the high cost of ultra-fast grocery deliveries

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWWEFBWW calls for the EC to stop exploitation in subcontracting chains
  2. InformaConnecting Expert Industry-Leaders, Top Suppliers, and Inquiring Buyers all in one space - visit Battery Show Europe.
  3. EFBWWEFBWW and FIEC do not agree to any exemptions to mandatory prior notifications in construction
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ways to prevent gender-based violence
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Economic gender equality now! Nordic ways to close the pension gap
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Pushing back the push-back - Nordic solutions to online gender-based violence

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us