Saturday

30th Jul 2016

Netherlands' Geert Wilders cuts up EU flag

Scissors in hand, anti-EU nationalist Geert Wilders of the Netherlands on Tuesday (20 May) vandalised the European Union flag in front of the European Parliament in Brussels.

In a publicity stunt amid the dozen or so cafes at Place Luxembourg, overlooked by the parliament’s tall glass structures, Wilders cut out a yellow star before unfolding the Dutch flag in its place.

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.

  • Geert Wilders cuts a star out of the EU flag (Photo: EUobserver)

The nationalist, who runs the Dutch Freedom Party, is convinced he will be able to form a new group of eurosceptic MEPs following the upcoming European Parliament elections. He wants the Netherlands to leave the Union, regain its sovereignty, and shut down its borders to asylum seekers.

His other goal - to pull apart the EU from within by forming the anti-EU faction in parliament - will require at least 25 MEPs from seven EU member states.

Wilders says he will be meeting with other eurosceptic politicians next week in Brussels to work out a deal.

“It is our task to try to work together to overstep our differences, to not get into fights about our leadership, to overstep ‘our shadows’ as we say in the Netherlands,” he said.

He was short on details.

He would not say which parties he will meet, but noted he intends to get Ukip leader Nigel Farage to sign up along with Marine Le Pen from France's National Front.

Wilders has yet to meet or discuss the proposal with Farage, but said like-minded parties from the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands have more in common than they do differences.

Farage, for his part, has vowed never to join forces with Le Pen, branding the French national's party anti-semitic.

“I know he is very sceptical about working together, maybe not so much towards my party but more to the party of Mrs Le Pen,” said Wilders.

He added: “I don’t know if it will work, I think I should try, we should try and of course at the end of day, it is up to Farage himself to decide whether he would want to or not.”

Asked if he would be able to form a group without Farage’s support, Wilders said Yes.

“I think it will be possible but hey it’s better to have even more than seven [member states] so let’s not aim at the minimum but go for the maximum,” he noted.

Recent poll results for Farage’s Ukip give contrasting results ahead of the 22 May elections.

One poll by ComRes says Ukip is ahead with 35 percent, while another by ICM says it slipped to third place behind the Conservatives.

A TNS-Nipo poll from 14 May puts Wilder's PVV third place at 11.9 percent.

EU free movement must be curbed, UK says

British leader Theresa May has said free movement of EU workers to Britain cannot continue as in the past, while visiting Slovakia and Poland on Thursday.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?
  2. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen: I Condemn All Threats to Turkey's Democracy
  3. GoogleHelping Emergency Services Find You When You Need It Most
  4. Counter BalanceWhat's New in the Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  5. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016
  6. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  7. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  8. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  11. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  12. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children

Latest News

  1. Terrorism and migration top EU public's concern
  2. Spain's Rajoy warns of minority rule
  3. Car lobby complained about emissions tampering by others
  4. Critical IMF report heralds new Greek bailout battle
  5. EU free movement must be curbed, UK says
  6. EU political pressure alone cannot save the rule of law
  7. Merkel: Attacks won't change refugee policy
  8. EU-Turkey relations after the coup