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Euroskeptics won local elections in the Netherlands: Why is this important?

Author : Oleksandr Snidalov

The level of support for "Putin's friends" in the Netherlands did not increase much
21:37, 25 March 2019

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Yesterday we witnessed a sensation in the Netherlands. Remember the populists who launched a referendum against the Association Agreement of Ukraine with the EU in 2015? Since that time, these guys have grown significantly.

In the parliamentary elections of 2017, they decided to create their own political parties, several at once, in order to get into big politics on the hype of referendum battles.

The result was rather pitiful.

At that time, only one party has got to the parliament - the Forum for Democracy, and it took only 2 seats. Then it gave reason to talk about the sober look of the Dutch voters on politics and a decent level of critical thinking, which prevented the victory of populists. Mainstream right-populist PVV did not impress by its results too.

But now everything has changed. Local elections were held yesterday in the Netherlands. Their specificity is that, according to the 2017 amendments to the Netherlands electoral legislation, the Provincial Council, which is being created during local elections, will also form the Senate, the upper house of the Dutch parliament, on a pro-rata basis.

And the results of these elections can be called sensational in many respects. The newcomers of the Dutch politicians, populists from the Forum for Democracy, will have the largest number of seats in the Senate - 12, or rather the same number as the ruling VVD party took, and twice as many as yesterday’s leaders of the populist front in this country - the PVV party.

Related: Elections day: 6,000 law enforcers to maintain order in Ukraine


In general, all leading political parties suffered losses, except the Green-Lefts which almost doubled their results. This is in line with the West European trend of increasing Greens popularity. They are also strengthening their position in Germany, as the last elections in Bavaria demonstrated.

Those who are consistently interested in Dutch politics could predict a similar result, however, for the rest, it is out of the blue. The strength of the Forum for Democracy (FvD) is connected with the charisma of its leader Thierry Baudet, a journalist with the education of the historian and lawyer. Dutch-Indonesian origin did not prevent him from becoming a consistent opponent of migration.

Thierry, who is only 36 years old, is also a tough Euroskeptic. During the referendum on the Association Agreement, he was remembered by numerous anti-Ukrainian manipulations, and his proposals to forget about the Ukrainian Crimea created him the title of Putin’s loyal friend in the Netherlands.

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However, although the successes of the Forum for Democracy are surprising and disturbing, the overall picture of Dutch politics should not cause concern. The level of support for "Putin's friends" in the Netherlands did not increase much. The explosion of newbies popularity was only compensation for the decline in the results of such traditional allies of Russia as the socialists and PVV.

Therefore, it is possible to speak, rather, about the renewal of leadership in the Euroskeptic camp, where the more experienced Wilders ousted the younger Bode, who, by the way, very much resembles the new Austrian chancellor. A rather significant decrease in the results of the friends of Ukraine, the D66 party upsets us, however, the Green-Left, whose popularity has increased, is also quite favorable to Ukraine.

These results well illustrate the dynamism and flexibility of Euroskeptical pro-Russian politicians in the Netherlands: in response to the defeat of the PVV during the last parliamentary elections in a short time - in just two years, a radical update took place in the populist camp. And this update only gave its first convincing results.

On the examples of Macron, Kurz, Salvini, Baudet, we see how the demand for rejuvenation and changes in European politics is embodied in different countries.

Ukraine is no exception, and it may happen that very soon a young, charismatic person will also represent populists in our country.

Read original article at Oleksandr Snidalov page in Facebook

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