A test for the EU: what will happen to the extreme right in the elections in the Netherlands


Wednesday, March 15, in the Netherlands held parliamentary elections. Prime Minister mark Rutte said that his party’s victory can be a turning point with the rise in popularity of nationalist movements in Europe, such as the party of marine Le Pen in France and the “Alternative for Germany” in Germany. If you win the election nationalist Geert Wilders, then, according to Rutte, “the Domino principle will defeat the right-wing parties in the next elections in France, Germany, Italy”. “Look at the chaos that emerged after the British exit from the EU and the US elections, it is important to prevent this we have,” urges citizens Rutte (quoted by Bloomberg).

The threat of nationalist

150 seats in Parliament will fight a record number of parties — 28. However, the main battle during the campaign unfolded between the right-liberal “people’s party for freedom and democracy”, led by the current Prime Minister Rutte and anti-immigrant freedom Party of Geert Wilders.

Wilders Dutch press compares U.S. President Donald trump. 54-year-old politician like the us President’s campaign promises. He is harshly critical of Islam, wants to stop migration to the Netherlands not only Muslims, but people in Eastern Europe and hold a referendum on leaving the EU.

His main rival mark Rutte and his possible allies in the government in favour of maintaining membership in the EU and, until recently, a tolerant attitude towards migrants. However, since the beginning of the year Rutte stepped up the rhetoric against migrants. In your Facebook in late January Rutte wrote a statement in which he said that he understands the concerns of many citizens by the behavior of migrants, “who do not want to adapt in our country, criticize our habits and deny our values, attacking gays and shouting after women in short skirts”. “I understand those people who believe that if you deny our country, it is better that you leave the Netherlands,” wrote the Prime Minister. “Act normal or go home”, — said Rutte.

Rutte should public opinion to deter voters, but in the case of keeping the post of Prime Minister he can go from words to deeds and his policy towards migrants may intensify in the future, says the expert IMEMO Anna Nevskaya.

Rutte also took a hard line against Turkey. On 11 March, the Dutch authorities have denied boarding to the plane of the Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu, who wanted to be held in Rotterdam, the rally for constitutional reform in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted to this statement in which he called the Dutch “the Nazis and descendants of Nazis,” and demanded an apology. Rutte replied that he did not intend to apologize.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands went out on a condemnation of Erdogan, grabbing the baton from the right-wing radicals and including Wilders, fearing loss of votes, said the Deputy Director of the Institute of Europe RAS Vladislav Belov.

While the main rivals are almost equal. According to the poll Peil, 12 March, party leader Rutte, that are ready to vote the 16% of voters. Until recently, the leader of the polls was Geert Wilders. According to the survey Peil, his freedom Party and Pro-European party “Christian democratic appeal” tied for second place (15% and 14%, respectively). In the elections of 2012 the party Rutte scored 26% (41 seats in Parliament), its ally in the coalition, the labour Party got 24% (38 seats), the party of Wilders has received the support of 10% of voters and took 15 seats in Parliament.

Turkey vs Kingdom

Ankara imposed diplomatic sanctions against the Netherlands. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus March 14 announced the cancellation of all public high-level meetings and recommended that the deputies to dissolve the parliamentary friendship group with the Netherlands. The Turkish authorities also denied entry to the country, Ambassador of the Netherlands, who was on leave, and banned aircraft from the Dutch diplomats to land in Turkey or to fly through the airspace of the country. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out that could be followed by other sanctions, but economic constraints have not yet been introduced. Kurtulmus has promised to renegotiate agreements with the European Union, concluded last year involving the admission of refugees into Turkey.

A diplomatic row between the two countries broke out after Dutch authorities forbade the Turkish Ministers to speak at rallies in support of constitutional reforms in Turkey, which suggests the country’s transition to a presidential form of government. A referendum on this amendment is scheduled for April 16.

Who will form the government

The Netherlands has a proportional electoral system, therefore, for the formation of an absolute majority in the lower house of Parliament will need 76 seats. Given the large number of parties participating in the polls, it is unlikely that any of them will after the elections to win the support of voters, enough to form a government alone. The government will be a coalition, but which parties will build coalitions, while impossible to predict, says associate Professor of political science at the University of Leiden Volume Luvers in comments to The Washington Post.

In the current Parliament, the coalition was created between the right-liberal people’s party Rutte and the social democratic labor Party. Rutte has already said he would not team up with Wilders because of the extremely radical views of the latter. Alliance with Wilders refused the other party, so even if you get a good result in the elections, Wilders will not be able to form a government. Given the boycott by the other parties of the Party of freedom can be formed by the government on the basis of four-five parties, however, is to predict the composition of the participants earlier stated in the review of Carnegie Europe.

Topic of foreign policy, including relations with Russia and Ukraine, the campaign has raised a little, indicates Carnegie in the election review. However, the Minister of internal Affairs of the Netherlands Ronald Plasterk in January said that the governments of Russia, India and China had organized a hacker attack on the servers of the ministries and tried to gain access to classified government documents. To hacker attack could not affect the election results this year the counting of votes will be done manually. There is a stereotyped image of Russia as an unfriendly state, but none of the politicians of the Netherlands could not say which of the participants in the elections Russia wants to support, says Belov.

The outcome of the election depends the fate of the Association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. In April last year, the country held a referendum in which more than 60% of the population opposed the ratification of the agreement. After a long negotiation, in December of last year the EU adopted a special statement in which he indicated that the Association agreement with Ukraine will not give the country the status of a member or applicant for membership in the European Union, will not oblige the EU to grant Ukraine collective security guarantees and military assistance, and do not give Ukrainian citizens the right to live and work in the EU. After that, the lower house of the Dutch Parliament ratified the agreement, however, after the election, it must be approved by the Senate and signed by future Prime Minister.

With the participation of Angelica Basisin

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