Dutch News

2 May 2014

Like in many other European states there is a growing Doubtfulness about the EU in the Netherlands. Wilders wants to step out of the European Union and is leading the European elections polls and in reaction the Dutch cabinet created a list of subjects where Brussels should  not interfere with. But some say that through the economic crisis and handling the crisis Europe got a lot of attention, discussions and debates take place in all member states and citizens know a lot more about Europe. Will it be different this time?

The Dutch government created a black list of subjects where Brussels should not interfere and tries to persuade to back the idea. With the list the cabinet tries to prevent that the national authorities will have to transfer even more power to the European Union. The main fields where The Hague wants to keep in control are the social system, criminal law and taxes. Another reason why the to-do list is created is to take the wind out of the sails of the anti-European PVV, the party that leads the European elections polls. The minister of Foreign Affairs is positive about the chance other member states might be interested to join in the to-do list initiative, since the established parties in countries like France and the UK also are confronted with strong anti-European parties.


Preceding the European elections debates are organised throughout the Netherlands. At the Institute of International Relations Clingendael for example: 'The slogan for the 2014 European Parliaments’ elections 'This time it's different', but what’s so different this time? The EP has clearly gained more powers since Lisbon; European political parties have put forward candidates for the position of Commission president and Europe has become more economically integrated than ever. Not at all different is the way the elections for the European Parliament are organised: national political parties campaigning on the basis of national election programmes'. Other popular issue's in the European elections campaigns besides the economic crisis, are the tax evasion through letter boxes and the role of Europe in food safety.


A contributor of a Dutch blog site concludes that in many states there is a growing doubtfulness about the EU, but that through the Euro crisis Europe got a lot of attention. 'The fight against the crisis forced the EU, and especially the Euro countries to find often painful solutions together. Because of the crisis subjects like budget cuts, saving the banks, youth unemployment, financial transactions tax and wiretapping became popular amongst the Europeans citizens and media.' The writer explains that in general European citizens know a lot more about Europe and about other European states. 'The crisis discussion happened in all European states which is a nice step in the right direction. 'Correct information' that's the theme I would chose for Europe if I would be able to whisper something into the ear of the new chairmen of the EU parliament en Commission.'







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