Kroes criticises lack of European vision

EU competitition commissioner Neelie Kroes is highly critical of Holland’s politicial parties which, she says, fail to give enough attention to Europe in their election manifestos.

In today’s Telegraaf, Kroes says the Dutch ‘no’ vote in the EU consitution referendum is being used as an excuse for ministers to bury their heads in the sand and duck out of any further debate on the future of the EU. ‘In the Queen’s speech, it was said the the EU is not a priority… but if we do not talk, then decisions will be taken for us,’ Kroes is reported as saying. The Dutch voted 61% against the European constitution last year, a vote which analysts said revealed the huge gap between the political elite and people on the street. Since then, the issue of ‘Europe’ has taken a back seat and has hardly been mentioned in the election campaign, she says. Kroes, a former Dutch MP and transport minister, also criticises her own Liberal (VVD) party for saying nothing about the EU in its election manifesto. ‘You just can’t do that,’ she told the Telegraaf. Labour (PvdA) and the Christian Democrats (CDA) are hardly any better, she added. ‘It is very short-sighted. Not only is everyone asking me if a pro-paedophile party is really going to take part in the elections, but they are also puzzled by the passive Dutch stance on Europe,’ Kroes says. ‘Terrorism, energy policy, illegal immigration and world trade can only be dealt with at a European level.’

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation