Former MEPs find it hard to get a job

European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in BrusselsJust one of the 14 Dutch members of the European parliament who lost their jobs or resigned last year has a new, full-time position, the NRC said on Monday.

Auke Zijlstra, who represented the anti-immigration PVV in Brussels, is now a full-time member of staff for new PVV European parliamentarian Hans Jansen. Two others – one PVV MEP and one Socialist – both had a guarantee from their former employer they could return to their old jobs.

MEPs who only served one five-year term in Brussels will no longer be able to claim unemployment benefit from next month. ‘I’m trying really hard to find a job but it is not simple,’ former Labour MEP Thijs Berman told the paper.

Some MEPs have part-time work as consultants while Corien Wortmann, who represented the CDA, is chairwoman of civil service pension scheme ABP three days a week.

Former MEPs are entitled to one month’s salary for every year they spent in Brussels, with a minimum of six months and maximum of 24.

Employer are ‘not exactly waiting for former politicians,’ Toine Manders, who represented both the VVD and 50Plus in Brussels, told the NRC.

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