New Volt senator doesn’t live in the Netherlands


Pro-European party Volt will be represented in the senate by one person who lives in Ireland and has a pied-a-terre in Brussels but no home in the Netherlands, the Telegraaf has reported.

Eddy Hartog was unexpectedly chosen as one of two Volt senators and says he has no plans to move to the Netherlands to fulfill his one day a week role. 

“The only national vote I make use of is in the Netherlands. I don’t do it in Belgium or Ireland,” Hartog, who has an Irish wife, told the paper. Hartog worked as a civil servant at the European Union for 33 years.

Volt had been expected to win one seat in the senate but picked up a second when Zuid-Holland GroenLinks councillor Debora Fernald voted for the party rather than her own, out of frustration at the way she had been treated. 

Fernald, who said she had no idea what her vote would mean, inadvertently denied GroenLinks an eighth senate seat and has now been kicked out of the party. 

Hartog told the AD he is extremely happy to have the senate seat, and will be sworn in with the other 74 senators on June 13. 

He will then travel by train between Brussels and The Hague to perform his duties every Tuesday. As a senator, Hartog is entitled to €3,600 a year in travel expenses and a further €16,000 to help pay for his accommodation. That comes on top of the €34,000 a year that a senator earns. 

Hartog said his situation had been discussed “at length” within the party and “we don’t see this as a problem”.

“There are advantages to my living abroad,” he told the AD. “My party leader lives around the corner in Tha Hague but in terms of content, it is useful to know what is going on in other countries. And Volt is a pan-European party after all.”

Local and provincial councillors are expected to live in the area they serve.

Dutch News has asked Volt to comment.

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