A “political earthquake” ahead of the European elections, a country at the crossroad between a pro-European coalition and an anti-EU stance, but no expectation that the Netherlands will leave the EU. These were some of the reactions in Europe after far-right PVV’s victory in the Dutch parliamentary election on Wednesday.
Responding to a question on the possible ‘Nexit’, a Dutch exit from the European Union which PVV’s leader Geert Wilders has called for, a European Commission spokesperson said on Thursday: “We never comment on the results of national parliamentary elections.”
He then added: “The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, a very strong member of our union. Elections take place at regular intervals in the member states. This does not per sé put in doubt in any way the membership of any country to the European Union. We continue to count on the Netherlands strong participation in the European Union obviously”.
Nevertheless, as Italian newspaper, La Stampa, pointed out, the Netherlands many now have now to choose between an anti-EU line and a pro-European coalition. There are also ramifications for next year’s European parliamentary vote.
Italy’s infrastructure minister Matteo Salvini, from the far-right League, congratulated his friend Geert Wilders on social media, saying “a new Europe is possible”, while far-right Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán said “the winds of change are here!”
France’s Marine Le Pen said Wilders “and his movement” are allies of the National Rally” (her party Ressemblement National). “Many people in Europe want to control massive and anarchic immigration, and challenge the current functioning of the EU,” she said in an interview on France Inter radio.
“I am optimistic,” she said. “It is possible to change the EU into a Union of European nations, which would allow to do together what we cannot do alone, while respecting the sovereignty of nations. We have the opportunity to change the majority in the European Parliament.”
The European parliament elections will take place in June next year. Within the political groups, Orbán’s Fidesz is member of the People’s Party, which groups Christian-Democrats and centre-right conservatives, while The League and Ressemblement National are members of the Identity and Democracy group, where other populist right parties are based.
This includes Germany’s AfD, Belgium’s Vlaams Belang, Austria’s FPO, Czechia’s Svoboda a přímá demokracie, Estonia’s EKRE and Denmark’s Dansk Folkeparti. The ID group currently holds 52 our of 705 seats in the European Parliament.
The PVV was a member of the ID group but no longer has any MEPs.
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