GroenLinks-PvdA became the second largest political force in yesterday’s Dutch elections. But the high score of Wilders’ far-right PVV shows that conservatives and liberals legitimising the far-right is a threat to democracy.
While Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD (member of ALDE at EU level) had ruled out governing with the far-right, his party’s new frontrunner Dilan Yeşilgöz did not rule out a coalition with Wilders’ far-right PVV (member of ID). The fact that Conservatives and Liberals have opened the door to far-right parties, has led to the growth of these anti-democratic forces across Europe, and to Wilders gathering votes from the VVD and smaller Dutch right-wing parties.
Thomas Waitz and Mélanie Vogel, co-chairs of the European Green Party, comment: “Today, the VVD has a big responsibility when it comes to possible future government coalitions. Will they choose for a democratic coalition? Or will they embrace a coalition with a far right party that wants to kill climate policy, to leave the European Union, stop all support to Ukraine, and strip minorities in the Netherlands of their rights?”
“This election result is a stark reminder to all democratic and progressive-minded Europeans: the far right is a clear and present danger. But, never forget: democratic parties can fend off these attacks. In Spain and Poland, a massive mobilisation of citizens beat back the attack, resulting in a green and left-wing government taking office in Spain. All progressives and democrats must mobilise for the EU elections in June 2024.”
The statutes of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), of which the VVD is a member, state that its purpose and objective is to observe “the values on which the Union is founded, as expressed in Article 2 TEU, namely respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities”.
Mélanie Vogel and Thomas Waitz comment: “The fact that the VVD is even considering forming a government with a party that is against minorities, against Europe, against the rule of law, and against journalists is simply appalling. If the VVD goes into government with the far-right, ALDE should expel the party from its membership for clearly violating its most important statutes”.
The Dutch member party of the European Green Party, GroenLinks, ran in the GroenLinks-PvdA alliance, second with 25 seats in parliament. Mélanie Vogel and Thomas Waitz conclude: “Their second place is a strong result and shows that not all Dutch citizens want a turn to the right. A strong and democratic EU is needed in 2024, with an ongoing climate crisis and possibly Trump as a US presidential candidate. Let’s have the courage to stand up and defend our democracies against the far-right. We will need all democrats and progressives to mobilise and vote in the European elections in June, to prevent a return to the darkest chapters in European history”.