This week we discuss the Dutch provincial elections which saw a far right euroskeptic party come out on top. No not that one, there’s a new one! They’re less wacky and more sinister.

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Show Notes

Nonsense Section

Orban might get away with it

Orbán and his Fidesz party got “suspended” from the EPP over being antisemitic and anti-Luxembourgian (www.politico.eu. )People are confused as to why they’re suspended and not simply removed… It’s not like they had a lot of power in the party as it was so removing their internal voting rights isn’t really much of a punishment. Journalists laughed when Orbán said he didn’t even run an “anti-Junker poster campaign” since they were merely providing objective information… Old Maccey got in on it by saying the EPP has clan mentality (www.politico.eu )- I’m assuming he means in the 00s online gaming way ——– www.eurotopics.net

Brexit is an Illusion

www.theguardian.com

Macedonia can EU?

##North Macedonia EU-membership talks set for June

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday that the bloc aims to approve membership talks with North Macedonia in June. “Our joint objective is to have a green light in June to start negotiations” she said following a joint meeting in Brussels. Macedonia was granted EU candidate status in 2005 but a name dispute with Greece blocked the launch of membership talks with both the EU and Nato.

euobserver.com

Open Fire Command

In a radio interview, General Bruno Leray said the military has been given “strictly fixed” instructions, but could “go as far as to open fire” if lives were under threat, France Info reports.

Several thousand soldiers from Opération Sentinelle, a French military operation deployed following the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks, will be stationed outside numerous official sites during Saturday’s demonstrations — the 19th weekend of street protests by the broad anti-government movement.

www.politico.eu

Nordic Debate

www.norden.org

Ahead of this year’s election for the European Parliament, on 8 April in conjunction with the Nordic Council’s Theme Session in Copenhagen, the Nordic Council will bring together candidates from the three Nordic EU Member States to take part in a joint debate for the very first time.


Topic 1

Move over 90s Bond Villan, it’s time for modern Bond Villan in Dutch politics

Remember when Geert Wilders was the man we all feared would become too powerful in Dutch politics? Also remember when that didn’t really happen and Rutte was just PM again… well a fun newer, shinier, less greasy Dutch anti-migrant party has just won the provincial elections ——————- en.wikipedia.orgwww.politico.eu

Forum for the what now?

Democracy apparently (en.wikipedia.org. )They’re fun, eurosceptic and hate “multiculturalism” (I recall this used to be a thing in the UK when we weren’t just talking about Brexit all day).

Their leader Thierry Baudet is certainly a less obviously sinister figure compared to Wilders but is pretty extreme, in some ways more so (en.wikipedia.org )

To give an idea of what this guy’s deal is:

“We are standing amidst the debris of what was once the greatest and most beautiful civilization the world has ever known,” he said, adding that “we are undermined by our universities, our journalists … and administrators.”

… guy knows how to celebrate a victory

Provincial Elections?

The provinces vote on members of the Senate - which based on these results will mean Rutte’s government will lose their Senate majority (well the majority of their coalition). It’s unlikely to bring down the government but it will be difficult to pass laws - the Senate can reject but not amend. It’s supposed to serve as a “how does this relate to Dutch law” body - not a legislative building body.

Things like you know…

  • working with the EU
  • climate change
  • anything not anti-migrant enough

will find a tougher time getting through

Utrecht attack context

All the other parties suspended campaigning in the wake of the murders - a pretty standard response so as to not be seen to use it for your political benefit either way.

Thierry Baudet thought it was a good time to blame the government’s migration policies (www.reuters.com )

Caveats

The Green Left also made big gains - which is contrary to the message of anti-climate spending from the Cool Guys Democracy Forum. This could end up with Rutte having to work with the Greens to get things through the Senate which will only make their legislation more environment friendly.

It’s also not like the VVD got wiped out. They still ended up with 80 provincial seats across the country. So in some ways this is not dissimilar to the general election where the global press flocked in to see Wilders do well - and then be confused as to why he ended up with no power in the legislature. Dutch politics be fragmented. FvD won 86 seats out of 570 across the country - on a turnout of 54%.

Probably one to watch for the EU elections though - they’re trying to join the ECR apparently (or whatever replaces it!)