The Progressive Post

🇳🇱 The Dutch Green-Labour alliance wins the European elections


Chair of the Labour Party (PvdA) in the Netherlands, professor of economic theory and policy at Radboud University, Netherlands

With a clear margin, GroenLinks-PvdA (the Green-Labour alliance) has become the largest party in the Netherlands in the European elections. We have shown that we can inspire people with a social and green narrative, which makes us very optimistic about the future.

In the Netherlands, the European elections took place at a pivotal moment. With a new right-wing cabinet about to be installed, the country is still feeling the effects of the parliamentary elections of November 2023. Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) secured nearly 24 per cent of the votes, marking a significant win for radical right-wing populism. Given that only six months had passed since these conservative and far-right sentiments were expressed, progressive forces were extra-motivated for the European elections. And the results were excellent: GroenLinks-PvdA (the alliance of the Greens and Labour Party) captured 21.6 per cent of the votes, declaring an electoral victory. This success can be attributed to GroenLinks and the PvdA joining forces, and mobilising the pro-European electorate to counter the Eurosceptic PVV. 

Our campaign focused on the close race predicted between PVV and GroenLinks-PvdA, emphasising the need to maintain stability and effectiveness in the European Union. The pro-European stance and background of GroenLinks-PvdA, led by former European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, likely contributed to voters’ confidence in our policy proposals. We are proud of these results as they highlight the strength of the Green-Labour collaboration, which should inspire progressive forces globally. The results also show that a progressive majority is still achievable despite rising far-right sentiment.

At the same time, the Dutch results of the European elections reveal some challenges. Firstly, although the PVV did not become the largest party, it grew by 13.5 per cent compared to five years ago. Secondly, the PVV’s electoral potential may be even larger, since over half of its supporters from the parliamentary elections abstained from voting in the European elections. Addressing these challenges will be a major focus for GroenLinks-PvdA in the upcoming mandate of the European Parliament. One common explanation for the rise of far-right parties like the PVV in Western Europe is worsening living standards and social security. Far-right populists like Wilders exploit this by blaming ‘cultural enemies’, such as immigrants, for economic problems. GroenLinks-PvdA will work on countering this narrative by offering convincing solutions to economic problems, particularly targeting the traditional working class.

Additionally, the political absenteeism of voters must be addressed. The disengagement of a significant part of the Dutch electorate from European politics highlights the need to regain their trust, especially among the traditional working class. Efforts must be made to increase ordinary citizens’ engagement with EU institutions. We need Europe more than ever. For our security, to ensure that everyone can live in freedom, and to tackle the climate crisis. We will build that Europe with full conviction in the coming period.

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