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Watch out Brussels, Geert Wilders’ new Dutch government is coming

The far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders should become part of the Dutch government "and the shockwaves won't take long to hit the EU machine in Brussels.," writes Politico.

Izvor: Politico

Watch out Brussels, Geert Wilders’ new Dutch government is coming


After six months of wrangling and painful negotiations, the Netherlands finally has a governing agreement for a new right-wing ruling coalition. 

On the way to the prime minister's chair, Wilders, it is true, softened some of his toughest anti-Islam policies, and his earlier pitch for a referendum on leaving the EU, in an effort to reach an agreement to share power with other parties

But Brussels is still braced for a shock

If the coalition deal is confirmed, a new government will star Wilders' far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) along with the center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the right-wing populist Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) and the centrist New Social Contract (NSC). It is unlikely to represent business as usual.

The most immediate headache for the EU establishment will likely be the new Dutch migration plans. The coalition wants to have the "strictest asylum policy ever" via a temporary crisis law. It wants to opt out of certain EU migration rules, setting The Hague on a collision course with Brussels, which has just agreed a new pact on migration and asylum.

A second thorny issue is enlargement of the 27 country bloc. The Netherlands was already one of the stricter players in the EU, arguing that countries should move toward European accession based on internal reforms, not geopolitical considerations. 

The new coalition will focus even more on this merit-based process. That's potentially bad news for countries like Ukraine, which has been pushing for a fast track to EU membership, but also everyone else who is waiting in line to join..

There are also wider political implications.

Wilders’ Euroskepticism and fiscal frugality will tie the hands of the new Dutch prime minister and Dutch diplomats in the EU — who have a reputation for punching above their nation's weight in the negotiating room.

They're unlikely to have the same flexibility to wheel and deal as under outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, such as on joint borrowing for defense or expanding the EU’s upcoming budget.

Rutte was already known as “Mr No” in Brussels for opposing EU joint borrowing in any form. Things will only get worse with Wilders as kingmaker of the new Dutch government.


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