Blog Post

Dutch elections – anti-Europe lost, but did pro-Europe win?

The Dutch elections have ended in a race between the liberal party (VVD) and the social-democratic party (PvdA). The preliminary results indicate that VVD has 41 seats (up from 31) whereas PvdA has 39 seats (up from 30) out of a total of 150 seats. Especially the latter party has won while endorsing a pro-European […]

By: Date: November 9, 2012 European Macroeconomics & Governance Tags & Topics

The Dutch elections have ended in a race between the liberal party (VVD) and the social-democratic party (PvdA). The preliminary results indicate that VVD has 41 seats (up from 31) whereas PvdA has 39 seats (up from 30) out of a total of 150 seats. Especially the latter party has won while endorsing a pro-European agenda. The division of seats is such that PvdA and VVD are practically forced to enter into a coalition.

Many observers have concluded that the anti-European strategy of the right-wing populists (PVV) and the left-wing socialists (SP) has backfired and that pro-Europe has won. This observation, however, is too optimistic for two reasons. First, the main issue in the elections has turned out to be how to address the economic crisis. The perceived differences between the two parties lie in who they try to spare from budget cuts (e.g. low income versus entrepreneurs) where they want to invest (e.g. environment versus more roads) and what role they see for the government (e.g. more government and less market versus less government and more market). As left wing voters rallied behind the PvdA out of fear for four years of right-wing liberal government, in response right-wing voters rallied behind VVD out of fear for a four-year left-wing reign. So the vote can be interpreted as an almost equal split among the Dutch population on these issues instead of an endorsement of Europe.

Second, although the liberals have stated several times that Europe is important to them, they also claim an important contribution to Europe is to say no to Brussels. During elections, the liberals have claimed they will send no more money to Greece. In addition, they don’t want Brussels to have more power. At the same time, there is a big gap between the liberals and the social democrats on their ideas about the future of Europe. While the social democrats reject an austerity-only Europe, the liberals envisage a small Europe with strict budget rules. In the end, while Dutch voters may have accepted that Europe and the euro are in their interest, scepticism among Dutch voters on Europe remains strong. A new Dutch government will not be anti-Europe. But do not mistake the Dutch vote to be a pro-European one.


Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Anyone is free to republish and/or quote this post without prior consent. Please provide a full reference, clearly stating Bruegel and the relevant author as the source, and include a prominent hyperlink to the original post.

View comments
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Transition for all: equal opportunities in an unequal world

How inclusive is growth in transition countries? Post-communist countries are becoming more prosperous but many people are being left behind, risking setbacks in political and economic development.

Speakers: Heather Grabbe, Zsolt Darvas, Katarina Mathernova, Sergei Guriev and Jonathan Charles Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: December 7, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Game Over – The Inside Story of the Greek Crisis -Drawing the broader lessons for Europe

Solvay Brussels School and Bruegel are co-organizing an event at which George Papakonstantinou and André Sapir will discuss the Greek crisis and its social and economical impact over the last 6 years.

Speakers: André Sapir, Guntram B. Wolff and George Papakonstantinou Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 42 Brussels, 1050, Ixelles Date: December 6, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Pia Hüttl

Macroeconomics in the crossfire (again)

What’s at stake: After a first go at macroeconomics and its flaws a year ago, Paul Romer kicked off the debate again with a recent essay on how macroeconomics has gone backwards. The way that this debate, along with the debate of the role of economics in general, feeds into today's election woes, has also attracted attention in the blogosphere.

By: Pia Hüttl Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: December 5, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Silvia Merler

Financial implications of the Italian referendum

On Sunday, Italy will held a constitutional referendum whose implications for the political stability of the country are uncertain. Right after the referendum, Italy’s oldest and most troubled bank - Monte dei Paschi di Siena - is expected to complete a very important and sizable capital raise. Here we look at the situation and implications of this critical juncture.

By: Silvia Merler Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: December 2, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Labour mobility after Brexit

What will Brexit mean for the free movement of workers between the UK and the EU?

Speakers: Lindsey Barras, Zsolt Darvas, Jonathan Portes and Klaus F. Zimmermann Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: December 2, 2016
Read article Download PDF

Policy Contribution

pc-20-16_page_01European Parliament

What impact does the ECB’s quantitative easing policy have on bank profitability?

This Policy Contribution shows that the effect of the ECB’s QE programme on bank profitability has not yet had a dramatically negative effect on bank operations.

By: Maria Demertzis and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, European Parliament, Parliamentary Testimonies Date: November 30, 2016
Read article

Blog Post

Giuseppe Porcaro
hsbeziyq

Tweeting the Italian referendum: the hashtag war

We are monitoring an aggregate of twitter hashtags in the run up to the Italian Constitutional referendum of 4 December 2016.

By: Giuseppe Porcaro, Henrik Müller and Gerret von Nordheim Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 29, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Silvia Merler

The Italian referendum

What’s at stake: on 4 December, Italy will hold a referendum on a proposed constitutional reform approved by Parliament in April. The reform, which was designed in tandem with a new electoral law, aims to overcome Italy’s “perfect bicameralism” by changing the structure and role of the Italian Senate. It also changes the distribution of competences between the state and regions. After the shocks of Brexit and the US election, polls are now drifting towards a defeat of the government’s position in Italy.

By: Silvia Merler Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 28, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Upcoming Event

Jan
9
09:30

Can migration work for all in Europe?

On 9 January Bruegel together with the IMF is organizing a conference on migration and whether it can work for all in Europe.

Speakers: Jorg Decressin, Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, David Lipton, Alessandra Venturini and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Zsolt Darvas

Income inequality has been falling in the EU

The properly measured EU-wide Gini coefficient of disposable income inequality shows that inequality in the EU as whole declined in 1994-2008, after which it remained broadly stable. However, within the EU, there are large differences in income inequality which require policy action.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 23, 2016
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Pia Hüttl
Silvia Merler

An update: Sovereign bond holdings in the euro area – the impact of QE

Since the ECB’s announcement of its QE programme in January 2015, national central banks have been buying government and national agency bonds. In this post we look at the effect of QE on sectoral holdings of government bonds, based on our recently updated dataset.

By: Pia Hüttl and Silvia Merler Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 22, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Vision Europe Summit 2016

The 2016 Vision Europe Summit is titled "Redesigning European Migration and Refugee Policy" and will be held in Lisbon on 21-22 November 2016.

Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Lisbon Date: November 21, 2016
Load more posts