Tag Archives: Mark Rutte

Brexit: EU27 Political Declaration

The European Council (Article 50) on 13 December 2018 adopted conclusions on Brexit.

1. The European Council reconfirms its conclusions of 25 November 2018, in which it endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and approved the Political Declaration. The Union stands by this agreement and intends to proceed with its ratification. It is not open for renegotiation. 

2. The European Council reiterates that it wishes to establish as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future. It stands ready to embark on preparations immediately after signature of the Withdrawal Agreement to ensure that negotiations can start as soon as possible after the UK’s withdrawal.

3. The European Council underlines that the backstop is intended as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland and ensure the integrity of the Single Market. It is the Union’s firm determination to work speedily on a subsequent agreement that establishes by 31 December 2020 alternative arrangements, so that the backstop will not need to be triggered.

4. The European Council also underlines that, if the backstop were nevertheless to be triggered, it would apply temporarily, unless and until it is superseded by a subsequent agreement that ensures that a hard border is avoided. In such a case, the Union would use its best endeavours to negotiate and conclude expeditiously a subsequent agreement that would replace the backstop, and would expect the same of the United Kingdom, so that the backstop would only be in place for as long as strictly necessary.

5. The European Council calls for work on preparedness at all levels for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes.

Rutte lures Macron to join European Liberals

The EU politicians discuss the decision of French President Emmanuel Macron to join Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in upcoming European elections. (Image: illustration).

A game-changing alliance led by French President Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Rutte is aiming to redraw the European political map to unite the liberal camp for next year’s European Parliament elections” – says Alfons Lopez Tena in his micro blog.

However not everyone understand the move. “I wouldn’t consider Mr. Macron a free market liberal when it comes to EU policy”, writes Pieter Cleppe from ALDE, who assesses the alliance as “wired‘, but nevertheless is “happy to meet” the French ruling party in the ranks of Liberals ahead of elections campaign.

 

Dutch Parliament blocks Albania EU accession talks

The Netherlands is blocking the opening of negotiations with Albania on joining the European Union. A majority of the House of Representatives gave a clear opinion to the upcoming meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels on June, 25.

The decision did not come as a surprise, because Dutch lawmakers have already expressed serious concerns with organised crime and corruption in Balkan country.

“We have serious concerns about the fight against corruption and organized crime,” said Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok. “More progress needs to be made on these points first.” However Blok does not close the door for Albania to join the EU in the future.

The parliamentary factions of VVD, CDA, CU, PVV, SP and 50Plus are “forbidding” the government to agree on negotiations with Albania on accession, The Telegraaf newspaper reports.

Three of the four government parties, including liberal-conservative VVD, the party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as well three opposition parties, have indicated that the progress of the Albanian government has not been sufficient to discuss the opening of negotiations. Subsequently Rutte has no mandate to accept the talks opening during upcoming European Council the end of this month, as it was previously planned by the EU officials.

The situation with Northern Macedonia (Severna Makedonia) is complex due to the name change, but there is no similar block imposed to restrict Rutte movements.

However there is a word in Brussels, that contrary to the EU officials plans, Austrian government will block the accession talks with N.Macedonia.

Albania occupies 91 place among 180 countries in corruption index of Transparency International.

 

 

 

Dutch enter coalition limbo

There is no ‘absolute’ winner in Dutch general elections as the three leading parties together received less than half of the votes. The  situation is not an easy one for forming a functional coalition government. Mark Rutte is not new to Dutch politics, subsequently he is expected to carry on the task of creating a coalition, but he needs the support of at least three partners to achieve a majority, meaning they will have to patch the differences over taxes, healthcare, and the other issues sensitive to their retrospective electorates. In view of these difficulties  the Netherlands enters an extended period of uncertainty, when neither of political forces is appealing enough to the majority of the citizens, and none of the political party can take a lead, without sacrificing a chunk of their integrity.

In this blurred atmosphere the so-called ‘victory’ of  the centre-right Mark Rutte (VVD), as much as the ‘loss’ of the right, or so-called ‘populist’  Geert Wilders (PVV) are equally ephemeral,  because unlike two-party system with  clearer benefits for the  winner, the coalition government is at most difficult form of organization to  introduce any  change.

The celebrated by the Eurocentrics ‘loss’ of Wilders has two major reasons: the accidental – the poring water on Turkish rioters in Rotterdam impressed some part of electorate to extend they recognized Rutte as a strong man, able to protect the population from the negative impact of mass-migration.  The other element has deeper roots – Wilders repeats a mistake of many, attempting to do good to his people without their participation. Through years Party for Freedom (PVV) became a closed structure, almost impossible to enter. Wilders explains this decision to keep his party well intact as allowing him to maintain its high operational capacities without risks of too much of an inner debate to weaken the ability of actions. However the absence of this ‘horizontal’ dimension in favor of ‘vertical’ does not add charms to the  image of the convention in the eyes of citizens, expecting more dialog, and openness.

Photo: illustration

 

 

General elections – Dutch vote

Reportedly Dutch votes went to ballot-boxes in unprecedented numbers. 13 million voters began casting ballots at polling stations across the country that will close at 2000 GMT. The vote is considered to be decisive for the future of the country, and its membership in the EU. The convincing victory of Party for Freedom led by Wilders, would push forward the Nexit agenda, following the UK.

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Dutch elections: a way to #Nexit?

Black Tulipe One

Anna van Densky . OPINION  The Dutch began voting in the general elections today, selecting politicians for the ‘Tweede Kamer’- the parliament; the event is out of ordinary, expecting to influence the direction of the nation’s development for decades to come. The major competition is between the center-right and right parties, having contrasting programmes, especially vis-à-vis  the Dutch membership in European Union. The victory of Eurosceptic leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) Geert Wilders can pave the way for the referendum on #Nexit.

The Eurocentric, center-right VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, 50, according to the recent polls, is in shoulder-to-shoulder  with the PVV of Eurosceptic Geert Wilders, 53, who is predicted to form the biggest group in the parliament.

Wilders became prominent for his denial of cultural relativism, expressed in disbelief that Islam  is compatible with modern democracy, especially with women’s rights, and minority rights. His frank speech about the radical Islam being a threat to the Western way of life, and the urgent need to react accordingly, found many supporters among Dutch electorate, propelling Wilders in ranks among fellow politicians.

Wilder’s  need to life under 24 7/7 protection has also become a political factor as such, showing the degradation of the level of freedom of speech in one of the most liberal societies, where he risks his life, criticising dogmatism of Islam, wich does not have a notion of minority rights, lacking a crucial element to become compatible with modern democracies.

Wilders is supportive of immigration as such, being a child of a mixed marriage himself, and married to a Hungarian diplomat, however the makes a difference between Islamic and non-Islamic, legal and illegal, mass and individual types of migration, unlike the other European politicians, preaching open door policy for millions of migrants from Africa and Middle East.

The latest events in Rotterdam, degenerating into Turkish riots are considered to be of a serious influence of a hesitant part of the electorate, as well as part of the centre-right electorate, considering state policy towards migration inadequate, demonstrating the failure to integrate the strangers, who even born in The Netherlands consider themselves as ‘Turks’, ‘Maroccans’, loyal to the country of origin.  The capabilities of the The Netherlands to receive migrants massively, being already one of the most populated countries in the world is also questioned.

Wilder’s potential victory will hardly deliver him the prime minister  portfolio, as all the other parties vowed to avoid coalition with Freedom Party, so he will not be able to construct a coalition as required, however if winning a solid number of seats, Wilders will represent a significant political force to promote his agenda, including the Nexit referendum as a priority.

More than 13 million voters began casting ballots at polling stations across the country that will close at 9:00 p.m. The postal votes were opened earlier, with a possibility to sent a conventional paper envelope or vote electronically via internet.

Photo: illustration Dutch tulipe

 

Rutte admits Wilders can win

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said there is a real possibility that anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders will win the parliamentary election on Wednesday.

“There is a real risk that on March 16 we can wake up in this country and Geert Wilders is leading the biggest party and that will send a signal to the rest of the world,” he told journalists in Rotterdam.

He called on Dutch voters to stop “the wrong populism” at the polls.

 

 

Ankara threatens Dutch to retaliate

erdogan Rotterdam

Turkish leadership vowed to retaliate in the “harshest ways” after their ministers were denied a rally in Rotterdam in support of President Erdogan, degenerated in riots of Turkish diaspora  on Saturday night.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu declared the Netherlands a “capital of fascism”, joining the other European countries in blocking Turkish politicians to rally due to fears that tensions in Turkey might contaminate their communities.

The Dutch government rejected Cavusoglu the visit to Rotterdam on Saturday, 13/03/2017, and denied the similar request to Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, who completely ignored it, and upon her own initiative entered The Netherlands by car, crossing German border. She also attempted to  enter the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam,  however Dutch police managed to block the attempt, and escorted her out of the country to Germany with the status of ‘persona non grata’.

Dutch police used anti-riot dogs and water cannons on Sunday early hours to disperse hundreds of protesters waving Turkish flags outside the consulate in Rotterdam. Some became violent, throwing bottles and stones into police agents and vehicles.

Many observes consider the tough response of Prime Minister Mark Rutte a necessity ahead of the general elections of the 15th of March, when he enters a competition with his major rival from Freedom Party (PVV) Geert Wilders.

“If you can sacrifice Turkish-Dutch relations for an election on Wednesday, you will pay the price,” Erdogan said in a speech at an awards ceremony in Istanbul.

“I thought Nazism was dead, but I was wrong. Nazism is still widespread in the West,” he added “The West has shown its true face.”

Speaking to reporters before a public appearance in the northeastern French city of Metz, Cavusoglu said Turkey would continue to act against the Netherlands until it apologizes.

At present 153 journalists, 13 elected MPs, 80 elected mayors, countless activists jailed in Turkey. The Dutch government does not accept lessons on democracy from president Erdogan and his crowned, however Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he would do everything to “de-escalate” the confrontation, which he described as the worst the Netherlands had experienced for years.

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