Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2024
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EU on the brink as country set to clash over migration row | World | News


The new Dutch government is on a collision course with the EU after the electoral success of the right-wing Freedom Party.

After Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) stormed the most recent Dutch election, it was expected that the coalition government to follow would take on at least some of his agenda.

Wilders won on a largely anti-immigration and anti-Brussels ticket and although the PVV were made to negotiate a deal with centre-right parties to form an administration, the agenda for government has plenty in it those on the right of Dutch politics will get behind.

In particular, the Netherlands’ new government, led by independent Dick Schoof, 67, is on a collision course with Brussels over the EU’s new migration policy.

In the new coalition’s policy document, it vows that an “opt-out clause from the European asylum and migration policy will be submitted to the European Commission as soon as possible.”

Under the new EU asylum plan, which had been in the works since 2015, member states would be made to share new arrivals or commit to more resources to frontline states, such as Spain and Italy, to help them manage the flow.

Wilders had to rule himself out of becoming new the Dutch PM in order to keep the negotiations with the centre-right VVD, farmers’ party BBB and the start-up centre-right NSC on track.

In fact, none of the party leaders are in the new government, opting for former Labour politician and head of the secret service Schoof.

Mr Schoof pledged to implement the “strictest-ever admission policy for asylum” but added: “I am without a party. I don’t see myself kowtowing to Mr Wilders.”

Elise Muir, head of the Institute for European Law at KU Leuven, told Euronews that despite the rhetoric, the new Dutch government won’t simply be able to opt out of the plan: “The answer is simple: a member state cannot opt out from EU legislation after it has been adopted. The point of EU membership is that one commits to abiding by its laws.”

Mark Klaassen, a professor of migration law at Leiden University, shared that view, stating that the Netherlands is “fully bound by the asylum acquis, both in the current form and after the reforms with the migration pact.”



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