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A short history of right-wing populism in the Netherlands
Material posted: Publication date: 18-03-2020

In terms of growth in Europe right populist sentiment it would be interesting to study how appeared and developed right-wing populism in one of the most tolerant countries in the world - the Netherlands.

A key role in the emergence of “new right” in the Netherlands played the scientist, the politician and the sociologist P. Fortuyn. Initially a big fan of Marxism and the man on the left, at the turn of the Millennium, is already actively participating in the political activities, he was disappointed in the policy of multiculturalism. For his ambiguous statements he was expelled from the party, where he first was.

In 2002 P. Fortuyn founded his own party, which was called “List of PIM Fortuyn” was exactly right populist. However its founder and ideologist was not like the traditional right of a leader: P. Fortuyn was an open homosexual and a supporter of euthanasia.

A significant part of the rhetoric of Fortuyn focused on the issue of immigration and the Islamization of Europe. He sometimes indulged in controversial statements: so, he called Islam a “backward religion”, argued that Islamic values are contrary to European and especially Dutch liberalism.

Despite such ambiguity, his party in 2002, won the elections to the municipal Council of Rotterdam, with 36% of the vote, for the first time since the end of the Second World war, taking control of this on the Working party.

P. Fortuyn was considered a very promising politician, but in 2002, 9 days before election to Parliament, he was murdered[1]. His party got 17% in this election, but in the absence of its charismatic and popular leader, quickly lost political weight and in 2006, received no seats in Parliament. The ideological successor of P. Fortuyn was Geert Wilders.

In 2006, the last founded the “Freedom Party”, which is widely used anti-immigrant (specifically anti-Islamic) agenda. The key task of the party Wilders sees in opposition to the “Islamization” of Europe, and as its electoral base he sees the indigenous people of the Netherlands. His public appearances were often condemned by liberal journalists and politicians as xenophobic and even the extremist, but the Wilders stressed that he is not against immigrants or Muslims, but only against radical Islam and the fact that immigrants themselves against the values of their new country. Wilders is often referred to as the “new Fortana”. At the same time, Wilders supports and liberal values, therefore, his views should be attributed to right populist, not just right.

In 2010. his party got 15.5% of the votes and became the third largest faction in Parliament[2]. In the elections of 2017, the Freedom Party took second place at the moment is the leader of the opposition with 20 seats.

From the foregoing it can be concluded that P. Fortuyn and Wilders are key figures in the history of right-wing populism in the Netherlands. They are both quite popular in the country and a successful policy that demonstrates that is the level of support for a “new right” in the Netherlands is quite high.

Yuri Rukavitsyn

 

Bibliography

  1. Stark O. the Political agenda of Geert Wilders in the context of development of the far-right movement in the Netherlands, Izv. Sarat. University of New. ser. Ser. History. International relations. 2013. No. 1;
  2. Jelle van Buuren. Holland's Own Kennedy Affair. Conspiracy Theories on the Murder of Pim Fortuyn. = Historical Social Research, Vol. 38, 1 (2013), pp. 257-85.

 

[1] Jelle van Buuren. Holland's Own Kennedy Affair. Conspiracy Theories on the Murder of Pim Fortuyn. Historical Social Research, Vol. 38, 1 (2013), pp. 257-85.

[2] stark O. the Political agenda of Geert Wilders in the context of development of the far-right movement in the Netherlands, Izv. Sarat. University of New. ser. Ser. History. International relations. 2013. No. 1.

Tags: assessment , Europe


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