- The state of the right: the Netherlands
- Number of pages
- Paris: Fondapol, Fondation pour l'innovation politique
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
Its diversity is what most characterises the Dutch right: it spans Christian democrats (Christian Democratic Appeal, CDA) and liberals (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, VVD), as well as populist parties, whose strength is quite unprecedented in Europe. Populist parties have increased their support significantly since the early 2000s. They have enjoyed real success, thanks in particular to Pim Fortuyn, whose provocative style boosted their popularity before his assassination in May 2002. The radical and populist right is now embodied by Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom (PVV). Founded in 2006, the PVV’s orientation is more nationalistic and less liberal than that of the Pim Fortuyn List; it is vehement in its opposition to Islam and immigration. The Netherlands also has many smaller political movements, including agrarian, nationalist and far-right parties. All these parties have relays in the media, both in the press and on the internet, and their ideas are formalised and disseminated by a variety of think tanks and journals.
Despite this fragmentation, the Dutch right presents a united ideological front on many issues: with the exception of the Christian democrats, it is generally Eurosceptic and favours strengthening the nation, at a time when the country’s openness to the world is perceived as a threat rather than an opportunity. Broadly speaking, the Dutch right supports strict policies on immigration and the presence of Islam in the Netherlands, reflecting the growing political influence of rightwing themes. In socioeconomic terms, the right favours scaling back the state. But this convergence is not enough to hide the right’s underlying fragmentation, and raises the question of its ability to overcome the tensions that plague the country.
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