Interior Minister is poor defender of our democracy

10 December 2012

Interior Minister is poor defender of our democracy

The European Commission wants to intervene extensively in the principles, organisation and finance of political parties in the Netherlands who want to take part in European elections. These controllers of Europe must from now on endorse ‘European values’. Everything and anything is permitted, as long as it’s federalist, as long as it’s neoliberal. Only if a majority in the European Parliament agree that you are European enough will you qualify for a subsidy. Otherwise, no.

Ronald van Raak

Ronald van RaakInterior Minister Ronald Plasterk says in today’s national press that he has ‘huge objections’ to these proposals. ‘Every fibre of my being rebels against it’. But at the same time he says that it won’t be easy to change anything, and thinks it sufficient to let it be known that the Netherlands is opposed. In this the minister is showing himself to be an exceptionally poor defender of our democracy.

In 1848 we established, in our Constitution, the freedom of association. This has been important for the development of our democracy. In this country of minorities we have set up this framework together, and within it we give everyone as much freedom as possible. We are not a country with a single dominant political culture; we give each other space. Most voters in the Netherlands don’t want to elect a European representative, but a representative of the Netherlands in Europe. This is now going to be turned on its head. The European Parliament will soon get to determine whether a party is European enough.

This proposal should be kicked out of Europe by the national parliaments as quickly as possible: the European Commission wants the matter settled by 1st July, 2013. Plasterk can’t on the one hand say that the proposals are unacceptable, and at the same time state that we can’t do anything about them. The Interior Minister has a massive responsibility to our democracy. He has to defend it, here and in Europe.

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