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Posted on on June 5th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (

Dutch Put Anti-Immigration Party in EU Parliament.

By Jurjen van de Pol, June 5, 2009, Bloomberg.

        Dutch voters gave the Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, the lawmaker who made a film linking the Koran to violence, its first seats in the European Parliament, preliminary results showed.

Wilders’ party received 17 percent of the votes or four of the 25 Dutch seats, participating in the European polls for the first time yesterday, news agency ANP reported, citing preliminary results. The Freedom Party aims to reduce European Union influence, curb immigration and reject Turkey’s membership in the bloc.

The Irish and Czechs will cast their votes today. Final results will be released June 7 after all 27 EU nations have voted.

While Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s Christian Democratic Alliance remains the largest party, the vote indicated the ruling coalition risks losing its majority in the Dutch parliament after yesterday’s vote suggests the Freedom Party was the country’s second largest.

“The cabinet should step down, the sooner the better,” Wilders told Dutch public television NOS. Dutch parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2011.

The worst recession since World War II may spur voters across Europe to seek alternatives to established parties for the bloc’s legislature.

Libertas, which opposed the EU treaty in a referendum in Ireland, may win seats today for the first time. In Austria, the anti-immigration Freedom Party will pick up two seats and in France a new anti-capitalist party will gain seven, forecasts by a group of scholars show. “People are fed up with a large Europe as it is now and with Turkey possibly joining,” Wilders told NOS.


Police Protection:

U.K. authorities in February refused entry to Wilders after he defied a travel ban and flew into Britain for a screening of his movie “Fitna.” Wilders said in a newspaper editorial the Koran was “fascist” and should be banned. The lawmaker, who receives police protection around the clock, faces trial in his own country on charges of inciting hatred.

The Netherlands and the U.K. were the first of the European Union member states to cast their vote for the Brussels and Strasbourg-based parliament, which oversees business and environmental regulations while leaving foreign and finance policy largely in national hands. Only the Dutch publish preliminary results the same day.

Balkenende’s Christian Democratic Alliance received 19.9 percent of the votes compared with 24.4 percent in 2004 and dropped to five from seven seats, according to the preliminary results. The Labor Party of Finance Minister Wouter Bos has been overtaken by the Freedom Party. The party received three seats (12.1 percent) after gaining seven seats (23.6 percent) in the previous election.

The Netherlands controls 25 seats in the 736-member European Parliament, compared with 27 in 2004, as the total numbers of assembly seats is reduced. Dutch turnout fell to 36.5 percent from 39 percent five years ago, ANP said after 99.7 percent of the votes have been counted.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jurjen van de Pol in Amsterdam at  jvandepol at


A breakdown of the seat distribution in the new 736-seat European Parliament per member state in the 27-nation EU bloc. Seats are distributed based on representation by population.

Under treaty rules, the size of the EU assembly falls from the outgoing 785-seat chamber to streamline the legislature’s work to the above 736 total:

_ Germany: 82.4 million people, 99 seats
_ France: 62.9 million, 72
_ Britain: 60.4 million, 72
_ Italy: 58.7 million, 72
_ Spain: 43.76 million, 50
_ Poland: 38.2 million, 50
_ Romania: 21.6 million, 33
_ Netherlands: 16.3 million, 25
_ Greece: 11.1 million, 22
_ Portugal: 10.6 million, 22
_ Belgium: 10.5 million , 22
_ Czech Republic: 10.3 million, 22
_ Hungary: 10 million, 22
_ Sweden: 9 million, 18
_ Austria: 8.3 million, 17
_ Bulgaria: 7.7 million, 17
_ Denmark: 5.4 million, 13
_ Slovakia: 5.4 million, 13
_ Finland: 5.3 million, 13
_ Ireland: 4.2 million, 12
_ Lithuania: 3.4 million, 12
_ Latvia: 2.3 million, 8
_ Slovenia: 2.0 million, 7
_ Estonia: 1.3 million, 6
_ Cyprus: 0,7 million, 6
_ Luxembourg: 0,5 million, 6
_ Malta: 0.4 million, 5


Astonishing – the reaction from the European Commission to the Dutch results:

05.06.2009 – 15:00 on the EUobserver –
Commission criticises Dutch for early results publication


Open Democracy, June 5, 2009,   questions the sense of the European Parliament these days of such low interest by voters in the member states:

The European parliament: problem, and solution – The sacrifice of an institution without a purpose would strengthen the European Union itself, says Anand Menon.

To read the full article please look at:…

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