Written for the Berlin policy Journal, click here for the original version.
Image: Minister-president Rutte CC / Flickr.
Continuous fragmentation and polarization make coalition-building in the Netherlands an almost insoluble puzzle. So while the cordon sanitaire around Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom excludes him from power, he is still a centrifugal force in political negotiations.
You probably still remember the Dutch parliamentary elections on March 15 of this year. The international press landed in The Hague to see if the once-tolerant Netherlands would be the next populist domino to fall after the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. That didn’t happen; far-right candidate Geert Wilders was defeated, Prime Minister Mark Rutte got a strong mandate to form a new government, and a voter turnout of 81.9 percent was the highest in almost thirty years.Read More