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Netherlands initiates 4 days of European Union Elections across 27 Nations

Netherlands initiates 4 days of European Union Elections across 27 Nations

Netherlands initiates 4 days of European Union Elections across 27 Nations

Netherlands initiates 4 days of European Union Elections across 27 Nations

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  • The Netherlands is the only EU country to start its single-day vote in the European Union (EU) elections.
  • The elections will impact issues ranging from global climate policies and defense to migration.
  • Wilders’ PVV could potentially overtake the combined Labour Party and Green Left in the Netherlands.
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Polls opened in the Netherlands on Thursday to kick off four days of voting in European Union parliamentary elections across the 27 member states, expected to deliver gains for the hard right.

Estonians can cast their ballots across six days starting Monday, but the Netherlands is the only EU country to start its single-day vote so early, followed by Ireland on Friday and the rest of the EU nations over the weekend. Europe-wide results will be announced Sunday night after all member states have completed voting.

The Dutch voting comes six months after Geert Wilders’ far-right Party for Freedom sent shockwaves around Europe by becoming the biggest party in the Dutch national parliament. Polling suggests Wilders will build on that popularity and set the tone for much of the bloc.

Since the last EU elections five years ago, populist, far-right, and extremist parties have been leading governments in three EU nations, are part of governing coalitions in several others, and appear to have surging public support across the continent.

The EU elections rank as the world’s second-biggest exercise in democracy behind the election in India, and the stakes are high.

Almost 400 million voters will be electing 720 members of the European Parliament from beyond the Arctic Circle to the edges of Africa and Asia. They will have an impact on issues ranging from global climate policies and defense to migration and geopolitical relations with China and the United States.

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Since the last European elections in 2019, war has broken out on the fringe of the bloc following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a country that desperately wants to join the EU.

A founding member, the Netherlands has long been unwavering in its support of EU policies. However, research from the Clingendael think tank suggests dissatisfaction with the EU among Dutch people, and while most believe that the Netherlands should remain in the bloc, many also believe it should be more self-sufficient.

While many voters are predicted to lurch to the right, the Christian Democrat-dominated European People’s Party led by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, currently stands as the EU legislature’s biggest bloc and is bound to be the coalition kingmaker when the dust settles on the election results.

In the Netherlands, Wilders’ PVV could build on its domestic success and surge, possibly overtaking the combined Labour Party and Green Left. Labor topped the Dutch EU Parliament election in 2019 with 19 percent of the vote for six seats while the Greens took 11 percent and three seats. Wilders’ party at the time only managed 3.5 percent and no seats.

Wilders and one of his likely coalition partners, the Farmer Citizen Movement, enjoy popularity among farmers in the Netherlands, who have staged regular protests to call for an easing of EU legislation they say is crippling their livelihoods.

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