Reports 2017

The Dutch vote - Setting the tone for key elections across Europe?

16 March 2017

The Dutch parliamentary election held on 15 March 2017 opened a series of crucial elections for the future of the EU. French voters will be the next to go to the polls in April/May for the presidential and June for the legislative elections, followed by the Germans after the summer and eventually the Italians, if early elections are called.

This EPC Elections Monitor assessed the outcome of the parliamentary elections that took place the day before in the Netherlands and discussed their potential consequences for the EU. Adriaan Schout, Coordinator of EU affairs at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael) and Stéphane Alonso, EU Correspondent for the newspaper NRC Handelsblad, unpacked the results of the vote, including potential coalitions and the implications for EU affairs. They answered questions raised by Fabian Zuleeg, Chief executive of the European Policy Centre (EPC), such as: What are the reasons for the growing fragmentation and polarisation of the Dutch party system and how will this affect the ability of political parties to form a durable and effective governing alliance in the aftermath of the vote? What are the main policy priorities that the new Dutch government will pursue? How might the vote impact European politics/integration in the short to medium term? Will the Dutch result set the tone for the next key votes planned this year in France, Germany and possibly Italy? The short presentations and exchanges with the panellists were followed by an interactive discussion with the audience.