21:49 23.05.2019(updated 21:53 23.05.2019) Get short URL
Voters in the UK and the Netherlands are casting their ballots on Thursday in the European Parliamentary election. While Brexit sets the mood in the UK, Dutch Nexit proponents appear to be gaining popularity in Holland.
On the first morning of the four-day EU Parliamentary Election marathon, Brussels looks pretty quiet. Military patrols are still in the streets, which is a reminder of the 2016 terrorist attacks, but it seems that everyone got used to these increased security measures and pays little attention to soldiers walking around the European Parliament compound.
Inside the EU parliament the mood is sleepy as well – there’s little staff in the hallways, there are no crowds anywhere on the premises. Visitors and journalists covering the election both have chance now for photo ops alongside the EU flags gallery.
The vote in the UK is influenced heavily by Brexit. The country, which was set to part ways with Brussels in March, formally remains a part of the European Union, so British voters still have right to pick their candidates.
In the Netherlands the main battle for voters’ hearts and minds is being fought by Mark Rutte’s ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and by the right-wing Forum for Democracy (FvD).
Forum for Democracy – a relatively new conservative party, which is known for its Euroscepticism and leniency towards Nexit — the idea of Holland leaving the EU, was formed in 2016 and has become a big winner in the Netherlands during the provincial elections two months ago, securing 86 seats spread across the country’s 12 provinces. In three provinces, including the capital region of South Holland it became the largest party.
Although it doesn’t revolve around Nexit ideas directly, FvD’s campaign pledges to “take the power back from Brussels and giving it to The Hague.” In a tweet from May 23rd, which features the photos of the party leader Thierry Baudet and the lead candidate Derk Jan Eppink, Forum for Democracy promises voters “to go to Brussels with your support to stop the plans of [Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy] Verhofstadt, [President of the European Commission Jean-Claude] Juncker and [Leader of the Dutch People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and the country's Prime Minister Mark] Rutte.”
Forum voor Democratie wil de macht terug van Brussel naar Den Haag. Met uw steun gaan wij naar Brussel om de plannen van Verhofstadt, Juncker en Rutte te stoppen! Ga vandaag stemmen en stem Forum voor Democratie! #FVD #EP2019 pic.twitter.com/wlxWlV1AZ2 — ForumvoorDemocratie (@fvdemocratie) 23 мая 2019 г.