D66 democrats: forward to European political union

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

Alexander Pechtold, the leader of the democrat party D66, wants further integration of the European Union despite widespread negative sentiments on the subject.

He said Europe has to compete with powers like China, Brazil, Russia and the United States. “This will be the century of the continents” he predicted on the current affairs television show Buitenhof.

“Europe is not finished yet, but we cannot afford to withdraw.” The D66 leader said the EU may cost the average Dutch citizen 230 euros a year, but they get at least 1,500 euros in return. 

He wants to see serious steps toward a political union taken in the next five years, including an elected EU president and elected European commissioners. “We must ensure we have a voice in what happens in Brussels.''

General elections are scheduled for 12 September in the Netherlands.

(gsh/imm)

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide