June 16. 2024. 8:31

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Dutch polling frontrunner to join EPP for upcoming EU elections

Dutch anti-establishment newcomer party New Social Contract (NSC) – which was established back in August – intends to participate in next year’s European elections, party chairman Bert van Boggelen said on Friday, with Dutch media reporting that the party wants to join the EU’S European People’s Party (EPP).

The announcement to participate in the EU elections was made during the party’s first large congress in the run-up to the Dutch national elections, which will take place on 22 November.

“I don’t think we have to hesitate very much whether we will participate in [the EU elections] or not, given where we are now, so we will do that,” van Boggelen stated, adding that they would look for ways to involve party members in the creation of its election program as well as its candidate list.

According to De Telegraaf, the party intends to join the ranks of the EPP for next year’s elections, where it would form a coalition with the Christian-Democratic Appeal (CDA), the former party of its founder Pieter Omtzigt.

NSC swiftly took the lead in polling for the national elections after being founded in late August, with Omtzigt’s popularity among the Dutch public for fighting government malpractice being among the main reasons for the party’s polling success.

Meanwhile, the CDA has taken a hit in the polls following Omtzigt’s departure back in 2021, with many voters accusing the party of neglecting its traditional voter groups, such as farmers, families and the socially weak.

In its national election programme, which was finally published last month, NSC also sketched the core tenets of its EU policy: besides opposing the prospect of further EU integration and an “ever closer union”, the party also threatened to negotiate opt-outs in crucial policy fields such as migration, while also floating the idea of establishing separate “asylum-Schengen” zones with like-minded EU countries in a bid to better coordinate the flow of migrants within the bloc.

(Benedikt Stöckl | Euractiv.com)

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