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European Politics Discussion

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Raavi
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#1

Posted 02 March 2017 - 11:08 AM

With polarizing issues like refugees, immigration in general, the state and future of the European Union, we find a continent that has been the most divided it has been for decades. Already having a place to discuss these matters for the US and the UK I figured it was high time for European iteration. Much in line with both the aforementioned General Politics Discussion threads, this thread will serve as the main platform to discuss anything and everything relevant to European Politics, that includes both politics and policy of the EU as a whole, as well as politics on a national level of its member states and beyond.

 

Upcoming electoral agenda:

 

15 March 2017: Dutch General Election

23 April 2017: 1st Round French Presidential Election

24 September 2017: German Federal Election

 

Of course, as with all threads throughout D&D a certain standard on top of the established Forum Rules applies.

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sivispacem
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#2

Posted 02 March 2017 - 11:14 AM

I'm very interested in what's happening in France particularly. With Fillon embroiled in scandal and Le Pen lurching from crisis to crisis (just today having her immunity from prosecution as an MEP stripped) it's really looking like Emmanuel Macron has got the election pretty much sewn up now. Which given his firmly inclusive, strongly European social democrat stance and desire to try and mend social division, is unquestionably a good thing.
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#3

Posted 02 March 2017 - 11:54 AM

Is Macron really a social democrat? Isn't he more of a neo-liberal? If he is a social democrat, he is certainly on the furthest right of social democrats. Particularly on economical issues.

It also seems like Hamon is having trouble rising in the polls, remaining steady at 14%, and therefore a distant fourth candidate. But I think Le Pen's voters are likely to turn to Hamon than either Fillon or Macron.

My view is that it's everything goes in the French presidential election! Only thing I deem extremely unlikely is Le Pen winning the second round. Should Le Pen face either Fillon or Macron in the second round, either Fillon or Macron will win. Sort of like in 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen faced Chirac and Chirac ended up with 87% of the votes in the second round, which also saw a higher turnout than the first one. I expect a similar event to happen if Marine Le Pen advances to the next round, which still seems likely.

Fillon is more likely to tank than Le Pen, I feel. Although, Le Pen supporters tend often to be strongly anti-career politicians, and Le Pen actions show she is just as bad as the politicians they despise. So it might hurt her more than Fillon!

But yeah, right now, it's pretty safe money on Macron being the next French president. Which is going to make the National Assembly elections in June even more interesting, as Macron is not attached to one of the two major parties (PS and LR). And then the Senate elections in September.

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#4

Posted 02 March 2017 - 12:03 PM

Is Macron really a social democrat?


He did send 3 years in the French Socialist party, and I would say definitely aligns with social democracy on many issues. Maybe closer to Third Way than Scandinavian style social democracy.

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#5

Posted 02 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

Is Macron really a social democrat?


He did send 3 years in the French Socialist party, and I would say definitely aligns with social democracy on many issues. Maybe closer to Third Way than Scandinavian style social democracy.


I know he used to be a PS member, and he even ran in their primary for a little while, before breaking out and establishing En Marche!, but I also get the impression his views on certain issues began to diverge from the Socialist party, therefore warranting him his own party.

According to this article, Macron was supported by the conservative wing of the party, and definitely closely aligned with the Third Way you describe. And he is often described as a 'social liberal' as well.

So somewhere between social democrat and social liberal, I suppose. I know some attack him for his diverging from socialist views, but he was never a socialist to begin with.

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#6

Posted 02 March 2017 - 12:17 PM Edited by Argonaut, 02 March 2017 - 12:20 PM.

House of Lords peers have back an amendment which aims to unilaterally protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK. I'd agree with some of the Tory peers saying that this would put us in a morally advantageous position in negotiations, and even in the chance that it wasn't mirrored in Europe, they still make an irreplaceable contribution to our economy which wouldn't see us round them up and shove them out. I'm still in the school of thought that this bluff will eventually blow over once Article 50 is triggered, as the large scrutiny from not confirming such safeguards has already been demonstrated.


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#7

Posted 05 March 2017 - 07:24 AM

Can you guys take the UK stories to the UK thread?

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#8

Posted 11 March 2017 - 10:59 PM

Bump!

Big news today. The Netherlands blocked the Turkish foreign minister from entering the Netherlands to attend a rally for Turkish immigrants living in Rotterdam. The foreign minister was to speak on behalf of President Erdogan, and more precisely explain to the Turkish immigrants living in the Netherlands, why they should vote for the referendum in April.

A quick summary: Turkey is holding a constitutional referendum in April, where they would vote to give the President a lot more power. Basically turning Turkey from a parliamentary republic into a presidential republic, apparently after inspiration from the United States. Right now, Turkey's President is technically a figurehead. Erdogan have simply managed to have his cabinet - who currently yields the true power - to do his bidding. He wants to get rid of this extra step.

Turkish immigrants living in Europe are allowed to vote for the referendum, and there are a lot of Erdogan supporters in these parts. So basically, the Turkish government wanted to sent its ministers to speak on behalf of the referendum to local Turks.

However, German, Dutch and Austrian authorities have so far blocked several of these meetings in their respective countries, usually with the argument of security concerns.

Now, I know you can blame a lot on security, and it's clear that these three countries definitely have political motivations. For instance, the foreign minister is also speaking in Metz, France, and according to reports, he was allowed in without problems.

Indeed, some see it as Turkey messing in local Dutch elections (the general elections are next week!), where the Dutch ruling party seems to be appeasing those voters interested in voting for Gert Wilders' party PVV, by doing what he has basically been calling for.

I wonder whether it will work or not just benefit Wilders.

But one thing I do know, is that this whole stand-off between Turkey and 'Europe' will benefit Erdogan. Nothing better than enemy you don't actually have to fight. Considering the diplomatic strain between Turkey and Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, all the while Turkey is doing joint operations with Russia, one has to wonder for how long, we can still consider Turkey a NATO ally.

Regardless, I believe that Erdogan will win his referendum. Since the failed military coup last summer, he has had success in weeding out those who oppose him.

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#9

Posted 11 March 2017 - 11:22 PM Edited by Eutyphro, 11 March 2017 - 11:39 PM.

where the Dutch ruling party seems to be appeasing those voters interested in voting for Geert Wilders' party PVV, by doing what he has basically been calling for.

I don't think it has anything to do with appeasing Wilders. That's the Turkish rhetoric on this issue. It's simply inappropriate and not wanted for Turkish government officials to campaign in the Netherlands and speak in order to persuade those holding Turkish passports to vote for making Turkey more authoritarian. Erdogan and other government officials calling anyone opposing this 'fascist' and 'nazi' is further proof that they shouldn't be allowed to campaign for the expansion of the powers of their own fascist leader.

 

But one thing I do know, is that this whole stand-off between Turkey and 'Europe' will benefit Erdogan. Nothing better than enemy you don't actually have to fight.

I don't think so. I think Turkey is isolating itself from many important allies, and this combined with the increasing terror problem has also brought the Turkish economy in a more fragile state. https://www.ft.com/c...6b-680c49b4b4c0


Raavi
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#10

Posted 11 March 2017 - 11:30 PM

This is truly something. The latest is that a special heavily armed police unit is reportedly moving to arrest and (escort out of the country) the Turkish minister of family affairs who currently is held up a block or so from the Turkish consulate. How the Dutch authorities are handling this truly boggles the mind. 


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#11

Posted 12 March 2017 - 12:17 AM Edited by Bad.boy!, 12 March 2017 - 12:20 AM.

It should be noted that there has been lot's of tension building up between the Dutch and the Turkish for the past year since the attempted coup. Turkey has attempted to increase tension in the Dutch Turkish community by publishing "Gulenlist" containing Dutch/Turkish people, schools and other organisations who allegedly support Gulen. A Turkish ambassador has also been accused of gathering intelligence about Dutch/Turkish citizens who allegedly support Gulen. The Dutch government tried to discuss this rally with Turkey, but according to the Dutch government Turkey threatened sanctions and so they ended the discussion and said it was unwanted. Since Turkey was going to go ahead with the rally anyway they first revoked landing permission to the Turkish forreign minister's plane. And now they seem to have "thrown" the minister of famly affair out of the country.

 

Also do note that the place that was rented to hold the original rally was canceled by the owner of that place and that as far as I'm aware the Turkish minister of family affairs didn't have a proper avenue, or license to hold something on the street in front of the Turkish consulate so in my opinion safety was a valid concern, although kicking her out of the country obviously is politically motivated.

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Eutyphro
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#12

Posted 12 March 2017 - 12:28 AM

The stand off between pro Erdogan protesters and Dutch police police is turning increasingly bad. Let's hope it doesn't escalate completely.


Raavi
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#13

Posted 12 March 2017 - 01:02 AM

Press Conference from the Mayor of Rotterdam, Turkish Consul-General reportedly purposely mislead both Dutch and local Rotterdam authorities, going as far as sending multiple convoys of cars to Rotterdam to confuse police as to which was transporting the Turkish Minister. 


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#14

Posted 12 March 2017 - 08:08 AM

where the Dutch ruling party seems to be appeasing those voters interested in voting for Geert Wilders' party PVV, by doing what he has basically been calling for.

I don't think it has anything to do with appeasing Wilders. That's the Turkish rhetoric on this issue. It's simply inappropriate and not wanted for Turkish government officials to campaign in the Netherlands and speak in order to persuade those holding Turkish passports to vote for making Turkey more authoritarian. Erdogan and other government officials calling anyone opposing this 'fascist' and 'nazi' is further proof that they shouldn't be allowed to campaign for the expansion of the powers of their own fascist leader.


I realise the Netherlands and Germany have larger Turkish communities than say France, yet France is not blocking the Turkish minister from entry. I am a little light on details of the view of Turkey in France, but my general feeling is that the Frenchmen don't have the same problem with Turkey - or rather, not to the same degree - as Germans and Dutchmen.

Secondly, an election is going on in the Netherlands, and the government knows that its actions influences that. The fact that the Netherlands was the first country to take this step suggests the campaign and the election factored in.

I agree that the Turkish rhetoric on the issue is inappropriate, and - to a point - warrant the response the Netherlands gave. But I simply cannot believe that a spin doctor didn't strongly advocate this response, because it would make the government's party stand stronger in the election.

But one thing I do know, is that this whole stand-off between Turkey and 'Europe' will benefit Erdogan. Nothing better than enemy you don't actually have to fight.

I don't think so. I think Turkey is isolating itself from many important allies, and this combined with the increasing terror problem has also brought the Turkish economy in a more fragile state. https://www.ft.com/c...6b-680c49b4b4c0


You say that as if Erdogan care about the Turkish people. He cares about power. Increasing terror problems and a fragile economy are great ingredients if you want more power. Particularly if you can blame the problems on outside actors and that you - in this case Erdogan - can portray yourself as the saviour.

A lot of Turks will rally around Erdogan because of this. They will cement his powers, and even support him when he oversteps them - even with the new powers he will be granted in April. This is why Turkey is isolating themselves from Europe and moving closer to Russia.

For Erdogan, Europe is a scapegoat, not an ally or - at best - a useful idiot. In Russia, Erdogan can find a more truly ideological-aligned friend in Putin.

We all said the sanctions and economic woes in Russia would hurt Putin, but I've seen no evidence of Putin's powers weakening since then. Putin and Erdogan are popular in their own country, and foreign adversaries help them maintain power. How do you think Castro stayed in control of Cuba for so long?

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#15

Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:57 AM

But I simply cannot believe that a spin doctor didn't strongly advocate this response, because it would make the government's party stand stronger in the election.

There isn´t a single government party. We have a coalition of labour and the right wing party, and the decision to block Turkish government officials has been supported by almost all parties both in and outside of the coalition. The only one criticizing has been the new pro Erdogan party Denk. As Raavi points out, the Netherlands was purposefully misled and provoked, and the response was right and was in accordance with international law.


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#16

Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:34 AM

Oh, I don't disagree that it was completely within the Netherlands' right to do so. But the Netherlands had put itself in a position where the Turks felt it necessary to misled the Dutch. Not that I condone that behaviour, but when you cancel these meetings, you do expect a response. Particularly from a state like Turkey.

And that's where it turns from administration to policy making. Even if the concern for maintaining their safety is true - and I believe it is - then closing these meetings had to be measured against the cost of doing so and the political aftermath of doing so.

They are written off as administrative decisions, but they definitely are political ones. It's becoming more popular in Europe to see Turkey as an adversary.

The unusual steps that Turkey is taking - campaigning on foreign soil - definitely warrants a response. But it doesn't help being blind to the impact these decisions have on the Dutch general election.

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#17

Posted 13 March 2017 - 12:55 PM Edited by Bad.boy!, 13 March 2017 - 01:00 PM.

Oh, I don't disagree that it was completely within the Netherlands' right to do so. But the Netherlands had put itself in a position where the Turks felt it necessary to misled the Dutch. Not that I condone that behaviour, but when you cancel these meetings, you do expect a response. Particularly from a state like Turkey.

 

The Netherlands put itself in this position? I'd say the Turks created this situation by planning this rally 3 days before the election, so I'd say this rally was a major provocation towards the Netherlands by Turkey. Therefor I believe that the response by the Dutch government is justifiable. Also just because you know that there is a high chance your "ally" will try to mislead you, doesn't mean you should accept whatever they want to do in your country.

 

To get an idea what kind of impact these decision have on the Dutch general election we have to wait for the polls unfortunately. However I don't believe that the PVDA expects to gain much votes from this move, and yet the mayor of Rotterdam who played a key role in this action against Turkey is from the PVDA.

 

 

They are written off as administrative decisions, but they definitely are political ones. It's becoming more popular in Europe to see Turkey as an adversary.

 

Well that is to be expected when Turkey is becoming more and more authoritarian and calling the Netherlands and Germany Nazis.


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#18

Posted 13 March 2017 - 09:51 PM

Both Erdogan and Rutte have benefited immensely from this. If I didn't know any better I'd say this was a brilliant cooperation between them. :p


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#19

Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:19 AM

The Netherlands put itself in this position? I'd say the Turks created this situation by planning this rally 3 days before the election, so I'd say this rally was a major provocation towards the Netherlands by Turkey. Therefor I believe that the response by the Dutch government is justifiable. Also just because you know that there is a high chance your "ally" will try to mislead you, doesn't mean you should accept whatever they want to do in your country.


You are misinterpreting me, I am not blaming the Netherlands and I actually support their decision making. However, it would be naïve of me to think that the Netherlands' stance did not have something to do with the election. If not the decisions themselves, then how they are spun and presented. For Rutte, this is a heaven sent opportunity. And so it is for Erdogan (well, he made it after all, so not really heaven sent), as Turan correctly points out.

All politics are local, because you don't really need your allies to stay in power. Rutte and Erdogan are using a diplomatic stand off to benefit themselves. Look how PM Rutte is playing it off Wilders, that despite the escalating of the crisis, he is still playing it cool and reasonable, unlike Wilders would have done. Rutte appear measured in comparison.

Once the election and the referendum is over, you will probably notice the crisis de-escalating, as it is no longer beneficial to either part.

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#20

Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:04 PM Edited by Michael, 14 March 2017 - 11:06 PM.

At first I was skeptical about the way how the Netherlands was treating the Turkish ministers because I think they should've had the right to speak about the referendum but the president of Turkey is going way too far now. The president holds the Netherlands responsible for the murder of eight thousand Bosnian muslims in Srebrenica in the nineties even though the Bosnian serb Radovan Karadžić was hold responsible for the genocide by the UN tribunal and was sent off to jail for 40 years in March 2016. Only a very lightly armed force of hundred and ten Dutch troops failed to prevent a mass murder on Muslim men and boys. A lot of the soldiers are traumatized, I talked with a photographer that photographed cities and places during that war and time at my school and it was shocking. He told me that they had barely to none weapons at all. How could they prevented this? These comments by the president are very disrespectful, hurtful towards the traumatized people and he obviously lacks of knowledge about the situation.

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#21

Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:34 PM Edited by Eutyphro, 14 March 2017 - 03:37 PM.

Erdogan and his administration are a bunch of completely insane clowns that are systematically destroying their national development and their cooperation with the modern and developed world with their rhetoric and behaviour. If European Erdogan supporters continue undermining perceived Gulenists or other dissenters and bring Turkish politics to Europe, and continue protesting with Turkish flags and rioting, they are going to strongly undermine the continuation of the policy of dual citizenship for the future.

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#22

Posted 15 March 2017 - 04:27 PM

Today the Dutch General Elections are happening. I am looking forward to hear the results, I think it's definitely going to be a tight race. Almost fifty procent of the Dutch people who have the rights to vote has already voted.


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#23

Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:13 PM

First exit poll shows the following:

 

VVD (Conservative) 31
PvdA (Labour) 9
SP (Socialists) 14
PVV (Right-wing populists) 19
CDA (Christian Democrats)19
D66 (Liberal Democrats) 19
CU (Christian Union) 6
GL (Green Left)16
PvDD (Animal Party) 5 
SGP (Protestant Calvinist) 3
50Plus (Senior Citizen Party) 4
Denk ('equality party') 3

FvD ('Forum for Democracy) 2


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#24

Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:32 PM

Based on the exit polls, it looks like the media may have hugely overestimated the support for the PVV over the last few months. If the initial figures are accurate, Wilders' share of the vote has barely increased since 2012, 10% to 12.5% of the vote.
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#25

Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:07 PM Edited by Svip, 15 March 2017 - 10:07 PM.

The whole Turkey stand-off probably helped Rutte a lot. The polling data suggested support leaving PVV during the last ten days.

Opinion_polling_for_the_Dutch_general_el

PVV: Grey
VVD: Blue

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#26

Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:17 PM

PVV really screwed themselves over by not having a significant document with policy proposals and barely doing interviews or debates. They could've scored much higher. They avoided negative press, and as a result they got no press.


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#27

Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:26 PM

Also don't forget the fact that nearly all other parties said they won't form a coalition with the PVV, meaning that even if Wilders had "won" he wouldn't have ended up being in the government. Which is why the foreign press coverage of Wilders was pretty ridiculous to begin with.

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#28

Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:11 AM

Think one of the biggest stories of this election outcome has to be the complete and utter decimation of PvdA (Labour). Losing +/- 29 seats (going from 38 to 9), and being taken to the cleaners in many what were once PvdA strongholds, paving the way for others, unfortunately also including the PVV in some areas. Personally, I find this disproportional battering of the party to be quite unfair looking at their track record of the past 4 years, which objectively is nowhere near as catastrophic as the result would lead to believe. They actually were quite the effective coalition partner. Of course, it isn't like this loss comes as a surprise - the writing had been on the wall for them for quite some time now, but an adequate response never really did materialize. A long and perilous climb back up lay ahead.

 

On a personal note, I'm very pleased to see my party do well. If the last results at 84% votes counted are to believed, we're in a shared second place with CDA (Christian Democrats) and PVV, and in all likelihood will be part of the new government coalition. 

 

Roll on weeks, if not months of talks to form that new government.


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#29

Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:32 AM

And once again the biggest center of power for the PVV is the province of Limburg, which being familiar with the area isn't really all that big of a surprise. A multitude of what can best be described as "local chauvinism", an almost tribalistic attitude, where in some places being from one town over, people can be sometimes perceived as "less", a line of thinking that has a toxic tendency to extend to anyone and everyone that looks and talks differently from this group of angry predominantly white voters. There is also more than a healthy amount of resentment and disidentification towards the rest of the country (excluding Brabant province) in some areas, which sometimes is colloquially referred to as "Above the big sewers", a reference to the rivers dividing the two parts of the country. The only surprise to me came in the shape of Maastricht, where largely due to the aforementioned decimation of the PvdA, PVV also won by a slight margin of 2.6% to the next biggest (VVD). This despite being a very international city with a very high share of international students and a good expat community, which I think whilst being a blessing at a local level might be an electoral curse in disguise. All in all a mostly unsurprising but disappointing result for the province.

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#30

Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:16 AM

It is true the PVV doesn't do well in multicultural areas like Amsterdam and Utrecht, but in Amsterdam due to gentrification the amount of lower class whites as a percentage of the population is probably increasingly low. In Utrecht it probably has to do with high numbers of students and low numbers of lower class whites. In cities with both multiculturalism and high amounts of lower class whites like Rotterdam and the Hague the PVV does well.





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