Netherlands. The election to the European Parliament was a surprise. The Social Democratic Labor Party (PvdA) unexpectedly became the largest party with 19% of the vote (6 seats). One explanation for the upswing may be that Social Democrat Frans Timmermans was running for office as the new EU Commission President. The ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) got 14.6% (4 seats), Christian Democratic appeal (CDA) 12.1% (4 seats), right-wing populist Forum for Democracy (FVD) ended up at 11% (3 seats), Green left (GL) 10.9% (3 seats), left liberal D66 7.1% (2 seats), Christian right-wing CU-SGP 6.8% (2 seats), Animal Party (PvdD) 4% (1 seats) and the retirement party 50+ 3.9% (1 mandate).
The fact that the anti-immigrant anti-immigrant FVD did not achieve such great success in the EU elections was surprising, as it had been good for the party at the provincial elections in March. As a result, the indirect election to the Senate also went well a few days after the election to the European Parliament. Namely, it is the councils of the provinces that elect the 75 members of the Senate. The FVD, led by 36-year-old Thierry Baudet, went strong here and became as large as the reigning VVD, and both were given 12 seats each. The VVD’s coalition partner CDA got 9 seats, D66 got 7 seats and CU 4 seats. The election meant that the government lost the majority in the Senate – but left it with a marginal margin in Parliament.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of NED in general and in geography as Netherlands in particular.
Three people were killed and nine injured (one of whom later died) at a shooting on a tram in Utrecht on March 18. The suspected perpetrator, 37-year-old Turkish citizen Gökmen Tanis, was arrested after the act, suspected of terrorism, possibly with family connection to one of the victims. According to the prosecutor, he was radicalized.
In May, Dutch singer Duncan Laurence won the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel with the song “Arcade”. The last thing that happened was 1975, when Sweden was the host country. The song was then called “Ding Dinge-Dong” and performed by the Dutch group Teach-In.
In June, the Dutch railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) announced that it has allocated tens of millions of euros for compensation to victims of the Holocaust and their relatives. During World War II, NS earned large sums on the transport of 107,000 Dutch Jews to the Nazi camps. In 2001 they apologized, but it is only now that they have decided to pay compensation. Of the 5,000 who survived the death camps, only 500 are alive, and these will receive € 15,000 each; relatives will receive between € 5,000 and € 7,000.
The responsibility of the Netherlands at the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995 reached the Supreme Court during the year, which in July ruled the Dutch responsibility. This was part of the massacre where 350 Muslim men and boys had sought protection from the Dutch peacekeeping UN troops. The Muslim men and boys were killed after being handed over to Bosnian-Serbian troops. The Court now goes along the same lines as lower courts, which in 2017 ruled that the Netherlands was partly responsible for this part of the massacre.
In August, a canning ban came into force. In the summer of 2018, Parliament’s first chamber voted for a ban on wearing face-covering veils, such as burka, in public buildings in the country, that is, in schools, hospitals and government buildings, and for drivers in public transport. However, the ban does not apply to streets and squares. A fine (150–450 euros) for the person who carries the can only be paid if a police call is not obeyed. The Netherlands is the sixth country in the EU that has introduced some kind of bans.
Amsterdam’s joy district should be cleaned up, thinks the city’s first female mayor Femke Halsema. Among other things, she wants to close some of the shop windows and get the prostitutes to move. But the sex workers don’t want that. Felicia Anna, board member of the Red Light United trade union, says: “I have one thing to say to all those who think we are vulnerable, they don’t know us at all.”
According to CountryAAH, the population of Netherlands in 2019 was 17,097,019, ranking number 68 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.220% yearly, and the population density was 507.0323 people per km2.