The Netherlands reacts to Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US election
People across America and around the world waited with bated breath as the United States tallied up the votes to determine who the next President would be. Even here in the Netherlands, thousands were glued to their TVs or mobile phones as the last few votes were counted in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and North Carolina.
Millions glued to their television screens as they await the results
While Washington may be thousands of miles away, that doesn’t mean people living here in the Netherlands weren’t closely following the results.
On Saturday evening, after a number of news channels called the result and announced Vice President Biden as the winner, the NOS news broadcasts at 6pm and 8pm garnered over 2 million and 2,5 million respectively.
And, according to figures from Stichting Kijkonderzoek, American news channel CNN saw it’s viewing figures rise significantly as a result of their election coverage. Between Wednesday, November 4 and Saturday. November 7 an average of 1,1 million people tuned in to CNN every day - around 10 times the daily average.
Dutch politicians congratulate Biden and Harris on the victory
A number of world leaders hopped on social media on Saturday to congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeting in both English and Dutch to congratulate the pair.
A number of Dutch politicians expressed their support for the pair, including Jesse Klaver, leader of GroenLinks, Lodewijk Asscher, leader of the Labour Party (PvdA), and D66 leader Sigrid Kaag. Deputy Prime Minister Hugo de Jonge (Christian Democratic Appeal) also tweeted his congratulations:
So far, Geert Wilders and Thierry Baudet - leaders of the Party for Freedom (PVV) and Forum for Democracy (FvD) respectively - are yet to address the election results. In the run-up to the election, Wilders was vocal in his support of President Trump.
The relationship between America and the Netherlands
Moving forward, what does the future hold for the Dutch-American (political) relationship? Speaking to the AD, Renée Jones-Bos, former Dutch ambassador to Washington, said: “The US has always been an important partner for the Netherlands, also economically.”
Jones-Bos says that, during Biden’s time as Vice President to Barack Obama, “The Netherlands was clearly on his retina...He called it a 'Small country [with a] big footprint'.” She feels that the Netherlands can benefit from Biden’s presidency, highlighting his extensive experience in international relations.
Communications expert Kirsten Verdel, who worked on Obama’s campaign team back in 2008, called Biden the “American Rutte”, saying he is someone who can shift his policies and supporters from left to right, depending on the political climate