The Netherlands shuns EU rules in favour of autonomous politics

In its subsidiary review, the Netherlands has proposed a ground-breaking nationalistic approach to the EU.

Union vs Nation

The Dutch government's message essentially urges countries to recognise which of the European Union's responsibilities are just - and which might better be performed by the member states themselves.

The principle which guided the proposal is "European where necessary, national where possible." Recent developments suggest that its original vision is deteriorating, as an "ever closer union" looks less and less likely.

The Dutch government maintains that it is not aiming for an overhaul of EU treaty. However, it hopes its letter will encourage the Union to consider whether all of its tasks and duties are strictly necessary.

The Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, who made the proposal, hopes that it will help create a more modest, sober and effective European Union.

He effectively suggests that topics such as social security, media pluralism, flood management and school food could be taken care of by individual countries, rather than left to the EU. 

Nonetheless, the proposal also allows that the issues of climate change, migration and the economic crisis, among others, are best managed by a central governing body such as the EU.

The document will now be assessed by the Dutch parliament, before being taken to the European Commission and other EU member states in order to garner support.

Source: Government of the Netherlands

Elzi Lewis


Elzi Lewis

Elzi swapped rainy Manchester for (rainier) Amsterdam a year ago, and has never looked back. Having just finished an MA at the University of Amsterdam, she is both excited and...

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