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More people are comparing Rutte, not to Thatcher, but rather to Cameron; for instance, Luuk Molthof, a "senior research fellow at d|part, a nonpartisan political think tank based in Berlin."

Mark Rutte is in danger of repeating David Cameron's mistakes

Like Cameron, Rutte has a history of playing into his country's soft Euroskepticism. He toned down that approach after the Brexit referendum -- having realized that a Nexit, while unlikely, cannot be entirely ruled out.

But he also seems to have concluded that, in order not to embolden the Euroskeptic opposition any further, he can't be seen to be supporting any significant increase in the Dutch financial contributions to the EU.

If Rutte's intention was to cover his Euroskeptic flank, it's easy to see why his approach during the lead-up to the EU summit has already backfired.

By rhetorically pitting the Netherlands (and the other frugal three) against the rest of the EU, Rutte created the impression that Dutch and European interests are not aligned -- whereas in fact the Netherlands has just as much at stake in Europe's recovery as everyone else.


In Cameron's case, it was obvious that his obstructionism made him few friends in Europe. By the time he wanted to negotiate a reform deal, which was meant to secure the U.K.'s stay in the EU, he had already lost a lot of goodwill. As a result, his European partners were not all that keen to help him out of the grave he dug himself.

Rutte risks spiraling down the same path. The Netherlands is in danger of succeeding the U.K. as the EU's "awkward partner." Rutte should be careful not to let this happen.

For a small member state, the Netherlands is surprisingly influential in the EU, due mainly to its close relationship with Germany. Yet Rutte's stubbornness in the recent EU budget negotiations has led to a growing rift between the two countries. In order to be able to effectively represent Dutch interests in the future, he would do well not to let this rift widen.


by Bernard on Thu Jul 23rd, 2020 at 03:04:16 PM EST
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Mark Rutte's economic policies are based on Thatcherism and Conservatism. The proces of confrontation with Brussels has elements of both: Thatcher on special treatment and deductions, Cameron on negotiation tactics of obstruction due to domestic politics.

The Tories lost votes to UKIP's Farage. Dutch Conservative party VVD has to use populist tactics of the far right on immigration and "anti-EU" position or lose voters to Geert Wilders and newcomer Thierry Baudet.

Brexiteer Big Winner Dutch Upper House Election | Diary - March 21, 2019 |

After PM May, Rutte's Friendship w Trump

PM Rutte relies on excellent PR management and very friendly Dutch media and journalism. So bad, I can't watch news programs or documentaries. All are little critical and the Dutch have lived through two decades of right-wing rhetoric after 9/11 that changed society forever. The political murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh were the catalysts of Xenophobia and Islamophobia.

by Oui on Thu Jul 23rd, 2020 at 08:28:59 PM EST
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