EU Climate Chief Frans Timmermans to Lead Centre-Left Bloc in Dutch Elections

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EU (Parliament Politic Magazine) – The parties have announced that Frans Timmermans, the vice-president of the European Commission, is the sole candidate to lead a merged campaign between two left-leaning parties in the upcoming Dutch general election in November.

Mr. Timmermans, a former Dutch foreign minister who currently serves as the European Union’s climate chief, is expected to be officially confirmed as the leader of the Labour Party and Green Left campaign on August 22, following a vote by party members.

In a message shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, the parties praised Mr. Timmermans as a leader who will steer the Netherlands towards a greener and more socially-oriented path.

Upcoming Dutch Parliamentary Elections

Mr. Timmermans aims to spearhead a groundbreaking joint campaign between two progressive parties during the upcoming Dutch parliamentary elections in late November (Pool via AP). The statement highlights Mr. Timmermans’ exceptional ability to bridge divides, his commitment to rebuilding trust, and his unwavering vision for the future of our nation.

In a remarkable display of unity, members from both parties reached a consensus last month to present a unified manifesto and a single list of candidates for the November 22 election. This strategic move seeks to consolidate the center-left vote in the fragmented Dutch political arena, fostering a stronger and more cohesive voice for progressive ideals.

The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, led by the conservative leader Mark Rutte, has been at the helm of the last four ruling Dutch coalitions. However, in July, Mr. Rutte and his four-party coalition were compelled to resign due to their inability to reach a consensus on a comprehensive set of measures aimed at controlling migration.

The Netherlands’ longest-serving premier, the outgoing leader, has recently declared his intention to step down from politics once a new coalition is established following the upcoming election.

The Netherlands’ Labour and Green Left parties have put forward Frans Timmermans, the EU climate chief, as their sole candidate to lead their joint ticket in the upcoming parliamentary election scheduled for November, according to a statement from the Green Left party on Friday.

Timmermans Wants to Become the Next Prime Minister

In July, Timmermans expressed his desire to become the next prime minister and confirmed his candidacy to lead the joint ticket. Both parties will now have until August 22nd to vote on Timmermans’ nomination.

 These elections come in the wake of the collapse of the four-party coalition government led by outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which fell apart due to the inability to reach a consensus on immigration restrictions.

If the parties confirm Timmermans as their lead candidate, he will be required to resign from his EU post. In July, a spokesperson from the European Commission stated that Timmermans would not have to step down immediately, as his candidacy is still speculative until the parties officially select him in late August.

Timmermans, a former foreign minister and a member of the Labor Party, aspires to become the next Dutch prime minister. His primary objective is to bring together a nation that is becoming increasingly divided.

“I think it’s time for us in the Netherlands to grow closer together again instead of growing apart. The fragmentation in politics must be countered,” he said. “We have enormous challenges — the climate crisis, nature is not in good shape. But also a war on the borders of Europe.”

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Jesse Klaver Expressed his Happiness

His candidacy quickly garnered support. Attje Kuiken, the leader of the Labor Party’s bloc in the lower house of parliament, expressed her excitement by tweeting, “This is fantastic news!” Similarly, Jesse Klaver, the leader of the Green Left party, took to Twitter and stated, “This is great news!” 

“We have a unique chance at these elections to change the course of the Netherlands and usher in a new era. Frans Timmermans is absolutely the perfect premier to do it.”

Next month, members from both parties will cast their votes to elect their preferred leader. The eagerly awaited results will be officially announced on August 22nd. In addition, Timmermans expressed his strong determination to eliminate social inequalities within Dutch society.

Early elections were called earlier this month after the Netherlands’ longest-serving premier, Mark Rutte, and his four-party coalition resigned. Their resignation came after they failed to reach an agreement on how to effectively address the issue of migration.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.