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Chapter Summary

Recent years have seen the emergence of a markedly more critical discourse in the Netherlands as regards European integration. Concerns over both the size of the net national contribution to the European Union budget and the implications for the country of EU enlargement have given rise to high-profile public debates. An explicitly articulated discourse of national interest, centred on but not limited to the Liberal VVD, has become a staple of political debate. At the same time, movements with clearly Eurosceptic agendas (the Pim Fortuyn List and the Socialist Party) have enjoyed unparalleled levels of electoral success. Although not of significant electoral salience, ‘Europe’ has nevertheless emerged as an issue in Dutch politics. The present article examines these stirrings of dissent in an EU member state which had long been regarded as one of the most enthusiastic supporters of further integration.



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