Top globalist, pro-immigration Eurocrat quits Brussels to run for Dutch leadership, and conservatives aren’t happy about it

European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans speaks during a meeting with China's Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Tuesday, July 4, 2023. (Pedro Pardo/Pool Photo via AP)
By Dénes Albert
5 Min Read

Frans Timmermans, the EU commissioner responsible for the European Green Deal, is to quit Brussels in order to run for the leadership of the combined Labor (PvdA) and Green Left (GL) parties in his native Netherlands ahead of a general election expected in November.

The 62-year-old Labour politician, who is returning to Dutch politics after ten years, has already informed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of his decision, as reported by Dutch news portal Volksrant.

Timmermans is a former Dutch Labur Party (PvdA) MP and also served as foreign minister in the second government of Mark Rutte, who announced last week his intention to leave front-line politics after his latest coalition government collapsed over a disagreement on asylum and immigration reforms.

Timmermans was appointed EU commissioner in 2014 and vice-president of the European Commission, and from 2019 he was responsible for the implementation of the European Green Deal in Brussels.

Some conservatives are pointing to previous remarks from Timmermans to show how grave a threat he represents to the Netherlands if he comes to power. In regard to his stance on immigration, for example, Timmermans said in a speech while serving as. European Commissioner, he claimed that “diversity is humanity’s destiny,” and that “There will be no place, even in the remotest areas of this planet, that does not have diversity.

He also asserted that “Europe will be diverse, just like all the other parts of the world. The only question is how we deal with this diversity. And my answer to that is: By making sure that our values ​​dictate how we deal with diversity and not by sacrificing values ​​by refusing diversity. That will bring us to hell as a society. If we don’t get this right, I honestly believe that Europe will no longer be the Europe we built. Europe will no longer be a place of peace and freedom.”

Earlier this week, the PvdA and GL parties announced they will run on a joint ticket in the early Dutch parliamentary elections and Timmermans is considered the front-runner for both parties. A formal decision on the joint top candidate will be announced in August.

Timmermans’ main challengers will be Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgöz of the Free Democratic People’s Party (VVD) and Caroline van der Plas, leader of the fledgling Farmers and Citizens Movement (BBB) which stormed to victory in the regional elections earlier this year, riding the public backlash over controversial plans to impose radical agricultural reforms

Recent opinion polls see the VddA-GL alliance leading the way with 17 percent, closely followed by the VVD on 16 percent, and the BBB on 13 percent of the vote share.

The Eurocrat’s desire to return to front-line politics in the Netherlands has been met with criticism from conservatives both at home and abroad.

“Frans Timmermans is the worst thing that can happen to the Netherlands—Sigrid Kaag with a beard and then worse. For maximum climate and nitrogen madness, for more EU, for more diversity, woke and asylum. The total downfall of the Netherlands,” tweeted Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), on Thursday.

Will Frans Timmermans go into the benches if he does not govern? I can tell you: No. A candidate for his own agenda is the last thing the Netherlands needs,” tweeted Johan van Utrecht, head of the BBB’s European election program.

Meanwhile, Matteo Salvini, a coalition partner of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and former interior minister himself, said of Timmermans’ exit from Brussels: “He will not be missed. How much damage this gentleman has done, we count on the Dutch voters to treat him as he deserves.”

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