GroenLinks (GL/Greens) and the Labour Party (PvdA/S&D) will not present a joint election programme for next year’s European Parliament elections despite overwhelming support within both parties, according to internal sources.
The two parties entered an alliance on the national stage during the 2021-2022 negotiations to form a cabinet, further strengthening cooperation after finding themselves in the opposition. This increased cooperation has even led to talks about merging the two parties.
One of the main reasons the joint programme fell through can be attributed to the two parties being members of different factions within the EU parliament, with GroenLinks being affiliated with the European Greens. In contrast, Labour is affiliated with the S&D faction, according to NRC Handelsblad.
“In Europe, the cooperation between Social Democrats and Green parties is suboptimal in many countries, and that is putting it mildly. […] So with the programme, it has been a search for a way that is understood in Brussels and can also work in the Netherlands,” MEP Bas Eickhout (Greens) commented on the difficulty of agreeing on a joint programme.
Instead of a joint election programme, the two parties presented a joint “manifest” while they all held on to their respective programme. GroenLinks, in particular, opposed the idea of presenting a joint programme.
Nevertheless, both parties have installed “programme commissions” separately to achieve the highest possible degree of convergence between the respective parties’ election programmes.
The move will most likely anger party members who overwhelmingly advocated for a joint programme during a joint convention in Den Bosch last February. Back then, 87% of PvdA members and 77% of GL members voted for a joint EU election programme.
“Our motion was passed with huge support by the GroenLinks and Labour members. So we also expect it to be ambitiously implemented. The text in the motion is crystal clear: a joint programme of the Labour Party and GroenLinks,” stated action group RoodGroen, which consists of PvdA and GL members who advocate for stronger cooperation between the two parties.
(Benedikt Stöckl | EURACTIV.com)
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