Dutch Prime Minister Rutte makes migration a deployment in elections

Plenary session - Debate on the Future of Europe with the Dutch Prime Minister

As far as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is concerned, migration will be one of the spearheads of the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Netherlands in spring 2021. The Prime Minister said this in his traditional Christmas interview with De Telegraaf. He makes a European issue the spearhead of domestic politics.

The liberal Rutte argues that Europe does accept refugees in need, but no longer includes asylum seekers in access procedures that have no chance of admission. He is annoyed that some EU countries at the external borders of Europe let all refugees and asylum seekers through uncontrolled.

The admission of several million refugees and asylum seekers, especially from the Middle East and North Africa, has been a split between European countries for the past five years. Some Eastern European countries refuse to accept asylum seekers in their villages and towns, and several Southern European countries allow asylum seekers to travel unhindered and unregistered

Premier does not name countries by name in the interview, but probably mainly refers to countries such as Poland, Hungary, Austria, Greece, Italy and Spain. Ignoring the controls could jeopardize the existence of the Schengen agreement as far as Rutte is concerned. Critics say that the agreement no longer works and exists. In this agreement, European countries made agreements on the free movement of people between member states.

“The countries at the external borders must distinguish between genuine asylum seekers and economic migrants who have nothing to do with in Europe. They should not let the latter group go through. If that does not happen, then you cannot continue with Schengen, "says Rutte.

Whether the Schengen agreement will actually be lifted if nothing is going to change, the prime minister cannot say. “I'm not saying we're going to abolish Schengen, but Schengen is in danger. Solidarity is a fundamental agreement within Schengen. "

If the Schengen agreement is canceled, it may mean that border controls will be introduced again. Rutte would rather not see that happen.

The plea of the Dutch Prime Minister is also seen by observers as a response to the rise and growth of right-wing populist political parties in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has had Geert Wilders' large anti-Muslim party PVV for many years. Since last year, the Forum for Democracy (FvD) has been added, which is strongly opposed to all kinds of foreign influences in the Netherlands. PVV and FvD are considered strong anti-European.

These two parties have joined all kinds of coalitions with extreme right and strong nationalist parties. In provincial elections early this year, the FvD almost became the largest party in one go.