The Greens (Netherlands)
|Part of a series on|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
A group of Dutch environmentalists led by Marten Bierman founded the Greens on December 17, 1983. They entered the European elections under the name "European Greens" since the name "The Greens" was controlled by Bas de Gaay Fortman. The party's foundation was supported by the Francophone Belgian green party Ecolo, while the German Greens supported the Green Progressive Accord. The party became involved in the formation of the Coordination of European Green Parties. It won 1.3% of vote in the 1984 European parliament election below the threshold of 4% for a seat.
For the 1986 national elections the party used now the name "The Greens" which was abandoned. With Marten Bierman as top-candidate it won 0.2% of the votes, below the threshold of 0,7% for a seat. The party had a federal structure consisting of provincial parties. In 1987 the Greens participated in the North Holland, South Holland and Gelderland provincial elections. They won one seat on North Holland Provincial council, partially because of the support of Green Amsterdam led by Roel van Duijn. On March 10, 1989 Green Amsterdam merged with the Greens.
In 1989 the GreenLeft was formed by PPR, PSP, CPN and the Christian left Evangelical People's Party. The Greens rejected the formation of this party because it emphasises social-economic issues too much and environmental issues too little. Independently, they participated in the 1989 elections with Roel van Duijn as their top candidate. The party won 0.35% of votes, below the threshold. The party abandoned its federal structure in 1992.
For the Dutch general election of 1994, GreenLeft proposed a candidate chosen by the Greens place 10 on their list, but this was rejected by the Green's Congress. The party entered the election with Hein Westerouen van Meeteren as top-candidate and won 0.2% of vote. In the 1994 municipal elections the party expanded its seats and won seats in Leiden, Nijmegen, Zwolle and Amsterdam. In 1991 GreenLeft MEP Herman Verbeek left his party and continued as an independent. He became a member of the Greens in 1994 and led their European list in the European Parliament election. The party won 2.36% of vote, below the threshold.
In 1995 the party contested several provincial elections. It won seats in North Holland and South Holland (on a combined GreenLeft/The Greens list). The party cooperated with several provincial parties to form a common list for the indirect elections for the Senate by the Provincial Councils. The first seat was taken by the "Federation of Frisian Municipal-interest Parties" and the second by Marten Bierman. Bierman was elected by preference votes. He formed a separate Independent Senate Fraction, a novelty in Dutch politics. Before no group had previously had representation in the Senate without also being present in the House of Representatives. In the 1998 elections the party participated with Jaap Dirkmaat as top-candidate and won 0.2% of the votes. The party did keep its seats in municipal councils and expanded to Haarlem, Zeist, Arnhem, Groningen and Haren.
The Greens did not participate in the Dutch general elections of 2002 and 2003 elections. In 2006 the party lost many seats on municipal councils. It still has some seats on district councils in Amsterdam. The Greens participated in the European elections of 2009 and received 0.2% of the vote.
This table shows the Greens' results at elections to the House of Representatives, Senate, European Parliament, States-Provincial and municipalities.
*: For Green Amsterdam (not a part of the Greens until 1991) **: For the Independent Senate Fraction, also representing other provincial parties.
Because the electorate of the party is small it is hard to identify sociological characteristics of their voters. The electorate of the party is concentrated in Amsterdam, where the party has the strongest municipal chapter.
The Greens changed their structure from a federal to a centralised organization with the change of statutes in 1991, effected in 1994.
Comparison between The Greens and GreenLeft
The Greens are compared to GreenLeft anti-militaristic. For example The Greens sued the Dutch government in 2001 for taking part in operation Enduring Freedom, while GreenLeft is still supporting in 2012 the continuing presence of Dutch military in Afghanistan. Furthermore The Greens focus on introduction of a basic income which is rejected by GreenLeft.
- Supreme Court of the Netherlands 6 Feb 2004, VJV, De Groenen e.a. vs. State of the Netherlands