Forum for Democracy

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Forum for Democracy

Forum voor Democratie
LeaderThierry Baudet
ChairmanThierry Baudet
Vice ChairmanTheo Hiddema
SecretaryRob Rooken
Leader in the House of RepresentativesThierry Baudet
Leader in the SenatePaul Cliteur
FounderThierry Baudet
Henk Otten
Founded22 September 2016
HeadquartersHerengracht 74
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Youth wingJongerenorganisatie Forum voor Democratie (JFvD)
Think tankRenaissance Instituut
Membership (2019)Increase 30,674[1]
IdeologyDutch nationalism[2]
National conservatism[5]
Conservative liberalism[6]
Climate change denial[7][8]
Direct democracy[4][9][10][11]
Right-wing populism[12][13][14]

Political positionRight-wing[11][16][17][18] to
European affiliationEuropean Conservatives and Reformists Party[23]
European Parliament groupEuropean Conservatives and Reformists[24]
Colors     Maroon
House of Representatives
2 / 150
9 / 75
82 / 570
European Parliament
3 / 26
King's Commissioners
0 / 12

Forum for Democracy (Dutch: Forum voor Democratie, FvD) is a conservative, right-wing populist[25] Eurosceptic political party in the Netherlands, initially founded as a think tank by Thierry Baudet, who has been the party's leader since its founding in late 2016. The party first participated in elections in the 2017 general election, winning two seats in the House of Representatives. In the 2019 provincial elections, FvD won the most number of seats.


The FvD was established as a think tank whose main feat was campaigning in the 2016 Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum against the EU in general.[26]

In September 2016, it converted itself into a political party and announced its intention to take part in the 2017 general election, where the FvD ended up with 1.8% of the vote and 2 seats, entering parliament for the first time. In February 2019, the FvD had nearly 31,000 members.[27] As populists, the bulk of the Forum's nominated parliamental candidates did not have prior active experience in other political parties.[28][29]

In February 2018, the party suffered from internal issues with a number of prominent members leaving the party because they felt the party had a lack of internal democracy.[30]

In the 2018 municipal elections, the FvD won 3 seats at the Amsterdam city council.

During the 2019 provincial elections, Forum for Democracy won 86 seats spread across the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. In South Holland, North Holland and Flevoland, FvD became the largest party, winning 11, 9 and 8 seats respectively. In all other provinces, the party captured either the second or third spot in terms of the popular vote.



FvD is a conservative liberal party and as such supports economic liberalism.[6] The party is a proponent of the introduction of high tax free bracket for everyone, the abolition of taxes on gifts and inheritance and a radical simplification of tax brackets.[31][32][33][34] The party is a proponent of drastic changes in elementary and secondary education, focusing on performance evaluations for teachers.[35] It wants to expand the armed forces, expanding the National Reserve Corps and reverting defense budget cuts.[36] In addition, the party has promoted plans to defund and privatize the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep, a Dutch public broadcasting organization.[37]

Electoral reform[edit]

One of the major issues the party campaigns against is the perceived existence of a party cartel in which the main ruling parties of the country divide power among themselves and work towards the same goals despite claiming to be competitors.[26] The party promises direct democracy through binding referenda[28] as well as directly elected mayors and a directly elected Prime Minister.[38][39] The party is also in favor of the government consisting of apolitical experts in their respective fields ("meritocracy"), and top civil servants having to reapply for their positions whenever a new cabinet is formed.[40]

Immigration and European Union[edit]

Historically, the party has opposed the European Union (EU), but in March 2019 it changed its position over a referendum on a potential Dutch EU withdrawal, arguing that the timing is not right, and that they will first see how things work out in Great Britain.[41] It also adopts a nationalist viewpoint in which the Dutch culture should be protected.[2] For instance, the party is in favor of reinstating border controls and ending what it perceives as mass immigration.[42][43] It also campaigns against unchecked immigration, says it would introduce a Dutch Values Protection Act and wants to ban Islamic face veils and other face coverings.[44]

Election results[edit]


Election year House of Representatives Government
Votes % Seats +/–
2017 187,162 1.8 (#13)
2 / 150
New in opposition
Election year Senate Government
Votes % Seats +/–
2019 27,473 15.87
12 / 75
New in opposition


Election Municipality Votes Percentage Rank Seats +/-
2018 Amsterdam 20,015 5.77 8th
3 / 45


Election Over all 12 provinces Involved in
Votes Percentage Rank Seats +/-
2019[45] 1,057,029 14.53 1st
86 / 570
1 / 12

European Parliament[edit]

Election year List Votes % Seats +/– Notes
2019 List 602,507 10.96 (#4)
3 / 26
3 Increase [46][47][48]


Forum for Democracy has, since it became active in politics, consistently sparked controversy,[49][50] especially regarding allegations of racism against important FvD politicians,[51] the FvD "left-wing indoctrination in education" hotline,[52] and whether or not FvD is a far-right party.[18] Many of these controversies surround party leader Baudet.[53]

Party membership[edit]

Year Membership[1][54]
2017 1,863
2018 22,884
2019 30,674



Thierry Baudet, founder and leader of the party
Theo Hiddema, vice chairman of the party

Party Board[edit]

  • Chairman
    • Thierry Baudet
  • Secretary
    • Rob Rooken
  • Treasurer
    • Rob Rooken
  • Board members
    • Lennart van der Linden
    • Olaf Ephraim
    • Astrid de Groot


  1. ^ a b "Forum voor Democratie vierde ledenpartij, middenpartijen verliezen juist veel leden". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Leonid Bershidsky (22 February 2017). "The Dutch Election Is About More Than Nationalism".
  3. ^ a b "The Dutch Election Is About More Than Nationalism". Bloomberg. 22 February 2017. The Forum for Democracy (FvD) has a curious history. Baudet, a well-regarded legal scholar and political philosopher, set it up in 2015 as an ultra-conservative, euroskeptic think tank
  4. ^ a b c "Wat is Forum voor Democratie?". NPO Focus. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Dutch Local Election Candidate: 'Current EU is a Monster, It's Undemocratic'". Sputnik. 20 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b Lucardie, Paul (30 April 2018). "Tussen de Tocqueville en Spengler: het Forum voor Democratie op de tweesprong". De Hofvijver (in Dutch). No. 85. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  7. ^ de Witt Wijnen, Philip; Rutten, Rik (23 February 2019). "De ongemakkelijke 'feitentwist' van Thierry Baudet". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  8. ^ den Hartog, Tobias (6 March 2019). "Baudet moet de Wilders worden die wél levert". AD (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Anti-EU boy wonder breezes in as Dutch election kingmaker". The Times. 29 January 2017. But just as emblematic of what is stirring in Holland is the growing excitement around Mr Baudet and his campaign for more direct democracy.
  10. ^ "Dutch anti-Ukraine vote spawns 'app democracy' party". euobserver. 6 December 2016.
  11. ^ a b c de Boissieu, Laurent. "Forum voor Democratie (FvD)". Europe Politique (in French). Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  12. ^ "De nieuwe politieke kaart van Nederland: versnippering in beeld". (in Dutch). 23 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  13. ^ Korteweg, Ariejan (22 March 2019). "Weghonen van populistisch rechts is geen optie meer". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  14. ^ "The Dutch defeat 'the wrong kind of populism'". Heinrich Böll Foundation. 22 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Standpunten" (in Dutch). Forum voor Democratie. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Dutch election: How do you choose between 28 parties?". Sky News. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Splintering of Dutch politics makes election hard to predict". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  18. ^ a b Misérus, Mark (27 May 2017). "Hoe rechts is Forum voor Democratie?". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  19. ^ Fallon, Katy (25 March 2019). "Forum voor Democratie: Why has the Dutch far right surged?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  20. ^ Boztas, Senay (23 March 2019). "Surprise electoral win leaves far-Right populists scrambling to fill seats". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  21. ^ Schaart, Eline (20 March 2019). "Far-right populists score stunning win in Dutch provincial vote". Politico. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  22. ^ Tierolf, Bas; Drost, Lisanne; van Kapel, Maaike (December 2018). Zevende rapportage racisme, antisemitisme en extreemrechts geweld in Nederland (PDF) (Report) (in Dutch). Verwey-Jonker Instituut. p. 35. ISBN 978-90-5830-912-9. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  23. ^ "Our family". Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  24. ^ van den Dool, Pim (5 June 2019). "Forum duwt ChristenUnie uit Europese politieke familie". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  25. ^ Zulianello, Mattia (2019). "Varieties of Populist Parties and Party Systems in Europe: From State-of-the-Art to the Application of a Novel Classification Scheme to 66 Parties in 33 Countries" (PDF). Government and Opposition: 5.
  26. ^ a b Joshua Chaffin (14 March 2017). "Populists seize the moment as Dutch fall out of love with EU". Financial Times.
  27. ^ Mebius, Dion (12 February 2019). "Politieke partijen beperken ledenverlies, Forum voor Democratie op drie na grootste". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  28. ^ a b Douglas Murray (28 January 2017). "Geert Wilders doesn't threaten Dutch liberalism: he's defending it".
  29. ^ "Forum voor Democratie". Archived from the original on 2017-03-15. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  30. ^ "Uittocht bij Forum voor Democratie houdt aan - Binnenland - PAROOL". Het Parool. 9 February 2018.
  31. ^ "Economie". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  32. ^ "Belastingen". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  33. ^ "Internet". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  34. ^ "Privacy". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  35. ^ "Onderwijs". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  36. ^ "Defensie". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  37. ^ "Sanering Publieke Omroep". Forum voor Democratie. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  38. ^ "Directe Democratie". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  39. ^ "Kartelbestrijding". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  40. ^ "Gekozen minister-president". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  41. ^ Boersema, Wendelmoet (5 April 2019). "Nexit? Nu even niet, bij Forum voor Democratie". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 November 2019. We zullen nu eerst kijken hoe het afloopt in Groot-Brittannië.
  42. ^ "Wet Bescherming Nederlandse Waarden". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  43. ^ "Immigratie & Remigratie". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  44. ^ "New Dutch Eurosceptic party that wants Netherlands EU referendum now polling in second place". The Independent. 19 February 2018.
  45. ^ "Provinciale Staten 20 maart 2021".
  46. ^ "Kiesraad: Election results by election commission". Kiesraad. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  47. ^ "Kiesraad: PDF with all information about the European Parliament elections in 2019". Kiesraad. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  48. ^ "Kiesraad: Data about European Elections 2019 in the Netherlands". Kiesraad. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  49. ^ "Baudet in buitenlandse media 'de Nederlandse Trump'". NOS (in Dutch). 21 March 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  50. ^ "D66 en VVD woest op FvD'er Ramautarsing: 'homofobie'". Elsevier Weekblad (in Dutch). 2 March 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  51. ^ "Lijsttrekkers duiken met z'n allen op Baudet tijdens landelijk debat". Elsevier Weekblad (in Dutch). 9 February 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  52. ^ "Tweede Kamer spreekt zich uit tegen FvD-meldpunt linkse leraren". Joop (in Dutch). 9 April 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  53. ^ van der Sterren, Luuk (14 March 2017). "De digitale strategie van Thierry Baudet: 'net als Trump'". Follow The Money (in Dutch). Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  54. ^ "Ledentallen Nederlandse politieke partijen per 1 januari 2016, 2017 en 2018" (PDF). Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 June 2018.

External links[edit]