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Forum for Democracy

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Forum for Democracy

Forum voor Democratie
LeaderThierry Baudet
ChairmanThierry Baudet
Vice ChairmanTheo Hiddema
SecretaryRob Rooken
TreasurerHenk Otten
Leader in the House of RepresentativesThierry Baudet
FounderThierry Baudet
Founded22 September 2016
HeadquartersHerengracht 74
Youth wingJongerenorganisatie Forum voor Democratie (JFvD)
ThinktankRenaissance 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] to far-right[18][19][20][21]
International affiliationNone
Colours     Maroon
Seats in the Senate
0 / 75
Seats in the House of Representatives
2 / 150
Provincial seats
86 / 570
Seats in the European Parliament
0 / 26
King's Commissioners
0 / 12
Website (in Dutch)

Forum for Democracy (Dutch: Forum voor Democratie, FvD) is a conservative, Eurosceptic political party in the Netherlands, 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, then became the first political force in the 2019 provincial elections.

It is seeking membership of the European Conservatives and Reformists, a political grouping in the European Parliament.


Thierry Baudet, founder and leader of the party

Forum for Democracy was established as a think tank; its main feat was campaigning in the 2016 Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum.[22] In September 2016, it converted itself into a political party and announced its intention to take part in the 2017 Dutch general election.

In the 2017 general election, the FvD ended up with 1.8% of the vote and 2 seats, entering parliament for the first time.

In January 2019 the FvD had approximately 30,000 members[citation needed].. The bulk of the Forum's parliamental candidates did not have prior active experience in other political parties.[23][24] 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.[25]

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.



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.[26][27] [28][29] The party is a proponent of drastic changes in elementary and secondary education, focusing on performance evaluations for teachers.[30] They want to expand the armed forces, expanding the National Reserve Corps and reverting defence budget cuts.[31] In addition, the party has promoted plans to privatise the Dutch public broadcasting organisation, the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep.[32]

Electoral reform

Theo Hiddema, speaking to the press

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 conspire towards the same goals, despite claiming to be competitors.[22] The party promises direct democracy through binding referenda,[23] as well as directly elected mayors and a directly elected Prime Minister.[33][34] The party is also in favour of the government consisting of apolitical experts, and top civil servants having to reapply for their positions when a new cabinet is formed.[35]

Immigration and EU

The party opposes the European Union and campaigns for a referendum on Dutch EU withdrawal. It also adopts a nationalist viewpoint in which the Dutch culture should be protected;[2] the party is in favor of reinstating border controls and ending what it perceives as mass immigration.[36][37] It campaigns against unchecked immigration, and says it would introduce a "Dutch Values Protection Act" and wants to ban Islamic face veils and other face coverings.[38]

Election results

Lower House

Election Votes % Rank Seats +/– Government
2017 187,162 1.8 #13
2 / 150
New in opposition

Upper House

Election # Votes % Percentage # Seats +/–
2019 27 May 27 May New


Election Over all 12 provinces Provincial-
Votes % Rank Seats +/-
2019[39] 1,057,029 14.53 #1
86 / 570


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

Party membership

Year Membership[40][1]
2017 1,863
2018 22,884
2019 30,674



Party Board


  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 a 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. ^ "Tussen de Tocqueville en Spengler: het Forum voor Democratie op de tweesprong". Montesqieu Institute. 30 April 2018.
  7. ^ Mebius, Frank Dion; Hendrickx, Frank (22 March 2019). "Hoe de zegetocht van Thierry Baudet tot stand kwam". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 March 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 "Forum voor Democratie (FvD) — Europe Politique".
  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. ^ (in Dutch) "Standpunten". 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. ^ Fallon, Katy (25 March 2019). "Forum voor Democratie: Why has the Dutch far right surged?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  19. ^ Boztas, Senay (23 March 2019). "Surprise electoral win leaves far-Right populists scrambling to fill seats". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  20. ^ Schaart, Eline (20 March 2019). "Far-right populists score stunning win in Dutch provincial vote". Politico. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  21. ^ Kleinpaste, Thijs (28 March 2019). "The New Face of the Dutch Far-Right". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  22. ^ a b Joshua Chaffin (14 March 2017). "Populists seize the moment as Dutch fall out of love with EU". Financial Times.
  23. ^ a b Douglas Murray (28 January 2017). "Geert Wilders doesn't threaten Dutch liberalism: he's defending it".
  24. ^ "Forum voor Democratie". Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  25. ^ "Uittocht bij Forum voor Democratie houdt aan - Binnenland - PAROOL". Het Parool. 9 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Economie". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  27. ^ "Belastingen". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  28. ^ "Internet". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  29. ^ "Privacy". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  30. ^ "Onderwijs". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  31. ^ "Defensie". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  32. ^ "Sanering Publieke Omroep". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  33. ^ "Directe Democratie". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  34. ^ "Kartelbestrijding". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  35. ^ "Gekozen minister-president". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  36. ^ "Wet Bescherming Nederlandse Waarden". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  37. ^ "Immigratie & Remigratie". Forum voor Democratie. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  38. ^ "New Dutch Eurosceptic party that wants Netherlands EU referendum now polling in second place". The Independent. 19 February 2018.
  39. ^ "Provinciale Staten 20 maart 2021".
  40. ^ "Ledentallen Nederlandse politieke partijen per 1 januari 2016, 2017 en 2018" (PDF). Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 June 2018.

External links