The Netherlands as an EU Member: Awkward or Loyal Partner?
Many of the preconceptions about the Netherlands in the EU are wrong. Over the past few years, Dutch and international media have signaled almost daily that, all of a sudden, the Netherlands has changed from a pro-European country into an anti-European country. It is as if the Netherlands no longer wants to move backward or forward in the EU and as if politicians are only too happy to criticize the EU. What prevails is the paradoxical image of a small open country that has cooled towards Europe. This book looks beyond grand statements like 'the Netherlands is for/against Europe' and employs the sectoral thermometer: are we actually seeing the Netherlands withdraw at the very level where policy is pursued and where European agreements are made? Was the Netherlands really that pro-European in terms of policy implementation in the first place, and has that changed now? The book shows that the Netherlands has always been pragmatic in its approach to Europe. In the short-term perspective of the media and politicians, the Dutch unconditional support for a supranational body like the European Commission may have changed into a form of intergovernmental cooperation more dictated by self-interest, and, instead of championing further integration, the Netherlands may now be stalling or reversing European policy. However, the book underlines that, in general, the Netherlands was not dogmatic at all, but rather made choices based on largely objective considerations of use and necessity: sometimes more intergovernmental, while at others more supranational, sometimes more focused on regulation, on other occasions aimed at deregulation and coordination. Nor did the Netherlands suddenly change its views or became more critical of the EU in 2005. Reserve has always been part of the Dutch approach. Contents include: Europe Beyond Its Image * Public Opinion * The European Union: International Actor with Handicaps * Europe or the United States? * The Shifting Sands of the Arab Spring: Can the European Union and Dutch Foreign Policies Make a Difference? * The Netherlands, Russia, and the European Union * Dutch Influence on Regulation of Migration in Europe: Goodbye Nation State or a Pioneer Country on the Wrong Track? * Dutch Perspectives on European Police Cooperation * Security and Defense at the EU Level: The Hague's Blind Spot? * Limits to the Enlargement of the European Union * The Internal Market * The Stability Pact: An Eternal Promise * The Paradox of the Netherlands: Why a Successful Economy Is Struggling? * The European Budget: Consolidation or Modernization? * European Agricultural Policy: Innovations Relating to the Agri-Food Chain and Rural Areas * Party Politics in Europe: Looking for New Directions * Getting a Grip on Europe: National Parliamentary Scrutiny of European Policy.
Publication Date: 11/18/2013