NECE

Meijvogel-Volk about the Democracy in the Netherlands

11.4.2017
After the defeat of the right-wing populist party PVV in the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, many Europeans have been relieved. But in how far we might speak about a defeat at all, since the PVV gained five more seats in Parliament? We spoke to Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk from ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law about the elections results and their effect to the work of civil society platforms like NECE.

A shot of the flags of the EU and the Netherlands.A shot of the flags of the EU and the Netherlands. (© picture-alliance/dpa, Daniel Reinhardt)

NECE: To what extent is the election result in the Netherlands a success on which the Dutch democracy can rest?

Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk: Critical reflections on democracy might never rest. But we at ProDemos do not enter into any grading concerning existing political parties. Our work empowers citizens, giving them adequate knowledge and skills to judge on content and people in the political arena themselves.

NECE: In recent years, populist parties and their followers have seen a sharp increase in many European countries, also in the Netherlands. Well, ProDemos is committed to democracy and the rule of law in the Netherlands as well as internationally. To what extent has your work been influenced by the effect of the populists?

Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk: Working in the area of citizenship education is in all times challenging job. Populistic discussions in society might make citizenship education on first sight more difficult. But on the other hand you might conclude as well, that sharp discussion and controversial issues also might work out as a ‘wake up call’ for citizens. The electoral turn out at the Parliamentarian elections in the Netherlands were now quite high (80%). That fact is something which we at ProDemos deem as important, independent from the possible outcome.

NECE: Last but not least, provocative statements from the Turkish government against the Netherlands have caused controversies in your country and Europe also. How can we – as actors of citizenship education – help to find a way out the situation? What should civil society platforms like NECE do now?

Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk: One thing might be intergovernmental controversies and behaviours of politicians which we see as ‘not-done’. I do not think that civil society platforms should give too explicit their opinion on such phenomena. But we have the opportunity to build (trans-nationally) bridges between civil societies and their actors. In that sense we should be open towards civil society organizations from Turkey to join NECE. We could invite representatives from Turkish NGO’s more explicitly. Also in the past it was NECE tradition to strengthen civil society in different countries in difficult times. That might be the right approach looking at the current situation in Turkish society.



 

Newsbox

European Civic Academy - NGOs as Drivers for Enhanced, Civic and Democratic Spaces in Europe,
30 September - 1st October 2017 in Bruxelles.
Register here

Inside Our Blind Spots - What we report and what we don't see.
Medienkonferenz in Kyiv on 5-8 October 2017.
Register here

Please take a look at the new NECE Newsletter: NECE Newsletter 03/2017 (html-Version)

'Hard to Reach' Focus Group - Your chance to get involved!
Labelling learners as 'Hard to Reach' immediately suggests that the problem lies with the learner rather than the educational system. The group is now seeking a more appropriate name as we encourage more people to…

Short Interview with Jon Worth

Meijvogel-Volk about the Democracy in the Netherlands
NECE.eu spoke to Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk from ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law about the elections results and their effect to the work of civil society platforms like NECE. Read here.

Haci Halil Uslucan about the Turkish-European Relations
NECE spoke to Haci Halil Uslucan, Professor for Modern Turkish Studies and Integration Research at Duisburg-Essen University about the threat to democracy and Turkey's prospects of joining the EU. Read here.

Civic Education in Eastern Europe - bpb publishes collection of essays as free e-book in English and Russian
The Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) has published the book "Civic Education and Democratisation in Eastern Partnership Countries". The publication is available as a free e-book in English and Russian language.