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Yearbook 2016

Netherlands. In January, the government agreed to extend the Netherlands' participation in the US-led air strikes against the Islamic State terrorist sector (IS) to include Syria. The country has participated in attacks against IS in Iraq since 2014. Prime Minister Mark Rutte pointed out that the terrorist attacks in Paris in November showed that IS posed a threat to security and "our way of life". The United States and France had pushed for the Netherlands to participate in Syria, even though the country had previously wanted a UN mandate first.

2016 Netherlands

According to countryaah, an advisory referendum was held in April on the cooperation agreement that the EU has signed with Ukraine and which has tentatively entered into force. As a clear sign of growing EU resistance in the Netherlands, 61% voted against the agreement, even though turnout was low. Despite the result, Parliament voted down a motion that the Netherlands should withdraw from the agreement which the other 27 EU countries have already approved. Jasidan stressed that it was a trade agreement and not EU membership for Ukraine.

The referendum in the UK in June, where a majority of voters voted for exit from the EU, further strengthened EU resistance in the Netherlands. The leader of the right-wing Extreme Freedom Party (PVV), Geert Wilders, pledged to make "nexit" - a Dutch exit - into an election issue ahead of the 2017 election. PVV, which had 15 of 150 seats in Parliament's second chamber, was predicted to be the largest in the 2017 election.

Geert Wilders was charged with having talked about throwing Moroccans out of the country during a mass meeting in 2015. He was convicted in December for insult and rioting, but not for the more serious crime being incited against a group of people. The PVV leader escaped sanction.

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