Once regarded as a cornerstone of the European project, the Netherlands now figures as one of its severest critics. This commentary by Adriaan Schout argues that one reason for this reversal in position is that the Dutch Parliament has been skirting European problems. He laments that debates about the EU have come too late and been conducted with insufficient depth, leaving the public with feelings of uncertainty, for example about whether their taxes are being wasted on Greece and on an ineffective EU budget. Such uncertainties create a fertile breeding ground for discontent.
The author is Head of the Clingendael European Studies Programme at the Clingendael Institute in the Hague and Associate Research Fellow at CEPS