GroenLinks and the PvdA are not taking any steps towards more far-reaching cooperation in the twenty largest cities. This is evident from a tour of Nieuwsuur. There will be no joint campaigns, posters or joint lists for the March municipal elections. There are also no agreements yet to conduct college negotiations together.

Over the past few months, the two parties have sought national rapprochement. GroenLinks suffered a defeat in the parliamentary elections, the party dropped from fourteen to eight seats. The PvdA got stuck at nine seats.

During the cabinet formation, GroenLinks and PvdA held on to each other so tightly that there was even talk of a merger. The parties presented themselves as one faction at the negotiating table, but will now most likely end up in opposition. GroenLinks MP Bart Snels resigned as a Member of Parliament. He did not agree with his party’s cooperation with the PvdA.

Local no left block

The loss of GroenLinks in the elections to the House of Representatives plays a role in the municipal elections, says Julia Kleinrensink, party leader GroenLinks in Utrecht. “People always look at the national picture. At the same time, we have been involved in governing for a long time. Our party has determined a lot for the city for a long time. I also think that you can see that we always do well here in Utrecht, despite the fact that it is sometimes national. not going well.”

There are no plans to form a left bloc for the municipal elections on March 16, 2022, say representatives of the parties in the various municipalities. “Left-wing solidarity exists, but it is not on paper. No non-aggression pact has been signed,” says Jaap Steenkamer, councilor of GroenLinks in Almere.

Many party leaders emphasize that the situation in their municipality is different from the national situation. The size of the factions differs, the position in coalition or opposition and sometimes also mutual sentiments.

There is also no question of far-reaching cooperation in the municipality of The Hague. Mariëlle Vavier: “GroenLinks must become the largest progressive party in The Hague. But we are not going to hunt for the seats of the PvdA.” “In the debate we will emphasize the differences,” says Danny Huizer, GroenLinks party leader in Apeldoorn, “otherwise it will be uniformity. But it will not be a competition to see who is the most left-wing.”

Position Jesse Klaver

GroenLinks party leader Jesse Klaver campaigned for a non-existent progressive bloc in the run-up to the national elections. There was a pink poster in bus shelters with the text: ‘More Lilian & Lilianne & Sigrid & Jesse, more GroenLinks’.

“I was not a fan of that poster,” says Rutger Groot Wassink, leader of the GroenLinks party in Amsterdam. According to him, GroenLinks should work on its own story. “It is good that we are looking at what our story is, and our message. We can still work on that.”

GroenLinks won a lot in the municipal elections in 2018. As a result, there is a lot at stake for the party in the upcoming municipal elections. The results may be important for the position of national GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver.

“He scored very well for this,” says Groot Wassink of the Amsterdam division. “But it is not strange to think about how that will go in the future. Ultimately, everyone will come to an end, including Jesse Klaver. But it is not appropriate to start a discussion about it now.”


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