Europe 2017: Avoiding Electoral Surprises

Kursnummer: 13417

Session I – The Netherlands: Voters’ Choices and Perceptions

Cooperation project between fjum_forum journalismus und medien and the European Commission Representation in Austria.

Seminar series on the countries that will hold elections in Spring 2017. The first session will be on the Netherlands. Information on Bulgaria, Serbia, France and other countries will follow.


The Netherlands is the first EU country to hold elections in 2017. Forecasts indicate that the anti-EU, far-right Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid) may obtain a significant number of votes. In fact, the traditional parties have been emulating the rhetoric of Geert Wilders, the party leader and founder. Dutch elections are being monitored EU-wide with unusual attention. The seminar covers attitudes, concerns, political trust, perceptions and debates among the Dutch voters.
Journalists obtain information from numerous sources but often lack sufficient understanding of the local context. Dutch sociologist Paul Dekker has been studying the local context for decades. He will discuss the most important themes that are essential to understanding collective issues in contemporary Dutch society.
By developing relevant contextual knowledge, the session will reinforce the perceptions and insights of journalists who follow the elections in the Netherlands. Journalists who do comparative analyses and reportages will also find this knowledge useful.

Learning Objective

To detect the most important elements that have to be taken into account when writing, analysing, following and commenting political developments in the Netherlands. To know what matters on the ground to the Dutch voters, not how outsiders react in this regard. 


The information session consists of an interactive presentation and a discussion. The reduced group size allows for a continuous dialogue. One week before the session, all participants will receive several articles about the Netherlands. These texts will provide essential knowledge about Holland and the elections. That way, everyone will have the same starting point and profit better from the discussions.

Target Groups

Journalists from the Austrian and Austria-based media, foreign or national news desks.


Read the provided material before the session.

Maximum Number of Participants



Paul Dekker is Professor of Civil Society at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, and Head of the Participation, Culture & Living Environment Department of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research | SCP, The Hague. His main research topics include authoritarianism, political attitudes, social and political participation, voluntary associations and religious involvement.

Caroline de Gruyter, Vienna-based correspondent of the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, will comment on the similarities and differences between the political debates in Austria and the Netherlands. De Gruyter specialises in European affairs.

Further Questions

For additional information about the sessions, contact Mirjana Tomić, seminar manager,, or call: 0676 365 26 93

Mirjana Tomić develops and manages fjum_information sessions on international current affairs.  Her international career encompasses journalism, media and political analyses, public outreach and university lecturing. She holds a BA degree in Political Science from Brandeis University, US, and an MA from El Colegio de México, Mexico City.

07.03.201709:30 - 12:30
Teilnahme kostenlos. Bewerbung erforderlich.
Caroline de Gruyter, Paul Dekker, Mirjana Tomić
Haus der EU
Wipplingerstraße 35, 1010 Wien