30

Apr

Brexit has ‘added a new twist’ to the Netherlands’ traditional diplomatic role in Europe, where it has long mediated between the big continental powers Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said recently. With the UK heading towards Brexit and the Franco-German integration motor running, the country, which arguably punches above its weight, has increased the stakes. It recently led a group of 7 smaller member states against FrancoGerman plans for Eurozone reform. Prior to this, the Dutch Prime Minister had shied away from EU visions. Reluctant to brand himself proEU, he on occasion flirted with Eurosceptic rhetoric. However, on 3 March Rutte laid out his vision in his ‘’Under-promise and over-deliver: fulfilling the promise of Europe’’ speech, which was considered one of pragmatism by some. This analysis scrutinises Rutte’s vision in the light of this speech, earlier comments and actions made by him and his government(s) to answer how pro-EU he is and whether his vision and ideas can be considered more based on pragmatism or principles.