The topic of this year's discussion sessions was 'The State of the Parliament'. The debaters focused on the position of the traditional political parties, such as the CDA and the PvdA, and the rise of more populist movements, such as the PVV. The discussion sessions were organised by the Montesquieu Institute, in cooperation with newspaper Trouw.
The structure of the sessions was the same as last spring: a scientist writes an article prior to the debate and starts the discussion with an introduction. A person in a political profession comments on the introduction and afterwards there is plenty of room for discussion. The discussions are moderated by Hans Goslinga from the newspaper Trouw. All sessions were held in The Hague.
The sessions were in Dutch. For more information on the speakers and the program please consult the Dutch version of this page by clicking on "Nederlands" in the upper right hand corner of the site.
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The discussion was introduced by Ruud Koole, of the University of Leiden, previous chairman of the PvdA and currently fellow at the Montesquieu Institute. He looked at the causes for the possible demise of the CDA and the PvdA and how these political parties may be able to deal with and counter such downfall. Following the introduction, Leon Frissen, Provincial Governor of Limburg, provided his views on this matter.
The second discussion was introduced by Joop van Holsteyn. He is a professor Political Sciences on the University of Leiden, specialised in voting behaviour and right-wing extremism. A response was given by Han ten Broeke. He is current MP for the liberal VVD and political scientist.
The speakers at the last debate were Hans Engels and Eimert van Middelkoop. Hans Engels is a member of the First chamber and professor in municipal law and constitutional law. Eimert van Middelkoop was former minister of Defence.