A True European Walk of Shame: Frans Timmermans is Going National

1 min read

Dutch politician Frans Timmermans announced in August that he would be returning to Dutch politics from the European level in order to attempt to become prime minister. Go back to Max Weber and the image of the politician who is dutiful for their own community emerges as a true positive example. By standing atop the candidates’ list for the green and labor parties in the Netherlands, Timmermans however, is dutiful instead, in making Europeans forget about his mistakes and failures.

Frans Timmermans is a mainstay when it comes to advocating green agenda and questions of rule of law inside the European Union. A seemingly immutable defender of combatting climate change on an international level and yet, as a shocking turn of decisions, in August he still announced that instead of championing the Green Deal, a group of policies he himself assembled and campaigned for their introduction, is going to become candidate on the national level, at the Dutch general elections, on November 22.

Timmermans’s choice to ramble home as former commissioner is shocking only to those not closely following his dealings, however.

The truth is, he set the bar so high, he himself could not clear it: he confessed that implementing the Green Deal would be a huge undertaking for anybody. Reforming is not easy and with the European Commission being as defiant and irresponsible as it is right now – just think about banning any dealings with Chinese businesses in an instant – it is hard to depend on now-former colleagues, like Ursula von der Leyen. Just like traffic safety, automotive industry regulation and in general, international politics is not the fast lane when it comes to decisions – yet, von der Leyen and company does not really seem to understand this. Timmermans seems to.

Still, it is all the stranger that he has not objected about the fate of his European position, acknowledging his successor being current Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra, a former executive of Shell Oil. All this shows Timmermans’s fatigue at the least. Why would he not be tired of running these policies though: he does not have enough support inside the very institution he was so devoted to in the first place.

But as things are right now, his path will be crooked on the domestic scene, too. Credibility and consistency are key factors in electoral politics but nowadays the only things of paramount importance are getting into and staying in it. And that is exactly why Timmermans, a true knight of green policies, has even gone on record saying in case he won on November 22, he would not enforce cutting nitrates emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Experts have pointed out this was to gain popularity among the farming lobby.

Judging from this, you still have a couple of days to ask for anything. Maybe he will make your wish come true.

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