Forum for Democracy

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Forum for Democracy
Party leader Thierry Baudet[1]
Parliamentary leader Thierry Baudet
Founded 1 September 2016[2][3]
Headquarters Herengracht 74,
Political ideology Liberal-Conservatism, National Conservatism, Conservative-Liberalism, Conservative, Populism
Political position Right-wing
International affiliation European Conservatives and Reformists Party
Color(s) maroon

The Forum for Democracy (in Dutch: Forum voor Democratie; FvD) is a national conservative and Euroskeptic political party in the Netherlands, founded on September 22, 2016, by Thierry Baudet, a historian and author, and accompanied by the lawyer Theo Hiddema.

In the March 2019 provincial elections, the Forum for Democracy – running on a strong anti-mass migration platform – performed extremely well, going from having zero seats in the Dutch Senate to becoming the largest party in the chamber.[4] It began to overshadow the Party for Freedom, another prominent Dutch right-wing party.[5]


The FvD was established as a think tank whose main feat was campaigning in the 2016 Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum against the EU in general.

In September 2016, it converted itself into a political party and announced its intention to take part in the 2017 Dutch general election, where the FvD ended up with 1.8% of the vote and 2 seats, entering parliament for the first time. In February 2019, the FvD had nearly 31,000 members.[6] As populists, the bulk of the Forum's nominated parliamentary candidates did not have prior active experience in other political parties.[7]

In February 2018, the party suffered from internal issues with a number of prominent members leaving the party because they felt the party had a lack of internal democracy.[8]

In the 2018 Dutch municipal elections, the FvD won three seats on the Amsterdam city council.

During the 2019 Dutch provincial elections, Forum for Democracy won 86 seats, spread across the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. In South Holland, North Holland, and Flevoland, FvD became the largest party, winning 11, 9 and 8 seats respectively. In all other provinces, the party came either second or third in terms of numbers of votes. The FvD did not stand in Rotterdam but instead endorsed the Livable Rotterdam party.[9]

On 30 April 2020, Forum for Democracy formed a coalition with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) in the North Brabant province, the first time the party had formally entered into the administration of a regional authority. In 2020, former VVD MP Wybren van Haga defected to the party.

In April 2020, the party became split following a series of controversies related to a small handful of members of the FvD's youth wing making comments that were deemed racist and homophobic. Left-Wing media also falsely accused Baudet of endorsing antisemitic conspiracies without any evidence. This led Baudet to temporarily step down.[10] In December 2020, it was announced that Baudet had returned as party leader and would lead the FvD into the 2021 Dutch general election.

At the 2021 general election, the party campaigned against COVID-19 lockdown measures imposed by the Dutch government and managed to win eight MPs. In May 2021, three of the FvD MPs (Van Haga, Hans Smolders and Olaf Ephraim) left the party to sit as independents.

Ideology and political positions

The FvD has been described as ideologically national conservative, conservative-liberal, eurosceptic and populist. On its official platform, the FvD declares itself to be a movement rather than a party with a focus on protecting Dutch sovereignty, identity, and cultural and intellectual property. The party also wants stricter immigration policies and is opposed to the European Union.[11] Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad has described the FvD of containing various factions, including members sympathetic to conservative and libertarian ideas.[12] Initially, the party focused on drawing support from former People's Party for Freedom and Democracy voters who felt the VVD had grown too soft on the policy areas of European Union and immigration, but saw the Party for Freedom as too hardline, and tried recruiting candidates who came from professional rather than political backgrounds.[13] The FvD has been falsely accused of cultivating popularity among the alt-right movement, although no solid evidence has ever been presented by critics in the media. Thierry Baudet and the FVD have condemned the alt-right and White Supremacists and actively fight against all forms of extremism, including far-left extremism.


FvD is a conservative liberal party and as such supports economic liberalism. The party is a proponent of the introduction of a high tax-free bracket for everyone, the abolition of taxes on gifts and inheritance and a radical simplification of tax brackets.[14][15][16][17] The party is a proponent of drastic changes in elementary and secondary education, focusing on performance evaluations for teachers.[18] It wants to expand the armed forces, expanding the National Reserve Corps and reverting defense budget cuts.[19]

Electoral reform

One of the major issues the party campaigns against is the perceived existence of a "party cartel" in which the main ruling parties of the country divide power among themselves and work towards the same goals despite claiming to be competitors. The party promises direct democracy through binding referenda as well as directly elected mayors and a directly elected Prime Minister.[20][21] The party is also in favor of the government consisting of apolitical experts in their respective fields, and top civil servants having to reapply for their positions whenever a new cabinet is formed.[22]

Immigration and European Union

The party states that it supports protecting European civilization and wants free trade between European nations and the world but is opposed to the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone. The party calls for referendums on the Eurozone, the Schengen agreement and on the Dutch membership of the EU.[23] It also campaigns against unchecked immigration, says it would introduce a Dutch Values Protection Act. The party supports freedom of religion and calls for equal treatment of all citizens regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation, but is also against any further influence of Islamic culture on Dutch society, supports a crackdown on forced or child marriages, and wants to ban Islamic face veils and other face coverings. The FvD also opposes foreign funding of Islamic schools and institutions and argues that all schools in the Netherlands should subscribe to "Judeo-Christian values. FvD also states that immigrants who do not wish to integrate should be offered incentives to return to their native country and that whenever possible asylum seekers should be processed off Dutch soil.[24]

Criminal justice

The party calls for a reform of the Dutch justice system, increased funding for the Dutch police force, tougher penalties against those convicted of violent crimes and where possible for non-naturalized immigrants found guilty of serious crimes to be deported and tried in their country of origin.[25]

Environmental and social policies

FvD calls for a gradual legalization of soft drugs but also supports reducing the number of cannabis coffee shops within the vicinity of schools.[26] The party also calls for a reduction in the use of plastic, more support for the agricultural economy, sustainable farming and tougher laws against animal cruelty.[27] It also supported protests by Dutch farmers against enforcing legislation on nitrogen emissions.

Society and culture

FvD argues for the protection of Dutch culture and "European classical music, art, and knowledge." It is critical of modern architecture, calling for both new government buildings to be constructed in a Neoclassical architecture style and for city planning that "fits within a historical view." FvD also supports the establishment of a commission to protect historic monuments from destruction, wants Frysk to be retained as a second state language, calls for schools to teach about "beautiful things that the West has produced" and supports free museum admission for all Dutch citizens.[28] However, the party has also promoted plans to defund and privatize the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep, a Dutch state funded broadcasting organization. FvD also wants to protect the Dutch cultural figure of "Zwarte Piet/Black Pete", which has been attacked by Far-left extremist American activists who claim it to be blackface, even though the concept of blackface has never existed in The Netherlands. Many Dutch people also argue that far-left extremist Americans should stop imposing their cultural values and history on other countries.

Attacks against FVD

On the 7th of September 2017, Thierry Baudet's home was defaced and attacked by the far-left anarchist group "Radical Anarchist Feminist Front" in an attempt to intimidate the politician. Even though Amsterdam police openly stated they would pursue the case, nobody has been arrested. [29]

On the 11th of September 2017 Thierry Baudet's home was yet again attacked by the same far-left anarchist group. They filled the door locks with fluids and tried spraying fluids of unknown origin inside his home. FVD leader has asked for protection around his home.

On the 24th of March 2019 during a far-left demonstration in Amsterdam which was supported by mainstream left-wing Dutch political parties, protesters chanted death threats to FVD leader, Thierry Baudet. The police arrested then 21-year old Mila van den B, but she was only sentenced to 100 hours of community service. Left-Wing parties denounced the chants, but refused to denounce the far-left protest.[30][31]

On the 13th of March 2021, FVD campaign posters were torn down around Baudet's home, also some were defaced with graffiti calling Baudet a "racist sexist" and other far-left unfounded talking points. The police refused to pursue the vandals.[32]

Party membership

Year Membership[33]
2017 1,863
2018 22,884
2019 30,674
2020 42,794


  1. Partij Forum voor Democratie (nl).
  2. Annual financial report 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2021 (in Dutch).
  3. Aalberts, C (2020) De partij dat ben ik. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Jurgen Maas.
  4. Multiple references:
  5. Darroch, Gordon (June 5, 2019). Far-right Dutch voters pass over Geert Wilders for younger rival. The Washington Times. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  6. "Politieke partijen beperken ledenverlies, Forum voor Democratie op drie na grootste". (nl-NL) 
  7. Forum voor Democratie.
  8. Uittocht bij Forum voor Democratie houdt aan - Binnenland - PAROOL (9 February 2018).
  9. FvD en Leefbaar Rotterdam starten alliantie! Forum voor Democratie, 13 juni 2017.
  10. Thierry Baudet gone as party leader FVD".
  11. Standpunten | Stem Nederland terug..
  12. FvD wil het onmogelijke: Ayn Rand verenigen met Michel Houellebecq
  13. De aantrekkingskracht van Baudet, EenVandaag, 5 September 2017. Geraadpleegd op 31 October 2017.
  14. Economie. Forum voor Democratie.
  15. Belastingen. Forum voor Democratie.
  16. Internet. Forum voor Democratie.
  17. Privacy. Forum voor Democratie.
  18. Onderwijs. Forum voor Democratie.
  19. Defensie. Forum voor Democratie.
  20. Directe Democratie. Forum voor Democratie.
  21. Kartelbestrijding. Forum voor Democratie.
  22. Gekozen minister-president. Forum voor Democratie.
  23. Europese Unie. Forum voor Democratie.
  24. Aanpakken immigratie.
  25. Veiligheid & Justitie. Forum voor Democratie.
  26. Drugs. Forum voor Democratie.
  27. Dierenwelzijn & milieu. Forum voor Democratie.
  28. Kunst, cultuur en erfgoed.
  29. Huis Thierry Baudet beklad met verf en anarchistisch teken.
  30. Huis Demonstranten roepen op Baudet dood te schieten.
  31. Paf-roeper die Baudet bedreigde krijgt werkstraf van 100 uur.
  32. Schande! Omgeving huis Baudet wéér beklad: ‘Baudet racist seksist!’.
  33. Ledentallen Nederlandse politieke partijen per 1 januari 2016, 2017 en 2018 (nl).

External links