The Netherlands has traditionally taken a critical but accommodating stance in the European Union. This pragmatism may have to be reassessed now that European government leaders have decided to hand out grants to member states, issue common debt and is taking steps towards forms of European taxes (levies). Nexit is not on the agenda, but centrist political parties must be able to consider limits towards European integration. Opt-outs may have to become part of the Dutch EU policy options, writes Professor Adriaan Schout, the economist and political scientist associated with Clingendael. The Dutch Parliament did take his suggestion of opt-outs into account and will now set up a committee to consider opt outs. The time is coming for the Netherlands to ask itself how far it wants to go towards European integration. And when the limits of integration are in sight, what alternatives are there? The Dutch government has been wrestling with these questions for a long time.
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