The Netherlands: Of Rollercoasters and Elephants


"This double drive – expertise-based but with a visible concern for public opinion – seems to really guide the communication of the government, in which Mark Rutte constantly acts as explainer-in-chief of what he has dubbed an ‘intelligent lockdown’, taking his audience step-by-step through the rationales of measures taken."

Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.

While this communication strategy may have been rather effective, even leading to initial praise and support of many opposition parties, the tools applied by the government and by local authorities to secure public health and enforce lockdown advice are more problematic. We will discuss a number of such legal issues related to the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights here.

No Formal State of Emergency

The first thing to note is that the Dutch government has chosen not to formally deal with the situation as a state of emergency in the legal sense, neither under national constitutional law nor under international law."

The Netherlands: Of Rollercoasters and Elephants (Verfassungsblog, link)

Our work is only possible with your support.
Become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error