The corona crisis can only be solved through international cooperation. That’s what Sigrid Kaag said in her first speech as D66’s list leader. This happened in Arnhem, where a limited number of members were together.
“This is the time to look outside. This is the time to honour our international outlook,” said the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. “Our fight against the virus can only be won by scientists who work together internationally.”
“The crisis is cutting it. We don’t know what’s coming our way. It’s not so bad, it could get worse.” According to Kaag, the elections will be about how politics deals with this uncertainty. “How we make people feel that their fate is in safe hands with us.”
As far as she is concerned, Corona must be a reason to move to a new economy. “A humane economy, dynamic and modern, in which no one is left behind.”
Kaag said that her motives have everything to do with the global crisis, the growing division in our country and the declining position of the Netherlands in Europe.
On the contrary, she wants the Netherlands to take the lead in further European integration. As far as she is concerned, this also includes a European army. “Does that mean a sacrifice of national sovereignty? Yes, we have to be honest about that.”
But according to Kaag, that also means assuming greater sovereignty, the European. In her vision, this paves the way to prosperity and well-being for everyone.
She said she was proud of what D66 has achieved in the current cabinet, such as a salary increase for teachers, six weeks paid paternity leave and the climate agreement. “Without D66, none of that would have happened.”
Kaag, previously a diplomat, came to politics in The Hague three years ago. She’s annoyed with what she calls the polls. The policy is too much determined by whether there is support for it among the population.
“If the polls show that some people are worried about the costs of climate policy, you are stirring up unease about science. If the polls show that some people are worried about the European economy, you make the Italians suspicious. That’s not leadership.”
Yesterday it was officially announced that Kaag is the new leader of D66. She got 96 percent of the vote in the leader’s list.
D66 now has 19 seats in the House of Representatives. In the polls, the party has been at a loss for some time, although there has also been some recovery. In the Peilingwijzer, Kaag’s party now has between 11 and 15 seats.