LeaderJesse Klaver
ChairKatinka Eikelenboom[1]
Leader in the SenatePaul Rosenmöller (GL–PvdA)
Leader in the House of RepresentativesFrans Timmermans (GL–PvdA)
Leader in the European ParliamentBas Eickhout
Founded24 November 1990 (1990-11-24) (as a party)
Merger ofRainbow: PSP, CPN, PPR and EVP[2]
HeadquartersPartijbureau GroenLinks
Sint Jacobsstraat 12, Utrecht
Think tankBureau de Helling
Youth wingDWARS
Membership (2024)Increase 40,621[3]
Political positionCentre-left[7] to left-wing[5]
National affiliationGroenLinks–PvdA
Regional affiliationSocialists, Greens and Democrats
European affiliationEuropean Green Party
International affiliationGlobal Greens
European Parliament groupGreens–European Free Alliance
Colours  Green
Provincial councils
49 / 570
European Parliament
3 / 29
King's Commissioners
0 / 12
Benelux Parliament
2 / 21
Website Edit this at Wikidata

GroenLinks (Dutch pronunciation: [ɣrunˈlɪŋks], lit.'GreenLeft') is a green[4] political party in the Netherlands.

It was formed on 1 March 1989 from the merger of four left-wing parties: the Communist Party of the Netherlands, the Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People's Party, which shared left-wing and progressive ideals and had previously co-operated in the Rainbow coalition for the 1989 European Parliament election. After disappointing results in the 1989 and 1994 general elections, the nascent party fared particularly well in the 1998 and 2002 elections under the leadership of Paul Rosenmöller, who came to be seen as the unofficial Leader of the Opposition against the first Kok cabinet, a purple government. The party's number of seats fell from 10 to 4 seats in the 2012 election, before increasing to 14 in 2017 and falling back to 8 in 2021.

After the 2021 general election, the party intensified cooperation with the Labour Party (PvdA) in an alliance called GroenLinks–PvdA. The two parties participated in the 2023 general election with a joint candidate list, and currently have a joint parliamentary group of 25 seats.

GroenLinks describes itself as "green", "social" and "tolerant".[8] The party's voters are concentrated in larger cities, particularly in college towns.


Before 1989: predecessors

GroenLinks was founded in 1989 as a merger of four parties that were to the left of the Labour Party (PvdA), a social-democratic party which has traditionally been the largest centre-left party in the Netherlands. The founding parties were the (formerly-communist) Communist Party of the Netherlands (CPN), the Pacifist Socialist Party (PSP), which originated in the peace movement, the green-influenced Political Party of Radicals (PPR), originally a progressive Christian party, and the progressive Christian Evangelical People's Party.[9] These four parties were frequently classified as "small left"; to indicate their marginal existence. In the 1972 general election, these parties won sixteen seats (out of 150); in the 1977 general election, they only won six. From that moment on, members and voters began to argue for close cooperation.[10]

From the 1980s onwards, the four parties started to cooperate in municipal and provincial elections. As fewer seats are available in these representations, a higher percentage of votes is required to gain a seat. In the 1984 European election, the PPR, CPN and PSP formed the Green Progressive Accord that entered as one into the European elections. They gained one seat, which rotated between the PSP and PPR. Party-members of the four parties also encountered each other in grassroots extraparliamentary protest against nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. More than 80% of the members of the PSP, CPN and PPR attended at least one of the two mass protests against the placement of nuclear weapons, which took place in 1981 and 1983.[11]

The Evangelical People's Party was a relatively new party, founded in 1981, as a splinter group from the Christian Democratic Appeal, the largest party of the Dutch centre-right. During its period in parliament, 1982–1986, it had trouble positioning itself between the small left parties (PSP, PPR and CPN), the PvdA and the CDA.[11]

The increasingly close cooperation between PPR, PSP, CPN and EVP, and the ideological change that accompanied it was not without internal dissent within the parties. The ideological change that CPN made from official communism to 'reformism' led to a split in the CPN; and the subsequent founding of the League of Communists in the Netherlands in 1982. In 1983, a group of "deep" Greens split from the PPR to found The Greens. The CPN and the PPR wanted to form an electoral alliance with the PSP for the 1986 elections. This led to a crisis within the PSP, in which chair of the parliamentary party (Fractievoorzitter) Fred van der Spek, who opposed cooperation, was replaced by Andrée van Es, who favoured cooperation. Van der Spek left the PSP to found his own Party for Socialism and Disarmament. The 1986 PSP congress, however, rejected the electoral alliance.

In the 1986 general election, all four parties lost seats. The CPN and the EVP disappeared from parliament. The PPR was left with two and the PSP with one seat. While the parties were preparing to enter in the 1990 elections separately, the pressure to cooperate increased. In 1989, the PPR, CPN and PSP entered the 1989 European Parliament election with a single list, called the Rainbow. Joost Lagendijk and Leo Platvoet, both PSP party board members, initiated an internal referendum in which the members of the PSP declared to support leftwing cooperation (70% in favour; 64% of all members voting). Their initiative for left-wing cooperation was supported by an open letter from influential members of trade unions (such as Paul Rosenmöller and Karin Adelmund), of environmental movements (e.g., Jacqueline Cramer) and from arts (such as Rudi van Dantzig). This letter called for the formation of a single progressive party to the left of the Labour Party. Lagendijk and Platvoet had been taking part in informal meetings between prominent PSP, PPR and CPN-members, who favoured cooperation. Other participants were PPR chairman Bram van Ojik and former CPN leader Ina Brouwer. These talks were called "F.C. Sittardia" or Cliché bv.[11]

In the spring of 1989, the PSP party board initiated formal talks between the CPN, the PSP and the PPR about a common list for the upcoming general elections. It soon became clear that the CPN wanted to maintain an independent communist identity and not merge into a new left-wing formation. This was reason for the PPR leaving the talks. Negotiations about cooperation were reopened after the fall of the second Lubbers cabinet and the announcement that elections would be held in the autumn of that year. This time the EVP was included in the discussion. The PPR was represented for a short while by an informal delegation led by former chair Wim de Boer, because the party board did not want to be seen re-entering the negotiations it had left only a short while earlier. In the summer of 1989, the party congresses of all four parties accepted to enter the elections with a shared programme and list of candidates. Additionally, the association GroenLinks (Dutch: Vereniging GroenLinks; VGL) was set up to allow sympathisers, not member of any of the four parties to join. Meanwhile, the European elections of 1989 were held, in which the same group of parties had entered as a single list under the name "Rainbow". In practice, the merger of the parties had now happened and the party GroenLinks was officially founded on 24 November 1990.[10][11]

1989–1994: completion of the merge and first term in parliament

1989 election poster showing the old logo in which the pink lines and the blue spaces forming allude to a peace sign.

In the 1989 elections, the PPR, PSP, CPN and EVP entered in the elections with one single list called Groen Links. In the Netherlands, parties usually participate in the elections with one list for the whole country. The candidates on top of the list get the priority for the distribution of seats won. The GroenLinks list of candidates was organised in such a way that all the parties were represented and new figures could enter. The PPR, which had been the largest party in 1986 got the top candidate (the lead candidate, Ria Beckers) and the number five; the PSP got the numbers two and six, the CPN the number three and the EVP number eleven. The first independent candidate was Paul Rosenmöller, trade unionist from Rotterdam, on the fourth place. In the elections, the party doubled its seats in comparison to 1986 (from three to six), but the expectations had been much higher.[11] In the 1990 municipal elections, the party fared much better, strengthening the resolve to cooperate.[10]

In the period 1989–1991, the merger developed further. A board was organised for the party-in-foundation and also a 'GroenLinks Council', which was supposed to control the board and the parliamentary party and stimulate the process of merger. In this council, all five groups – CPN, PPR, PSP, EVP and the Vereniging Groen Links – had seats on ratio of the number of their members. Originally, the three youth organisations, the CPN-linked General Dutch Youth League, the PSP-linked Pacifist Socialist Young Working Groups and the PPR-linked Political Party of Radical Youth refused to merge, but under pressure of the government (who controlled their subsidies) they did merge to form DWARS.[12] In 1990, some opposition formed against the moderate, green course of GroenLinks. Several former PSP members united in the "Left Forum" in 1992 – they would leave the party to join former PSP-leader Van der Spek to found the PSP'92. Similarly, former members of the CPN joined the League of Communists in the Netherlands to found the New Communist Party in the same year. In 1991, the congresses of the four founding parties (PSP, PPR, CPN and EVP) decided to officially abolish their parties.[11]

GroenLinks had considerable problems formulating its own ideology. In 1990, the attempt to write the first manifesto of principles failed because of the difference between socialists and communists on the one side and the more liberal former PPR members on the other side.[12] The second manifesto of principles – which was not allowed to be called that – was adopted after a lengthy debate and many amendments in 1991.[12]

Although the party was internally divided, the GroenLinks parliamentary party was the only party in the Dutch parliament which opposed the Gulf War.[12] A debate within the party about the role military intervention led to a more-nuanced standpoint than the pacifism of some of its predecessors: GroenLinks would support peacekeeping missions as long as they were mandated by the United Nations.[12]

In the fall of 1990, MEP Verbeek announced that he would not, as he had promised, leave the European Parliament after two-and-a-half years to make room for a new candidate.[12] He would continue as an independent and remain in parliament until 1994. In the 1994 European elections, he would run unsuccessfully as top candidate of The Greens.[13]

In 1992, party leader Ria Beckers left the House of Representatives because she wanted more private time. Peter Lankhorst replaced her as chair ad interim, but he announced that he would not take part in the internal elections.[14]

1994–2002: opposition during the purple cabinets

1994 election posters showing the duo Rabbae/Brouwer. The text reads: "GroenLinks counts double"

Before the general election of 1994, GroenLinks organised an internal election on the party's political leadership. Two duos entered: Ina Brouwer (former CPN) combined with Mohammed Rabbae (independent), while Paul Rosenmöller (independent) formed a combination with Leoni Sipkes (former PSP); there were also five individual candidates, including Wim de Boer (former chair of the PPR and member of the Senate), Herman Meijer (former CPN, future chair of the party) and Ineke van Gent (former PSP and future MP).[14]

Some candidates ran in duos because they wanted to combine family life with politics. Brouwer, Rosenmöller and Sipkes already were MPs for GroenLinks, whilst Rabbae was new – he had been chair of the Dutch Centre for Foreigners. In the first round, the duos ended up ahead of the others, but neither had an absolute majority. A second round was needed, in which Brouwer and Rabbae won with 51%.[14] Brouwer became the first candidate and Rabbae second, the second duo Rosenmöller and Sipkes occupied the following place followed by Marijke Vos, former chair of the party. The idea of a dual lead candidacy did not communicate well to the voters. GroenLinks lost one seat, leaving only five. Yet in the same election, the centre-left Labour Party also lost a lot of seats.[13]

After the disappointing elections, Brouwer left parliament. She was replaced as party leader by Paul Rosenmöller and her seat was taken by Tara Singh Varma.[13] The charismatic Rosenmöller became the "unofficial leader" of the opposition against the first Kok cabinet because the largest opposition party, the Christian Democratic Appeal, was unable to adapt well to its new role as opposition party.[10][15] Rosenmöller set out a new strategy: GroenLinks should offer alternatives instead of only rejecting the proposals made by the government.[16][17]

In the 1998 general election, GroenLinks more than doubled its seats to eleven. The charisma of "unofficial leader" Rosenmöller played an important role in this.[17] Many new faces entered parliament, including Femke Halsema, a political talent who had left the Labour Party for GroenLinks in 1997.[18] The party began to speculate openly about joining government after the elections of 2002.[19][20]

The 1999 Kosovo War divided the party internally. The parliamentary party in the House of Representatives supported the NATO intervention, while the Senate parliamentary party was against the intervention. Several former PSP members within the House of Representatives parliamentary party began to openly speak out their doubts about the intervention. A compromise was found: GroenLinks would support the intervention as long as it limited itself to military targets. Prominent members of the founding parties including Marcus Bakker and Joop Vogt left the party over this issue.[21]

In February 2001, Roel van Duijn and a few former members of The Greens joined GroenLinks.[22][23]

In 2001, the integrity of former MP Tara Singh Varma came into doubt: it was revealed that she had lied about her illness and that she had made promises to development organisations which she did not fulfill. In 2000, she had left parliament because as she claimed, she had only a few months to live before she would die of cancer. The TROS program "Opgelicht" (In English "Framed") revealed that she had lied and that she did not have cancer.[22] Later, she apologised on public television and claimed she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.[24]

In the same year, the parliamentary party supported the invasion of Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September 11. This invasion led to great upheaval within the party. Several former PSP members within the House of Representatives parliamentary party began to openly speak out their doubts about the intervention. Under pressure of internal opposition, led by former PSP members and the party's youth organisation DWARS, the parliamentary party changed its position: the attacks should be cancelled.[22]


The 2002 general election was characterised by changes in the political climate. The right-wing populist political commentator Pim Fortuyn entered into politics. He had an anti-establishment message, combined with a call for restrictions on immigration. Although his critique was oriented at the second Kok cabinet, Rosenmöller was one of the few politicians who could muster some resistance against his message. Days before the election, Fortuyn was assassinated. Ab Harrewijn, GroenLinks MP and candidate also died.[25] Before and after the elections serious threats were made against Rosenmöller, his wife and his children. These events caused considerable stress for Rosenmöller.[26] GroenLinks lost one seat in the election, although it had gained more votes than in the 1998 elections. Before the 2003 general election Rosenmöller left parliament, citing the ongoing threats against his life and those of his family as the main reason. He was replaced as chair of the parliamentary party and top candidate by Femke Halsema. She was unable to keep ten seats and lost two.[25]

In 2003, GroenLinks almost unanimously turned against the Iraq War. It took part in the protests against the war, for instance by organising its party congress in Amsterdam at the day of the large demonstration, with an interval allowing its members to join the protest.[25]

At the end of 2003, Halsema temporarily left parliament to give birth to her twins. During her absence Marijke Vos took her place as chair of the parliamentary party.[27] When she returned to parliament, Halsema started a discussion about the principles of her party. She emphasised individual freedom, tolerance, self-realisation and emancipation. In one interview she called her party "the last liberal party of the Netherlands"[28] This led to considerable attention of media and other observers, which speculated about an ideological change.[27] In 2005 the party's scientific bureau published the book "Vrijheid als Ideaal" ("Freedom as Ideal") in which prominent opinion-makers explored the new political space and the position of the left within that space.[29] During the congress of February 2007 the party board was ordered to organise a party-wide discussion about the party's principles.[30]

During the European Elections congress of 2004, the candidacy committee proposed that the chair of the GroenLinks delegation, Joost Lagendijk, should become the party's lead candidate in those elections. A group of members, led by Senator Leo Platvoet submitted a motion "We want to choose". They wanted a serious choice for such an important office. The party's board announced a new electoral procedure. During the congress Kathalijne Buitenweg, an MEP and candidate, announced wish to be considered for the position of top candidate. She narrowly won the elections from Lagendijk. This came as a great surprise to all. Especially for Buitenweg who had not written an acceptance speech and read out Lagendijk's.[27]

In May 2005, MP Farah Karimi wrote a book in which discussed in detail how she had taken part in the Iranian Revolution, because this information was already known by the party board this did not lead to any upheaval.[31] In November 2005, the party board asked Senator Sam Pormes to give up his seat. Continuing rumours about his involvement with guerrilla-training in Yemen in the 1970s and the 1977 train hijacking by Moluccan youth and allegations of welfare fraud were harmful for the party, or at least so the party board claimed.

When Pormes refused to step down, the party board threatened to expel him. Pormes fought this decision. The party council of March 2006 sided with Pormes. Party chair Herman Meijer felt forced to resign. He was succeeded by Henk Nijhof who was chosen by the party council in May 2006. In November 2006 Pormes left the Senate, he was replaced by Goos Minderman.[32]

2006 election posters showing Halsema. The text reads: Grow along, GroenLinks. The turret is the official working office of the Dutch Prime Minister.

In the 2006 Dutch municipal election, the party stayed relatively stable, losing only a few seats. After the elections GroenLinks took part in 75 local executives, including Amsterdam where MP Marijke Vos became an alderwoman.[32]

In preparation of the 2006 general election the party held a congress in October. It elected Halsema, again the only candidate, as the party's top candidate. MEP Kathalijne Buitenweg and comedian Vincent Bijlo were last candidates. In the 2006 elections the party lost one seat.[32]

In the subsequent cabinet formation, an initial exploratory round among the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Labour Party (PvdA) and Socialist Party (SP) failed, Halsema announced that GroenLinks would not be involved in further discussion at that point in time, as the party lost, was too small, and had less in common with CDA than the SP had.[32] Following this decision an internal debate about the political course and the leadership of Halsema re-erupted. The debate does not just concern the series of lost elections and the decision not to participate in the formation talks, but also the elitist image of the party, the new liberal course, initiated by Halsema, and the lack of party democracy. Since the last weeks of January 2007 several prominent party members have voiced their doubts including former leader Ina Brouwer, Senator Leo Platvoet and MEP Joost Lagendijk.[30] In reaction to this the party board has set up a commission led by former MP and chair of the PPR Bram van Ojik. They looked into the lost series of elections. In the summer of 2007 another committee was formed to organise a larger debate about the course of the party's principles, organisation and strategy. Van Ojik also led this committee. The committee implemented a motion already adopted by the party's congress in 2006 to re-evaluate the party's principle in light of the party's course started by Halsema in 2004.[32] Over the course of 2007 and 2008 the committee organised an internal debate about the party's principles, organisation and strategy. In November 2008 this led to the adoption of a new manifesto of principles.

In August 2008, GroenLinks parliamentarian Wijnand Duyvendak published a book in which he admitted to a burglary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in order to steal plans for nuclear power plants. This led to his resignation on 14 August, after media reported that the burglary also led to threats against civil servants.[33][34] He was replaced by Jolande Sap.[35]

In 2008, MEPs Joost Lagendijk and Kathalijne Buitenweg announced that they would not seek a new term in the European Parliament. The party had to elect a new lead candidate for the 2009 European elections. There were five candidates for this position: Amsterdam city councillor Judith Sargentini, former MEP Alexander de Roo, senator Tineke Strik, environmental researcher Bas Eickhout and Niels van den Berge assistant of MEP Buitenweg. In an internal referendum Sargentini was elected. The party congress put Eickhout on a second position on the list.

On 18 April 2010, the party congress composed the list of candidates for the 2010 general election. Two sitting MPs Ineke van Gent and Femke Halsema were granted dispensation to stand for a fourth term. Halsema was re-elected as party leader. Van Gent was put as fifth on the party list. All of the first five candidates were sitting MPs and four were women. Their other high newcomers were former Greenpeace director Liesbeth van Tongeren and chairman of CNV youth Jesse Klaver. The party won 10 seats in the election and participated in the formation talks of a Green/Purple government. Halsema resigned as party leader when these talks failed and was succeeded by Jolande Sap.[36]

In the 2012 general election, GroenLinks lost six seats and was left with four out of 150 seats. Following the disappointing result, Sap was forced to resign as party leader and was succeeded by Bram van Ojik, who in turn handed his position to Jesse Klaver in 2015. Under Klaver's leadership, GroenLinks gradually rose in polls before climbing to an all-time high of 14 seats in the 2017 general election. The party entered coalition talks with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, the Christian Democratic Appeal and Democrats 66, but the talks failed after Klaver demanded more refugees to be accepted.[37]

GroenLinks lost the 2021 general election, and combined with the Labour Party during the subsequent government formation. There have been discussions about a merger with that party; they participated in the 2023 Dutch Senate election as one.[38] GroenLinks and the Labour Party announced in 2023 that they would also participate as one, GroenLinks–PvdA, in the general elections of 2023, as members of both parties voted in favour of an alliance.[39]

Ideology and issues


The party combines green and left-wing ideals.[15] The core ideals of GroenLinks are codified in the party's programme of principles (called Partij voor de Toekomst, "Party for the Future").[40] The party places itself in the freedom-loving tradition of the left. Its principles include:

The party's principles reflect the ideological convergence between the four founding parties which came from different ideological traditions: the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People's Party, from a progressive Christian tradition; and the Pacifist Socialist Party and the Communist Party of the Netherlands from the socialist and communist traditions. Over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, the parties had come to embrace environmentalism and feminism; they all favoured democratisation of society and had opposed the creation of new nuclear plants and the placement of new nuclear weapons in the Netherlands.[10]

Halsema, the former political leader of the party, has started a debate about the ideological course of GroenLinks. She emphasised the freedom-loving tradition of the left and chose freedom as a key value. Her course is called left-liberal by herself and observers,[41] although Halsema herself claims that she does not want to force an ideological change.

Following Isaiah Berlin, Halsema distinguishes between positive and negative freedom.[42] According to Halsema, negative freedom is the freedom of citizens from government influence; she applies this concept especially to the multicultural society and the rechtsstaat, where the government should protect the rights of citizens and not limit them. Positive freedom is the emancipation of citizens from poverty and discrimination. Halsema wants to apply this concept to welfare state and the environment where government should take more action. According to Halsema, GroenLinks is an undogmatic party.[42]


The election manifesto for the 2010 elections was adopted in April of that year. It was titled Klaar voor de Toekomst ("Prepared for the Future"). The manifesto emphasises international cooperation, welfare state reform, environmental policy and social tolerance.[43]

GroenLinks considers itself a "social reform party", which aims to reform the government finances and increase the position of "outsiders" on the labour market, such as migrant youth, single parents, workers with short term-contracts and people with disabilities. It disagrees with the parties on the right which, in the eyes of GroenLinks, were only oriented towards cutting costs and did not offer the worst-off a chance for work, emancipation and participation.[44] But, unlike the other opposition parties of the left, the party does not want to defend the current welfare state – which the party calls "powerless", because it merely offers the worst-off a benefit rather than prospects for work.[44] The party wants to reform the Dutch welfare state so it will benefit "outsiders" – those who have been excluded from the welfare state until now.

To increase employment, the GroenLinks proposes a participation contract, where unemployment recipients sign an agreement with their local council to become involved in volunteer work, schooling, or work experience projects – for which they get paid minimum wage.[45] The unemployment benefit should be increased and limited to one year. In this period, people would have to look for a job or education. If at the end of the year one should not succeed in finding a job, the government will offer one a job for the minimum wage. In order to create more employment, they want to implement the green tax shift which will lower taxes on lower paid labour. This would be compensated by higher taxes on pollution. In order to increase prospects for the underprivileged, it wants to invest in education, especially the vmbo (middle-level vocational education). In order to ensure that migrants have a better chance for jobs, it wants to deal firmly with discrimination, especially on the labour market. The party wants to decrease income differences by making child benefits.[43] The party favours reform of government pensions: after 45 years of employment one should get the right to a pension. If one starts working young, one is able to stop working earlier than if one starts working when one is older. Receiving unemployment or disability benefits is counted as work, as is caring for children or family members. The system of mortgage interest deductions should be abolished over a forty-year period.

International cooperation is an important theme for the party. This includes development cooperation with underdeveloped countries. GroenLinks wants to increase spending on development aid to 0.8% of the gross national product. It wants to open the European markets to goods from Third World countries, under conditions of fair trade. In order to ensure free and fair trade, it wants to increase and democratise international economic organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The party also favours greater international control over financial markets. GroenLinks favours European integration, but is critical about the current policies of the European Commission. It favoured the European Constitution, but after it was voted down in the 2005 referendum, GroenLinks advocated a new treaty which emphasised democracy and subsidiarity. The party is critical about the war on terror. It wants to strengthen the peacekeeping powers of the United Nations and reform the Dutch armed forces into a peace force, with the functions of NATO to be taken over by the European Union and the United Nations.

GroenLinks wants to solve environmental problems, especially climate change, by stimulating durable alternatives. The party wants to use taxes and emissions trading to stimulate alternative energy as an alternative to both fossil fuel and nuclear plants. It wants to close all nuclear plants in the Netherlands and impose a tax on the use of coal in energy production, in order to discourage the building of new coal-based power plants. Moreover, it wants to stimulate energy saving. It wants to invest in clean public transport, as an alternative to private transport. Investments in public transport can be financed by not expanding highways and imposing tolls on the use of roads (called rekeningrijden). The party wants to stimulate organic farming through taxes as an alternative to industrial agriculture. Moreover, GroenLinks wants to codify animal rights in the Constitution.[43]

GroenLinks values individual freedom and the rule of law. The party wants to legalise soft drugs. It wants to protect civil rights on the Internet by extending constitutional protection for free communication to email and other modern technologies. It also favours a reform of copyright to allow non-commercial reproduction and the use of open-source software in the public sector. In the long term, it seeks to abolish the monarchy and create a republic. It also favours a reduction of the size of the government bureaucracy, for instance by decreasing the number of Dutch ministries and abolishing the Senate. Finally, GroenLinks favours liberal immigration and asylum policies. It wants to empower victims of human trafficking by giving them a residence permit and it wants to abolish the income requirements for marriage migration.[43]

In the party's 2021 election programme it stated that it wants to introduce a basic income for all Dutch citizens within eight years.[46]

Electoral results

House of Representatives

Election Lead candidate Votes % Seats +/– Government
1989 Ria Beckers 362,304 4.1 (#6)
6 / 150
Increase 3 Opposition
1994 Ina Brouwer 311,399 3.5 (#6)
5 / 150
Decrease 1 Opposition
1998 Paul Rosenmöller 625,968 7.3 (#5)
11 / 150
Increase 6 Opposition
2002 660,692 7.0 (#5)
10 / 150
Decrease 1 Opposition
2003 Femke Halsema 495,802 5.1 (#6)
8 / 150
Decrease 2 Opposition
2006 453,054 4.6 (#6)
7 / 150
Decrease 1 Opposition
2010 628,096 6.7 (#7)
10 / 150
Increase 3 Opposition
2012 Jolande Sap 219,896 2.3 (#8)
4 / 150
Decrease 6 Opposition
2017 Jesse Klaver 959,600 9.1 (#5)
14 / 150
Increase 10 Opposition
2021 537,584 5.2 (#7)
8 / 150
Decrease 6 Opposition
2023[a] Frans Timmermans 1,643,073 15.8 (#2)
13 / 150
Increase 5 TBD
  1. ^ Run as part of GroenLinks–PvdA, a joint list with PvdA.


Election Votes Weight % Seats +/–
4 / 75
Increase 1
4 / 75
8 / 75
Increase 4
2003 10,866 6.7 (#4)
5 / 75
Decrease 3
2007 9,074 5.6 (#6)
4 / 75
Decrease 1
2011 10,757 6.5 (#7)
5 / 75
Increase 1
2015 30 9,520 5.6 (#7)
4 / 75
Decrease 1
2019 65 19,363 11.2 (#4)
8 / 75
Increase 4
2023 55 17,313 9.67 (#3)
7 / 75
Decrease 1

European Parliament

Election List Vote % Seats +/– Notes
1994 List 154,362 3.74 (#6)
1 / 31
Decrease 1 [47]
1999 List 419,869 11.85 (#4)
4 / 31
Increase 3 [48]
2004 List 352,201 7.39 (#4)
2 / 27
Decrease 2 [49]
2009 List 404,020 8.87 (#6)
3 / 25
Increase 1
3 / 26
Steady [50]
2014 List 329,906 6.98 (#8)
2 / 26
Decrease 1 [51]
2019 List 599,283 10.90 (#5)
3 / 26
Increase 1
3 / 29
Steady [52]


Election Votes % Seats Change Involved in
36 / 758
34 / 758
Decrease 2
50 / 764
37 / 564
1 / 12
33 / 564
Decrease 4
2 / 12
2011 6.30% (7th)
34 / 566
Increase 1
2 / 12
2015 324,572 5.35% (7th)
30 / 570
Decrease 4
2 / 12
2019 783,006 10.76% (4th)
61 / 570
Increase 31
8 / 12
2023[a] 694,678 8.96% (3rd)
51 / 533
Decrease 10
5 / 11
  1. ^ Contested as part of GroenLinks–PvdA in Zeeland.


On the municipal level, the party provides 9 mayors (out of 351).[53] At the 2022 Dutch municipal elections GroenLinks won 522 seats, the most the party had ever won.[54]


Senate group leader Paul Rosenmöller
EP-delegation leader Bas Eickhout

Members of the House of Representatives

Main article: List of House of Representatives members of GreenLeft

Members of the Senate

Main article: List of Senate members of GreenLeft

Members of the European Parliament

Current members of the European Parliament since the European Parliamentary election of 2019:

Further information: 2019 European Parliament election in the Netherlands

Further information: List of members of the European Parliament for the Netherlands, 2019–24

See also: Party lists in the 2019 European Parliament election in the Netherlands § GreenLeft

3 Seats:

  1. Bas Eickhout (top candidate)
  2. Tineke Strik
  3. Kim van Sparrentak


According to a survey done in 2006 more women vote for GroenLinks than men by a margin of 20%.[55] The party also disproportionately appeals to gay voters. The party also polls well among migrant voters, especially those from Turkey and Morocco, where its support is twice as high as in the general population.[56][57]

GroenLinks voters have an eccentric position in their preferences for particular policies. Between 1989 and 2003 they were the most leftwing voters in the Netherlands, often a little more to the left than voters of the SP.[58] These voters are in favor of the redistribution of wealth, free choice for euthanasia, opening the borders for asylum seekers, the multicultural society and are firmly against building new nuclear plants.[58]

GroenLinks has the second-largest proportion of vegan/vegetarian voters of any political party in the Netherlands, with 8.4% or 16.9% of GroenLinks voters in saying in 2 surveys in 2021 that they did not eat meat. The party with the highest proportion of vegan/vegetarian voters in both surveys was the Party for the Animals, for which the share laid at 17.3% or 27.9%.[59][60][61]

Style and campaign

The logo of GroenLinks is the name of the party with the word "Green" written in red and the word "Left" written in green since 1994. Additional colours used in the logo are white, yellow and blue. An earlier logo, used between 1989 and 1994, and which can be seen on the poster above showed a variation of a peace sign projected on a green triangle on which "PPR PSP CPN EVP" was written and next to it GroenLinks in green and pink.

Many well-known Dutch people have supported GroenLinks election campaigns. In 1989, choreographer Rudi van Dantzig and writer Astrid Roemer were last candidates.[62] In 2006, comedian Vincent Bijlo [nl] shared this position with MEP Kathalijne Buitenweg.[63] Comedian Sara Kroos [],[64] rapper Raymzter,[65] astronaut Wubbo Ockels[66] en soccer player Khalid Boulahrouz,[67][68] business man Harry de Winter [nl],[67][68] journalist Anil Ramdas,[67] actrice Kim van Kooten,[67] commediene Sanne Wallis de Vries [nl],[67] comedian Herman Finkers,[67] artist Herman van Veen,[67] soccer player-columnist Jan Mulder[67][68] and writer Geert Mak[68] have also committed their name to (part of) the 2006 or 2007 GroenLinks election campaign. In 2004, singer Ellen ten Damme, poet Rutger Kopland and presenter Martijn Krabbé supported the European election campaign.[69]

From 2007 onwards, GroenLinks has adopted the idea of a "permanent campaign", which implies that campaign activities are held even when there is no immediate connection to an election.[70] Permanent campaign activities are intended to create and maintain a base level of sympathy and knowledge about the party platform.

The introduction of guerrilla gardening in the Netherlands in 2008 was heavily supported by GroenLinks,[71] as part of the permanent campaign.

Former party Bureau of GroenLinks in Utrecht


Organisational structure

The highest organ of GroenLinks is the party congress, which is open to all members. The congress elects the party-board, it decides on the order of the candidates for national and European elections and it has a final say over the party platform. The congress convenes at least once every year in spring or when needed. The party board consists of fifteen members who are elected for a two-year term. The chairperson of this board is the only paid position on the board, the others are unpaid. The chairperson together with four other board members (the vice-chair, the treasurer, the secretary, the European secretary and the international secretary) handles the daily affairs and meet every two weeks while the other ten board members meet only once a month.[72]

For the months that the congress does not convene, a party council takes over its role. It consists out of 80 representatives of all the 250 municipal branches. The party board and the nationally elected representatives of the party are responsible to the party council. It has the right to fill vacancies in the board, make changes to the party constitution and takes care of the party's finances.[72]

GroenLinks MPs face relatively strong regulation: MPs are not allowed to run for more than three terms and a relatively high percentage of the income of MPs is taken by the party.[72]

GroenLinks has 250 branches in nearly all Dutch municipalities and each province. There are multiple municipalities in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where every borough has its own branch and they have federal branches at the municipal level. Branches enjoy considerable independence, and take care of their own campaigns, lists of candidates and programs for elections. Provincial congresses meet at least every year and municipal congresses more often.[72] The total number of members of GroenLinks has been steadily increasing over the last ten years and had 23,490 members in of January 2007.[73]

There are several independent organisations which are linked to GroenLinks:

GroenLinks is also active on the European and the global stage. It is a founding member of the European Green Party and the Global Greens. Its MEPs sit in The Greens–European Free Alliance group. GroenLinks cooperates with seven other Dutch parties in the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, an institute which supports democratic development in developing countries.[78]

Relationships to other parties

GroenLinks was founded as a mid-sized party to the left of the Labour Party (PvdA). In the 1994 elections, the Socialist Party (SP) also entered parliament. GroenLinks now takes a central position in the Dutch left between the socialist SP, which is more to the left, and the social-democratic PvdA, which is more to the centre.[79] This position is exemplified by the call of Femke Halsema to form a left-wing coalition after the 2006 elections, knowing that such a coalition is only possible with GroenLinks. The electoral alliance between SP and GL in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 elections,[80] and between GroenLinks and PvdA in the 2004 European elections are examples of this position.[81] In the 2007 First Chamber election, it had an electoral alliance with the Party for the Animals.[82] More and more, however, GroenLinks is seen as the most culturally progressive of the three parties.[83][84]

See also


  1. ^ "Katinka Eikelenboom nieuwe voorzitter GroenLinks". Het Parool (in Dutch). 16 February 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  2. ^ "GroenLinks",, Leiden University, retrieved 29 April 2008
  3. ^ "Ledentallen Nederlandse politieke partijen per 1 januari 2024" [Membership of Dutch political parties as of 1 January 2024]. University of Groningen (in Dutch). Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties. 28 February 2024. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  4. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2021). "Netherlands". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Van poppodia naar de bedrijfskantine - Klaver wil van GroenLinks brede volkspartij maken". 22 November 2017.
  6. ^ "De ideologische herprofilering van GroenLinks: na 28 jaar de gehoopte doorbraak?". 8 December 2017.
  7. ^ Terry, Chris (11 May 2014). "GreenLeft (GL)". The Democratic Society. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019.
  8. ^ Vendrik, Kees; Bart Snels; et al. (18 November 2006), Groei Mee. Programma van GroenLinks. Tweede Kamerverkiezingen 22 november 2006, Utrecht: GroenLinks
  9. ^ Gebhard Moldenhauer (1 January 2001). Die Niederlande und Deutschland: einander kennen und verstehen. Waxmann Verlag. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-3-89325-747-8.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Koole, Ruud (1995), Politieke Partijen in Nederland. Onstaan en ontwikkeling van partijen en partijenstelsel, Utrecht: Spectrum
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Lucardie, Paul; Wijbrandt van Schuur; Gerrit Voerman (1999), Verloren Illusie, Geslaagde Fusie? GroenLinks in Historisch and Politicologische Perspectief, Leiden: DSWO-press
  12. ^ a b c d e f Lucardie, Paul; Marjolein Nieboer; Ida Noomen (1991), "Kroniek 1990. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 1990", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  13. ^ a b c Lucardie, Paul; J. Hippe; G. Voerman (1995), "Kroniek 1994. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 1994", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  14. ^ a b c Lucardie, Paul; W.H. van Schuur; G. Voerman (1994), "Paul of Ina, Kanttekeningen bij de keuze van de politiek leider door GroenLinks", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  15. ^ a b Andeweg, R.B.; Galen Irwin (2002), Governance and Politics in the Netherlands, Basingstoke: Palgrave
  16. ^ Geschiedenis GroenLinks, archived from the original on 27 June 2004, retrieved 29 April 2008
  17. ^ a b Lagendijk, Joost and Tom van der Lee "Doorbraak van de eeuwige belofte. Hoe GroenLinks vier jaar herkenbare oppositie omzette in verkiezingswinst", in Kramer, P., T. van der Maas and L. Ornstein (eds.) (1998). Stemmen in Stromenland. De verkiezingen van 1098 nader bekeken Den Haag: SDU
  18. ^ Lucardie, Paul; B. de Boer; I. Noomen; G. Voerman (1999), "Kroniek 1998. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 1998", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  19. ^ Lucardie, Paul; B. de Boer; I. Noomen; G. Voerman (2001), "Kroniek 2000. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 2000", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  20. ^ Brader, Toof (2000), Als de Trêveszaal lonkt. Dubbelportret van GroenLinks, Amsterdam: Mets and Schilt
  21. ^ Lucardie, Paul; B. de Boer; I. Noomen; G. Voerman (2000), "Kroniek 1999. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 1999", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  22. ^ a b c Lucardie, Paul; B. de Boer; I. Noomen; G. Voerman (2002), "Kroniek 2001. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 2001", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  23. ^ Gras 11, February 2001
  24. ^ T. Oedayraj Singh Varma, retrieved 29 April 2008
  25. ^ a b c Lucardie, Paul; J. Hippe; G. Voerman (2003), "Kroniek 2002. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 2002", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  26. ^ Rosenmöller, Paul (2003), Een Mooie Hondenbaan, Amersfoort: De Balans
  27. ^ a b c Lucardie, Paul; J. Hippe; G. Voerman (2005), "Kroniek 2004. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 2004", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008
  28. ^ "De laatste links-liberale partij van Nederland", NRC Handelsblad, 11 October 2005
  29. ^ Snels, B. (ed.) (2007). Vrijheid als Ideaal. Nijmegen: SUN.
  30. ^ a b Doorduyn, Yvonne (5 February 2007), "Zo afhaken, dat is eens maar nooit weer; Het GroenLinks-congres laat zijn tanden zien, maar bijt niet", De Volkskrant
  31. ^ Karimi, Farah (2005), Het geheim van het vuur, Amsterdam: Arena
  32. ^ a b c d e Lucardie, Paul; J. Hippe; R. Kroeze; G. Voerman (2008), "Kroniek 2006. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 2006", Jaarboek DNPP, Groningen: DNPP, retrieved 28 April 2008[dead link]
  33. ^ Inbraak EZ door Duyvendak leidde tot bedreiging, NRC Handelsblad, 14 August 2008, archived from the original on 19 September 2008
  34. ^ Duyvendak legt Kamerlidmaatschap neer, NRC Handelsblad, 14 August 2008, archived from the original on 15 September 2008
  35. ^ Kees Vendrik wordt woordvoerder Milieu, Klimaat & Globalisering Archived 2008-09-16 at the Wayback Machine op
  36. ^ "Interview met Femke Halsema".
  37. ^ "Reconstructie: zo klapte de formatie met GroenLinks". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 12 June 2017. Archived from the original on 20 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Grote stap voor PvdA, GroenLinks: verder samen in Eerste Kamer" (in Dutch). NOS. 11 June 2022. Archived from the original on 29 June 2022.
  39. ^ "PvdA en GroenLinks met één lijst de verkiezingen in, leden stemmen massaal voor". NOS (in Dutch). 17 July 2023. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  40. ^ "GroenLinks presenteert vernieuwde uitgangspunten". GroenLinks. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  41. ^ "Halsema kiest voor liberalisme." in NRC Handelsblad, 11 October 2005.
  42. ^ a b Halsema, Femke (2004), "Vrijzinnig Links", De Helling, 15 (2), archived from the original on 6 February 2007, retrieved 29 April 2008
  43. ^ a b c d Buitenweg, Kathalijne; Jolande Sap; et al. (April 2010), Klaar voor de Toekomst, Utrecht: GroenLinks
  44. ^ a b Halsema, Femke; Ineke van Gent (11 November 2005), Vrijheid Eerlijk Delen. Vrijzinnige Voorstellen voor sociale politiek., archived from the original on 2 August 2012, retrieved 28 April 2008
  45. ^ "Green Left to slash unemployment pay -". 5 September 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  46. ^ "Election Programme 2021". GroenLinks. Retrieved 12 February 2023. GroenLinks wants to introduce a basic income for all Dutch citizens within the next eight years.
  47. ^ "Kiesraad: Europees Parlement 9 juni 1994" (in Dutch). Kiesraad. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  48. ^ "Kiesraad: Europees Parlement 10 juni 1999" (in Dutch). Kiesraad. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  49. ^ "Kiesraad: Europees Parlement 10 juni 2004" (in Dutch). Kiesraad. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  50. ^ "Kiesraad: Europees Parlement 4 juni 2009" (in Dutch). Kiesraad. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  51. ^ "Kiesraad: Europees Parlement 22 mei 2014" (in Dutch). Kiesraad. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  52. ^ "Kiesraad: Europees Parlement 23 mei 2019" (in Dutch). Kiesraad. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  53. ^ "Burgemeesterskaart". (in Dutch). 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.[permanent dead link]
  54. ^ "Tussentijdse resultaten laten zien: historische uitslag voor GroenLinks". (in Dutch). 17 March 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  55. ^ Vrouwen kiezen vaker voor links, mannen voor rechts, Interview/NSS, archived from the original on 19 July 2011, retrieved 1 May 2008
  56. ^ Allochtone kiezers bepalend op 7 maart, NOS, archived from the original on 16 November 2007, retrieved 1 May 2008
  57. ^ Ingrid van der Chijs (8 March 2006), Allochtonen stemmen massaal op PvdA, Elsevier, archived from the original on 12 June 2011, retrieved 6 May 2008
  58. ^ a b Holsteyn, van, J.J.M; J.M. den Ridder (2005), Alles blijft anders. Nederlandse kiezers en de verkiezingen aan het begin van de 21e eeuw, Amsterdam: Aksent
  59. ^ "De pluimveesector mag er zijn en blijven!" (PDF). 2021. p. 10.
  60. ^ "NL staat achter de varkenssector!" (PDF). 2021. p. 10.
  61. ^ "Eten PvdD- en GroenLinksstemmers liever kip dan varken? - Vleesonderzoek varkens- en pluimveesector levert verrassend resultaat op". Foodlog. 14 June 2021. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  62. ^ Lucardie, P., I Noomen en G. Voerman, (1990) "Kroniek 1989. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 2001" in Jaarboek 1989 Groningen: Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen
  63. ^ Vincent Bijlo on, archived from the original on 6 July 2007, retrieved 1 May 2008
  64. ^ Vliegtuigje vouwen met vincent en sara on, retrieved 1 May 2008
  65. ^ Femke on Tour bij Haagse Hogeschool on, retrieved 1 May 2008
  66. ^ Halsema eert Wubbo Ockels on, retrieved 1 May 2008
  67. ^ a b c d e f g h Bekende Nederlanders stemmen GroenLinks on, retrieved 1 May 2008
  68. ^ a b c d GroenLinks staat in de quote 500 on, retrieved 1 May 2008
  69. ^ Supporters, archived from the original on 11 January 2007, retrieved 9 September 2008
  70. ^ Verantwoording Partijbestuur 2006 (rtf), GroenLinks, 2007, retrieved 1 May 2008[dead link]
  71. ^ guerrillagardeners.n, guerrillagardeners.n, 2008, retrieved 1 May 2008
  72. ^ a b c d Statuten op GroenLinks., retrieved 1 May 2008[permanent dead link]
  73. ^ For a complete overview of the DNPP see GroenLinks - ledentallen, retrieved 1 May 2008
  74. ^ Lucardie, P., I Noomen en G. Voerman, (1992) "Kroniek 2001. Overzicht van de partijpolitieke gebeurtenissen van het jaar 1991" in Jaarboek 1991 Groningen: Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen
  75. ^ "Dehelling". Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  76. ^ For a complete overview of the DNPP see GroenLinks - nevenorganisaties, retrieved 28 April 2008
  77. ^ PinkLeft ("RozeLinks") site (in Dutch)
  78. ^ About NIMD, archived from the original on 22 December 2007, retrieved 28 April 2008
  79. ^ Laver, Michael; Mair, Peter (1999). "Party Policy and cabinet portfolios in the Netherlands 1998: Results from an expert survey". Acta Politica. 34: 49–64.
  80. ^ SP en GroenLinks gaan lijstverbinding aan; PvdA ziet daarvan af on, archived from the original on 11 January 2013, retrieved 1 May 2008
  81. ^ Nederlandse partijen in het Europees Parlement on, archived from the original on 23 December 2005, retrieved 1 May 2008
  82. ^ "Linkse lijstverbinding GroenLinks strandt", De Telegraaf, 28 April 2007, archived from the original on 3 November 2007
  83. ^ Pels, D. "Vrijheid: Het politieke spectrum" in Snels, B. (ed.) (2007). Vrijheid als Ideaal. Nijmegen: SUN.
  84. ^ Krouwel, Andre, Kieskompas, Vrije Universiteit, archived from the original on 12 April 2008, retrieved 1 May 2008