This is the tentative summary of a hot Sunday afternoon in Den Bosch. Hundreds of members there wanted clarification about the party’s “insecurity”, including after the MeToo affair and the impending defection of the D66 faction in Brussels. Kaag and party chairman Victor Everhard were still addressing members publicly after hours of closed sessions. The questions, though, remained unanswered, when a member shouted across the room at the end of the afternoon saying that no real answers came. Something that Everhard acknowledges on “Reflection Day and above all Self-Reflection”. “We are still dealing with the remaining questions.” Does he himself draw conclusions from his leadership? In any case, that means no resignation now, according to the party chiefs. As far as he’s concerned, that’s what the members are all about.
During a much-discussed previous press conference, he and Cage actually dug into the dust over how to handle a former employee who went through a relationship with MeToo. On Sunday afternoon, the party posted a correction on the D66 website regarding the matter’s handling. “With current knowledge, the current council believes that it should have been explicitly included that there was cross-border behavior and that openness should have prevailed,” said the party, which closed its doors to journalists on Sunday during the thematic sessions and earlier a confidential report. Meeting. The appendix to the relevant investigation report is kept at the bottom of the drawer. The board also says it has reached an agreement with the victim, a former employee, on “financial compensation”.
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However, shutters were needed in Den Bosch on Sunday afternoon, Defense Minister Kajsa Olungren defended the council’s decision. “People who have concerns or have experience should be able to discuss this openly with each other.” “No,” is the unequivocal answer of party leaders such as Hans Velbreve, Robert Dijkgraf or Alexandra van Hovelen to the question whether they have previously received signals of dissenting behavior within the party. Olungren, who has known party chiefs Frans van Dremelen for years (including from The Hague), who left after the MeToo accusations, also announced that he had received no previous indications of unsafe situations. They all come to “listen” to the members, who accuse the ministerial clique of thinking too much “top-down” rather than “minimal”.
Foreign Minister Hans Velebreev (mining) notes that the dangers within the D66 have not bothered him. “It doesn’t make you happy,” he said upon arrival. “We set high standards for ourselves.” Party leader Kag says this too in her speech. “We raised a lot of expectations. We have to stick to these things like anything else,” she vows to get better. Kag says she’s been “heavy” in recent weeks. “Experiences of insecurity and aggressive behavior affect me as well. In these weeks I have experienced how difficult it is to act cautiously, give the right tone, find and understand.” When asked how she herself would like to change that, she said, “There are lessons to be learned in this regard for me too.”
D66 chairman Jean Paternott said he had already started a discussion within his group about the party’s values last week. I also sent our Code of Conduct to all the House members of our group with a request to sign it. To clarify: it is not only the code that is important, but I really support it.” He also promised to continue the conversation in Parliament.
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