‘A full membership of Ukraine in NATO is out of the question as long as Russia is occupying parts of the country,’ explains Groothuis. This would activate Article 5, which means that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all of NATO. ‘So you will have to rely on a hybrid model or ingrowth model.’ But before that happens, the European Union must also undergo certain changes, according to the MEP, because ‘Hungary is gradually no longer having a place in the EU’. Groothuis concludes that Prime Minister Orbán has ‘really abolished’ democracy in his country.
On the other side of the ocean, former President Donald Trump has this week an official opponent in the battle for the American presidency. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is running for the 2024 U.S. presidential election. He made the announcement talking to Twitter owner Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces. However, that did not go smoothly because due to technical problems, a connection could not be made for tens of minutes. America expert Raymond Mens calls that “quite painful”, but also states that DeSantis is the “only person who can prevent Donald Trump from becoming the leader of the Republicans and therefore president again.”
Next year is not only the year of the American presidential elections, 2024 also seems to be a disaster year for Dutch housing. Housing minister Hugo de Jonge warns of a decline of up to fifty percent compared to last year, when more than ninety thousand homes were built. Ruben Heezen of Bouwend Nederland shares these concerns: ‘It is distressing to see that the Dutch market is still moving towards a reduction in housing production. Especially since so many people are looking for an affordable home.’
Support pension system
While minister De Jonge had a setback this week, pension minister Carola Schouten seems to be getting the green light for the reforms of the pension system. The coalition parties in the senate expressed their full support during a debate on Tuesday evening. PvdA and GroenLinks, the parties that previously had doubts about the effective date and the reforms, now also seem to approve the law. The proposed reform of the pension system has been criticized for some time and, according to EY pension expert Tim Burggraaf, not all risks have yet disappeared.
The Tax and Customs Administration has also been under fire for some time because of the benefits affair. SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten says that State Secretary Aukje de Vries for Allowances and Customs does not dare to tackle the Tax Authorities. Earlier this week, the House debated the benefits affair again after new documents came to light. The appearance of the new information causes disappointment for Leijten. “We are being played with and that is not okay.”