D66 MEP and party leader Sophie in ‘t Veld switching to Volt

Dutch Member of European Parliament Sophie in ‘t Veld announced on Friday that she was switching political parties. After nearly 30 years as a member of D66, and the party’s current leader in Europe, the 59-year-old said she has grown more distant to the party and will instead continue with Volt.

“More than half my life, I was part of D66, and D66 was part of me,” she wrote. However, she is still enthusiastically for a united Europe, and remains passionate about politics in general. “Based on my European convictions, I am therefore joining Volt. Volt’s social-liberal, progressive, radically pro-European vision aligns seamlessly with the vision I have and continue to champion every day on behalf of voters for nearly two decades.”

In ‘t Veld was first elected to European Parliament 20 years ago, and ever since has been the party’s faction leader in European politics. She praised D66 and its party members for its continued pro-European stance. In four different elections, her name was at the top of the D66 list of candidates. “But in recent years, that European feeling has been stuck in abstract idealism, somewhat jaded and mechanical,” she wrote on Substack.

“While the European Union is developing at lightning speed in a turbulent world, D66 is increasingly focusing on national politics, increasingly at the expense of our European goals, and sometimes even including the use of caricatures about ‘Brussels’ that we were used to from other parties.”

She said she notified party chair Victor Everhardt of her decision “with a heavy heart,” including her intention to cancel her D66 membership. She briefly lashed out at the work environment as well, where victims of inappropriate behavior are ignored. She said her repeated efforts to raise concerns were never met with substantive action.

“What the future holds is uncertain. Time will tell if my choice is the right one.”

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