Alexander Pechtold (1965) is an MP and has been party leader for the Democrats since 2006; he was previously active in local politics.
Speaking of asylum seekers and refugees who struggle to integrate into Dutch society, Pechtold has argued for offering them the opportunity to learn Dutch and find a job soon after arrival, "...so we can work on equal opportunities and prevent an integration disaster."
Pechtold calls for:
- Closing down coal-fired power plants
- Investing in education, research, innovation, culture, law and order and international cooperation and defence
- Safe and regulated provision of soft drugs by the state
- Combating terrorism through enhanced European cooperation between European intelligence agencies and early detection of radicalization
- Remaining in the EU
- A “democratic and decisive Europe”
- No-one in the Netherlands to have to relinquish their original nationality; Dutch citizens abroad retain their Dutch nationality for as long as they want
- Refugees to come to the Netherlands through safe and legal routes
- Solid control over the outer borders of the EU should guarantee manageable refugee flows
- Refugees to be offered language courses and access to work from the day they set foot in the country.