Meer Democratie (‘More Democracy’) was launched in the beginning of 2015. However, prior to that, its founders have been successfully active for the expansion of democratic rights in the Netherlands too.


Some of our milestones: 

Constitutional change for the elected mayor

In November 2018, the Dutch constitution was finally changed to skip the appointed mayor procedure, making the elected mayor possible. Now, political parties should find agreement how the mayor is to be elected (by the local council or by the people) and the Municipal Law should be updated. Currently there is no consensus in the Dutch parliament on this.

Consultative Referendum Law

In July 2015, the Consultative Referendum Law entered into force, giving 300,000 citizens the right to trigger a national consultative referendum on laws and treaties that have been passed by parliament. The law was brought into parliament in 2005 by Niesco Dubbelboer (then MP), co-founder of More Democracy. However, after the first referendum held on the basis of this law (the EU-Ukraine treaty referendum of 2016) the Dutch government abolished the referendum law. Meer Democratie fought this by, among others, starting 3 court cases against the Dutch state, but sadly the 

European Citizen's Initiative

In 2012, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) entered into force. It gives one million (sigh) European citizens the right to place a proposal on the agenda of the European Union. It is an agenda right only, the EU is not obliged to act on or even discuss the citizens’ initiative. As part of a Europe-wide effort, in which many organizations were active, Arjen Nijeboer (co-founder of More Democracy) led the campaign within the Netherlands to introduce the ECI.

National Citizen's Initiative 

In 2006, the national citizens’ initiative (an agenda right through which 40,000 citizens can bring a proposal into the national Dutch parliament) was introduced at the initiative of Niesco Dubbelboer as MP. It is an agenda right only, but if the proposal is not part of the list of exclusions, the parliament is obliged to discuss and decide on the citizen proposal. Many important citizen initiatives have been launched and brought into parliament this way.

European Constitution referendum

On June 1st, 2005, the first referendum in the modern history of the Netherlands (1814-) was held, on the European Constitution.From 2002 on, many organizations in Europe campaigned together to get as many national referendums on the European constitution as possible. Arjen Nijeboer led the campaign within the Netherlands to get this referendum, and Niesco Dubbelboer as MP initiated the law which was the legal basis for this referendum.

Popular initiative in Amsterdam

In 2004, the popular initiative (a referendum about a citizen’s proposal) was introduced in the city of Amsterdam as the result of the “Initiative for Amsterdam” (Amsterdams Initiatief) campaign. Arjen Nijeboer and Niesco Dubbelboer led this campaign from 2002 on.