Óige Náisiúnach Delegates Attend GNJC Conference in the Netherlands

Recently, a joint delegation of Óige Náisiúnach & the National Party attended the Greater Netherlands Youth Congress (GNJC), an annual gathering of Dutch Nationalists from both Flanders and the Netherlands, which took place for the third time this year.

Many groups from around the Low Countries were present, including the Dutch student group GNSV, the hosts Geuzenbond, as well as the Flanders-based groups Nationalistische Studentenvereniging (NSV, Nationalist Students Association), Voorpost and Schild & Vrienden.

The event kicked off Friday evening, in which the Irish representatives present experienced the Dutch student tradition of the Cantus. Members of these Dutch groups all sat down together and sang old Dutch Nationalist songs from their Student Codex, a book full of these songs.

Activities wound down in the small hours of the morning.

Recognising the vital role played by national sports in strengthening the body as well as the spirit, the next day began with group training and some friendly sporting competitions.

The many diverse groups present then sat down together for breakfast, and following this the different organisations set up their stalls for the event.
Many different materials were available to buy, such as Nationalist literature, magazines, leaflets, stickers etc.

ÓN activists brought a number of Party materials which the present delegates found very impressive.

The team behind the conservative TeKoS magazine were also present, and offered a wide range of highly impressive materials compiled by their organisation.

Dries Van Langenhove, the current leader of Schild & Vrienden & former member of the Belgian  Parliament, was present at the GNJC.
Van Langenhove gave a very interesting presentation that covered a number of current issues in Flemish & Dutch politics.

In his presentation, the Schild & Vrienden leader & political scientist made the distinction between the role of activist groups and the role of the political party, and how their strategies can often be different, yet working towards the same goal.

Accepting this, he stated that the policies adopted by a Nationalist political party and the ways in which it operates should be respected by non-electoral activists in the same way as the work done by these groups should be respected for their cultural significance.

Van Langenhove’s call for unity among patriots comes at a time when Vlaams Belang, a Flemish right-wing Nationalist Party are currently polling at ~25% for the Flemish Federal elections in June; higher than any other Party.
This makes VB one of the strongest Nationalist parties in Europe, making the prospect of a Vlaams Belang government a conceivable reality in the near future.

Similarly in the Netherlands, the Nationalist & anti mass-immigration PVV under Geert Wilders recorded in the November 2023 Dutch general election their largest voteshare yet, at 23.5%, winning 37/150 seats in the House of Representatives and becoming the largest political party in the country for the first time ever. This seismic shift in the politics of the Low Countries is hopeful news for the future of nationalism in Europe.

The evident concord among the many Dutch-speaking activist groups should surely strike a chord in the Irish Nationalist scene, which up until recently has been plagued by factionalism, egotism and a tendency to refuse any and all co-operation across Party or non-Party activist lines.

Following this, we listened to a speech from Brent Van de Winckel, author and leading member of NSV, in which he spoke of his recently published book, “Studentikos”, a book about the history of student traditions.

The event concluded with a traditional Dutch meal for the attendees, which again offered an opportunity to socialise and to discuss the various differences in political thought, between groups and between countries, as well as to share past experiences and advice for the future.

This spirit of co-operation seen at the GNJC, and the pervading sense that they are working towards a common goal is certainly a lesson that Irish Nationalists can & should learn from.

Overall, the event was extremely positive, with a number of new political connections being made, and with older connections being renewed.
We are once again honoured to have met and been hosted by our continental counterparts, and look forward to further cooperation among other right-wing Nationalist organisations working towards a better, safer Europe of culturally rich & politically sovereign nations.

— This article was submitted by a member of Óige Náisiúnach. To submit your own article for publishing, email us at [email protected]