The program that took place in the Thialf Ice Stadium in Heerenveen, started with a lecture by social historian René Cuperus of the Clingendael Institute about the future of regions and regional parties. How do they gain more influence at national level? Cuperus pointed out opportunities and pitfalls. Of course it is good that Frisians are satisfied with less and are healthier generally. But there are limits. According to Cuperus, the party must find an answer to the question of how the economy can survive, even without the Lelyline, for example.
‘The conditions are favourable' (René Cuperus)
The current conditions for participating in national elections are favourable. Confidence in national politics is low, the rural farmers party BBB proves that there is a need for rural parties and the FNP itself has more supporters than ever. Moreover, the opportunities to get something done for Fryslân in the national parliament in The Hague through Labour (PvdA) and the Christian Democrats (CDA), are limited, because these traditional parties are very much weakened. Fryslân's lobbying power is limited nowadays.
The regions could also gain more influence in The Hague by adjusting the regional representation in the Senate. This requires a different electoral system. All in all, the FNP committee that is investigating how participation in the national elections is possible has received new building blocks for consideration. The outcomes of the day will also be used to create a vision for the future.
‘We may be the leading party' (Sijbe Knol)
During the anniversary celebration of FNP (60 plus 1 years), party leader Sijbe Knol kicked off the campaign with a speech and a presentation of the new campaign film . ‘We will become one of the major parties in the Frisian Parliament, possibly the largest,' said Knol. He called the candidates for the Frisian Parliament and the Water Authority to the stage, and also the candidate for senator and all the people who are supporting the campaign. Judging by the number of young faces, the FNP also represent the future in this respect.
Of course, the party also looked back on its rich past. In the afternoon, Roel Falkena (1936-2021) was posthumously appointed as an honorary member. The Flemish Nelly Maes praised Falkena, among other things, for his strong commitment to the establishment of the European Free Alliance (EFA). EFA President - Lorena Lopez de Lacalle said that the present developments of the FNP are a great example for other minority parties.