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The Netherlands
The Dutch were the second population, along with the French, to reject the draft treating establishing a European Constitution in 2005. However until the 1990’s the Netherlands represented the European country par excellence. Their history started with the merger of the 17 provinces by the Dukes of Burgundy forming the Netherlands. The Northern Netherlands, which converted to Protestantism, separated in 1547 from the provinces in the South and developed quickly from an economic, cultural and colonial point of view. Influenced, then invaded by revolutionary and following that Napoleonic France, the Netherlands became a kingdom in 1815 from which Belgium, then Luxembourg, soon separated. A founder member of Benelux, then of the European Union, it is a country that is usually liberal. Today under the influence of populist and extremist movements the Netherlands is more reticent about European integration.
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