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The Netherlands Antilles (Dutch: Nederlandse Antillen[ˈneːdərˌlɑntsə ɑnˈtɪlə(n)]; Papiamentu: Antia Hulandes) were a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands consisting of several island territories located in the Caribbean. They were also informally known as the Dutch Antilles. The country came into being in 1954 as the autonomous successor of the Dutch colony of Curaçao and Dependencies and was completely dissolved in 2010. The former Dutch colony of Surinam, although it was relatively close by on the continent of South America, did not become part of Netherlands Antilles but became a separate autonomous country at the same time. All of the islands territories that belonged to the Netherlands Antilles remain part of the Kingdom today, although the legal status of each differs, and as a group they are still referred to as the Dutch Caribbean regardless of their legal status.
"Netherlands" literally means "lower countries", influenced by its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding one metre above sea level. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made. Since the late 16th century, large areas (polders) have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes, amounting to nearly 17% of the country's current land mass.
The 1979 European election was the first direct election to the European Parliament to be held and hence the first time the Netherlands had voted. Four parties were able to win seats: the conservative liberal VVD, the progressive liberal D66, the Christian-democratic CDA and the social-democratic Labour Party. Five other nationally represented parties compete but are unable to win seats. 58.1% of the Dutch population turned out on election day.
MEPs period 1979-1984
Below is a complete list of members of the European Parliament for the period 1979-1984 as a result of this election.
Dutch political parties
The 1984 European election was the second European election to be held. In these elections both an alliance of leftwing CPN, PSP and PPR parties (Green Progressive Accord) and the orthodox Protestant SGP, GPV, RPF parties have formed a successful common lists, which win two respectively one seat. the progressive liberal D'66 loses its two seats and disappears from the parliament. 50.9% of the Dutch population turned out on election day.
The four parts of the Kingdom–Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands–are constituent countries (landen in Dutch) and participate on a basis of equality as partners in the Kingdom. In practice, however, most of the Kingdom affairs are administered by the Netherlands – which comprises roughly 98% of the Kingdom's land area and population – on behalf of the entire Kingdom. Consequently, the countries of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten are dependent on the Netherlands for matters like foreign policy and defence, although they are autonomous to a certain degree with their own parliaments.
The vast majority in land area of the constituent country of the Netherlands (as well as the Kingdom) is located in Europe, with the exception of the Caribbean Netherlands: its three special municipalities (Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius) that are located in the Caribbean. The constituent countries of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten are located in the Caribbean as well.