With all votes counted, Prime Minister Mark Rutte was returned with an increased number of seats for his centre-right Liberal Party. While Mr Rutte talked tough during the campaign when it came to more bailouts for the tottering Greek economy, he is certainly in favour of keeping the Netherlands in the Eurozone and the European Union itself.
The man who campaigned on an exit from both, Geert Wilders, of the far right Freedom Party, took something of bath from the electorate, losing nine seats, and can now expect to be left out of any governing coalition. His views are widely considered to have been far too radical for the conservative Dutch and he has been punished accordingly.
So is this the first indication that Europe generally is turning the corner? Not in itself perhaps, but the signs are increasingly encouraging. Germany’s Constitutional Court has declared legal a move by Chancellor Angela Merkel to make contributions to the European Stability Mechanism, a permanent bailout fund that will be able to put out small economic fires before they become all-consuming blazes.
At the same time a decision by the European Central Bank to re-start its bond-buying program had the required effect of lowing interest rates on Spanish and Italian bonds.
Europe has a long way to go, but the so-called experts who grabbed headlines a few weeks back with their warnings of an imminent collapse of the euro and perhaps the EU itself have gone strangely silent.
The world needs a strong and prosperous EU, one that can play its full part in world affairs and especially in a surging Africa where its traditional ties, dating back to colonial days, can do much to counter the growing influence of China.
As billionaire business investor George Soros said during a recent interview with the International Herald Tribune newspaper, the EU is about more than deficits, currencies and bonds. Europe is also a political and moral idea – one worth preserving.