In 1983 members of the Green Platform, an alliance of the Political Party Radicals and municipal green parties, became dissatisfied with the future of Green politics within the PPR. Before the European election of 1984 the Green Platform (under the name "Green Party Netherlands") formed a common list with the PPR and the leftwing Communist Party of the Netherlands and Pacifist Socialist Party under the name "Green Progressive Accord".
A group, led by Marten Bierman founded The Greens on December 17, 1983. They entered in the European elections under the name "European Greens". They were supported in their foundation by the Belgian Ecolo, while the (more powerful) German Greens supported the Green Progressive Accord. The party became involved in the formation of the Coordination of European Green Party. It won only 1,3% of vote in the 1984 European parliament election, not enough for one seat in the European Parliament. The Green Progressive Accord joined the Green Radical Alternative European Link in the European Parliament, by passing The Greens to international cooperation.
Gradually the party began to attract more former members of the Radicals, such as (former Provo) Roel van Duijn who joined the party in 1985. Van Duijn who had been on the European list of the Green Progressive Accord in 1984, became involved in municipal Amsterdam politics. He founded Green Amsterdam and entered successfully in the 1986 municipal elections. For the 1986 national elections the organisation of The Greens was renewed. It renamed itself Federative Greens and organized a Green Council, representing municipal Green parties. The party had a strong federal structure and only municipal and provincial parties could join the party. The party was oriented towards dissatisfied centrist voters such as progressive Christians and former Democrats 66 voters. It won only 0.2% of the votes, not enough for one seat. In 1987 the Greens participated in the North Holland, South Holland and Gelderland provincial elections. They won one seat in North Holland Provincial council, partially because of the support of Green Amsterdam. On March 10, 1989 after a fusion process of two years Green Amsterdam and the Federative Greens parties merged to form The Greens.
In 1989 the GreenLeft was formed by PPR, PSP, CPN and the progressive Christian Evangelical People's Party. The Greens rejected the formation of this party because it emphasizes social-economic issues too much and environmental issues too little. They entered on themselves in the 1989 elections with Roel van Duijn as their top candidate. The party won only 0.35% of votes and no seats. The GreenLeft formally joined the Coordination of European Green Parties. In reaction to bad electoral results in 1990 and 1991 the party abandoned its federal structure in 1992. This led to considerable upheaval within the party.
For the Dutch general election of 1994, the GreenLeft proposed a common list, but this was rejected by The Green's Congress. The party entred allone and won only 0,2% of vote. In the 1994 municipal elections the party expanded its seats and won seats in Leiden, Nijmegen, Zwolle and Amsterdam. In the 1991 GreenLeft MEP Herman Verbeek left his party and continued as an independent, He became a member of the Greens in 1994 and led their European list in the European Parliament election. The party won only 2,36% of vote, not enough for one seat.
In 1995 the party entered in several provincial elections. It won seats in North Holland and South Holland (on a combined list of GreenLeft/The Greens). The party cooperated with several provincial parties to form a common list for the indirect elections for the Eerste Kamer by the Provincial Councils. The first seat was taken by the "Federation of Frisian Municipal-interest Parties" and the second by Green-founder Marten Bierman. Bierman was elected by preference votes. He formed a separate Independent Senate Fraction, this was a novum in Dutch politics, because before no party had representation in the Eerste and not in the Tweede Kamer. In 1998 elections the party ran its own unsuccessful campaign and it one only .2% of the votes. The party did keep its seats in municipal councils and expanded to Haarlem, Zeist, Arnhem, Groningen and Haren. In reaction to the 1998 election defeat the party decided to abandon national politics and focus on the municipal level.
In 2002 many prominent Greens cooperated in Liveable Netherlands a new political formation based on municipal parties, which campaigned on an anti-establishment ticket hoping to improve the liveability of cities, in social, economical, safety and environmental sense. When the Pim Fortuyn, a rightwing populist, was elected as their top candidate, many of their members left Leefbaar Nederland to found Durable Netherlands, which combined liveability with durability and diversity. It was unable to gain any representation in 2002 and Dutch general election of 2003 elections. In 2003 the Frisian National Party claimed the seat in the Senate, as The Greens had lost all their provincial representation. In 2006 the party lost all its seats in municipal councils (even in Amsterdam where it was traditionally very strong) except for Zwolle where it ran on a combined GreenLeft/Greens list. It still has some seats in district councils in Amsterdam. In Dutch general election of 2006 prominent Green Huib Poortman headed a nameless list 14, on which several individuals from social organizations were represented.
The Greens are an ecologist, deep green party committed to a holist view connecting humans, animals and the planet as one whole. It advocates classical Green demands such as decentralization, a basic income and recycling. It emphasizes its economic centrism and pacifism.
In this table the election results of the Greens in Tweede Kamer, Eerste Kamer, European, municipal (GR) and provincial elections (PS) is represented.
*: For Green Amsterdam (not a part of the Greens until 1991) **: For the Independent Senate Fraction, also representing other provincial parties.
Because the electorate of the party is so small it is hard to identify sociological characteristics of their voters. The electorate of the party is concentrated in Amsterdam, where the party has the strongest municipal chapter in an alliance with the local party Amsterdam Anders.
The Greens has a relatively federal and weak organization. It relies heaviliy on municipal chapters.
Internationally The Greens are comparable to smaller European and American Green parties such American and the Norwegian Greens, which lack parliamentary representation. These parties are, compared to established Green parties such as the German Alliance '90/The Greens and the GreenLeft less realist and more Green. Furthermore they are less focused on social and economic issues.