On Tuesday the Dutch Senate voted in a legislative amendment which states that all immigrants to the Netherlands must sign a pledge to uphold and support Dutch values as part of their integration exam. This amendment to the Integration Law will take effect on October 1st, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced.
There are many problems with the integration exam immigrants have to pass if they want to get their Dutch passport, language schools, teachers of Dutch as a second language ant the NT2 professional association said to newspaper Trouw. This results in many immigrants struggling to integrate into Dutch society, according to the language teachers.
Eight in ten Dutch think that there are high tensions between different population groups in Dutch society, such as between people of different religions or between people with and without an immigration background, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Wednesday. Less than half experience these tensions in their own lives.
The people of the Netherlands aren't very optimistic about society and the future of the country, according a quarterly report by social and cultural planning office SCP. The Dutch are mostly concerned about immigration, integration, intolerance and that society is growing harsher. They are positive about the economy however, RTL Nieuws.
The SCP did this survey early this year, before the parliamentary election on March 15th.
VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte would like to form a cabinet consisting of his VVD, the CDA and D66, he said on Monday after discussing coalition possibilities with Edith Schippers. "Given the election results", these parties need to take governmental responsibility, he said, but added that "it also depends on what the parties themselves want", NU.nl reports.
Left- and right wing parties clashed fiercely over the retirement age, healthcare deductibles and the Dutch identity in the televised debate between eight party leaders in the Carré in Amsterdam on Sunday. With only 9 days to go until the parliamentary election, party leaders are pressured to create some movement in the polls, which have been quiet over the past weeks.
"You can't say that integration failed", Jeroen Dijsselbloem, current Finance Minister and number three on the PvdA candidate list, said on radio program Dit is de Dag on Thursday.
According to Dijsselbloem, "a lot of things went well" when it comes to integration. "Go look in the lecture halls in big cities. They are now filled with children from an immigration background", he said.
He agrees that the naturalization process could go smoother. He thinks it should be more mandatory and that all the responsibility can not be left to the immigrants.
Dutch norms and values and immigration and asylum are the biggest concerns among Dutch voters at the moment, according to a study done by research agency Ipsos on behalf of Dutch broadcaster NOS. Ipsos surveyed a total of 1,103 Dutch voters that form a good representation of the Dutch population, NOS reports.
Even though Dutch people like to grumble when things do not go their way, the population is generally pretty satisfied about the country, according to a study I&O Research did on behalf of newspaper AD. The survey among more than 6 thousand Dutch found that while there are concerns about contradictions in society, most are positive about the Netherlands' future, AD reports.
The VVD wants more stringent integration requirements in the Netherlands including a total ban on face covering clothing, like burkas and balaclavas, in public. Wearing face covering clothing makes it more difficult for you to openly meet and greet each other, VVD parliamentarian Malik Azmani emphasizes in a broad integration agenda the ruling party is presenting on Thursday, Het Parool reports.
According to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the British had a clear choice when voting on whether or not Britain should leave the European Union. And when voting for the Brexit, they chose to become poorer in exchange for controlling immigration, he said to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.
Immigration and an increase in the number of babies born in 2016 pushed the Dutch population over the 17.1 million mark. The four big cities in the Netherlands saw most of the growth, while about 1 in 5 municipalities actually saw their populations shrink, Statistics Netherlands announced on Tuesday.
Amsterdam saw the biggest growth in 2016 with an increase of over 15 thousand residents to a total of almost 850 thousand inhabitants on December 1st, 2016. Rotterdam's population grew with 8 thousand and The Hague and Utrecht with 4 thousand each.
Last year the Netherlands granted Dutch citizenship to 22 thousand people. That is 5 thousand less than the year before, a decrease of 19 percent, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.
Some 1,700 Turks nd 900 Moroccans were given Dutch citizenship, making up the largest group. Though the number of Turks and Moroccans given citizenship has been decreasing for a number of years, according to Statistics Netherlands. Other large groups included Soviet citizens and Iraqis, with about 900 each, and Chinese with 700.
Parliamentarian Jacques Monasch, formerly of the PvdA, is launching his own party with wich he will be taking part in the elections on March 15th next year, he announced on Monday. The party is called Nieuwe Wegen, or "New Roads" in English, and strives to combine "social economy" with a sricter immigration policy with priority on "our norms and values", NU.nl reports.
PVV leader Geert Wilders' statements calling for "fewer Moroccans" while campaigning in The Hague in 2014, were not incitement to discrimination, but a "proposal for immigration restriction", Pau Cliteur said as expert witness for the defense in court on Wednesday, NOS reports.
An increasing number of immigrants are passing their integration exams. Though more than half are still failing, Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs wrote to parliament on Tuesday
The Dutch population grew by 43 thousand people in the first half of this year, most of which can be attributed to immigration. This is the biggest population growth during the first half of the year since the start of this century, Statistic Netherlands announced on Monday.
The VVD wants to double the current naturalization period for immigrants. That means that an immigrant would have to live in the Netherlands for 10 years, instead of the current five, before being granted a Dutch passport, VVD parliamentarian Malik Azmani said in an interview with Dutch newspaper Trouw on Thursday.
The arrival of asylum seekers and immigration in general are still the greatest issues in the Netherlands by far, according to the Social and Cultural Planning Office's quarterly report. Opinions on the matter are very divided - a large group point to the negatives of asylum seekers in the country, and another large group is alarmed by the other's attitude
Migration had only a small effect on the Netherlands population between 2000 and 2015. In this period 72 percent of population growth in the Netherlands could be attributed to natural increase - the number of births minus the number of deaths. The Dutch population grew by 6.5 percent, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Monday.
A new Amsterdam shipping company, Lampedusa, will be giving tours through the Amsterdam canals on two former refugee boats. The first test trip will be made this Sunday and the tours will premier the following week
Statistics Netherlands estimates that the Netherlands' population will reach 17 million on March 21st. Who exactly the 17 millionth resident of the country will be is nearly impossible to say, but according to the statistics office, it is more likely to be an immigrant than a baby.
With an increase of 1.5 and 1.43 percent respectively in the number of inhabitants, the populations of Amsterdam and Utrecht grew more than average in 2015. The national average is 0.5 percent, according to Statistics Netherlands based on 2015's interim population figures.