NL: From 12 Provinces to 5 'Country Parts'

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The twelve Dutch provinces are upset about the plan to merge them into five ‘country parts’. The government wants to combine the provinces to make sure they can also fulfill their administrative tasks in the future.

The province of Flevoland states that the Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Plasterk, did not properly substantiate his plans. Utrecht, one of the first three provinces to be merged, wrote that the minister worked the wrong way around. "He started with the merger of three provinces, without knowing exactly what the problems were and without looking at alternative solutions."

According to, the biggest resistance comes from the province of Friesland. "Our province has its own socially recognized identity; wherever you are in Friesland, you feel a Fries," said Jorritsma, the head of the province of Friesland. The province believes that the merger is a solution for a problem that does not exist in their region and de Friezen, the proud residents of Friesland,  are afraid to lose their identity.