Super Provinces Debate

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Minister Ronald Plasterk of Internal Affairs says that if the attempts to form super provinces will fail, provincial governments and the big cities will have a huge fight within the coming thirty years. 

“Big cities become not only bigger but also more powerful. Therefore the provincial governments must be reinforced. It has to be avoided that big cities like Amsterdam and Almere are the decision makers in their province,” Plasterk warned the House during a debate on Tuesday.

Reinforcing the provincial governments can be done very effectively by upscaling, Plasterk said. The upscaling is not only necessary to have a balance to the big cities, but it is also very important to make it possible to perform the tasks which the national government wants the provincial governments and the city governments to do.

Plasterk wants to do the upscaling in such a way that there will be five super provinces in the Netherlands. The plans for the fusion of Noord-Holland , Utrecht and Flevoland are ready and he hopes that this can be effected in 2016.

The new province will be called ‘Noordvleugelprovincie’ and will be home to 4.3 million citizens. Although opponents to these plans call the new province a megaprovince, Plasterk explains that this is exaggerated. The province of Zuid-Holland has at this moment 3.4 million inhabitants.

The opposition is very critical about the plans. According to the SP is ‘cutting costs’ the only reason for the upscaling. They say that in the end, the upscaling will cost more money than that it will safe,

The CDA thinks that the plans are ‘untidy’ and ‘contradictive’. The government can better spend more time on real problems, such as the economy and the unemployment.

On Wednesday the debate will be continued.