Mayors Jan Hoekema, Jos Wienen, Jan Rijpstra and Niek Meijer protesting against offshore windmills (Picture: Twitter/@jan_hoekema) - Credit: Mayors Jan Hoekema, Jos Wienen, Jan Rijpstra and Niek Meijer protesting against offshore windmills (Picture: Twitter/@jan_hoekema)
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 - 14:45
Only four Dutch mayors are ethnic minority; just 20 pct. are women
Getting some diversity into the mayors of the Netherlands seems to be a nigh on impossible task. Most of the 390 mayors in the country are white men with an average age of around 57 years. Only four are of an ethnic minority and only 20 percent are female. And these figures have been the same for years, according to data from the Dutch Association of Mayors, NRC reports. "Changes in the composition of this group happen terribly slow. And even that is positively worded because it assumes that the diversity showed an increase and will continue to do so. You can honestly wonder whether that will happen", Klaartje Peters, professor of local and regional government at the Maastricht University, commented to NRC. As demographic developments seem to be passing the mayors by, so too it seems they are untouched by political developments. A massive 84 percent of the 38 new mayors appointed last year belong to the PvdA (12), the VVD (10) and the CDA (10). 84 percent of all the mayors in the Netherlands belong to one of these three parties. In the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, these three parties currently occupy 89 out of the 150 seats, 59 percent of the seats. In the recent polls they have a combined share of 32 percent. In comparison, opposition parties SP and PVV - combined 27 seats in the Kamer and more than 50 in the polls - do not have a single mayor.