Dutch increasingly positive about Netherlands' future

Dutch flag (Photo: Ninane/Wikimedia Commons). (Dutch flag (Photo: Ninane/Wikimedia Commons))

The improving economy and falling unemployment have the Dutch population generally feeling less pessimistic about the future of the Netherlands. The majority of the population is still negative, however, according to a quarterly survey by social and cultural planning office SCP, ANP reports. 

This quarter 37 percent of the Netherlands' population believe that the country is going in the right direction, compared to 28 percent last quarter. On the other hand, 53 percent think the Netherlands is on completely the wrong path, compared to 61 percent in the third quarter. The pessimists worry about increasingly worse manners, refugees and healthcare. A number of respondents also said that "the Netherlands isn't the Netherlands anymore". 

Feelings about the economy started improving in 2014 and that trend continued this quarter. The Dutch are also less harsh about politics in this quarter.

This past summer there was a resurgence of support for the European Union among the Dutch, likely due to news about the negative effects of the Brexit. That disappeared again this quarter and support for the EU is back to its old level of 39 percent of the population.

The SCP also noted that most Dutch do not feel urgency when it comes to transitioning to renewable energy. Only 2 percent spontaneously used words  like "climate", "green energy", "energy" or "sustainability" when asked about the country's biggest social problem. About half of the population thinks the Netherlands should be quicker about reducing the use of fossil fuels. But most people do not associate the need for reducing fossil fuel use directly to global warming. 

When specifically asked about it, 41 percent tof the population is convinced that the use of fossil fuels has a massive impact on the climate, 19 percent aren't convince at all and 41 percent are undecided.