PM praised for asking children to help solve coronavirus problems

Mark Rutte speaking at a press conference on April 17, 2020
Mark Rutte speaking at a press conference on April 17, 2020RVD / Minister-PresidentFacebook

During his press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on the young people of the Netherlands to help think of how to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Youth organizations LAKS, FNV Young & United, and the national youth council NJR are pleased with this call and eager to join forces and respond thereto, they said. 

Rutte addressed children and young people specifically in his speech, acknowledging that their lives were also turned upside down by the measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus. "Nobody knows exactly what our country will look like in the near future. How do you do that,  keep your distance and still work, learn, play sports and make music together? My colleagues in the cabinet and I myself, we think it is important that you help think about this and join the discussion, because it is ultimately your future," Rutte said. "Your ideas and creativity are very much needed."

The Netherlands' youth organizations will definitely respond to this call. "We have the ambition to assemble a group of youth organizations that collect ideas from young people from all over the country. On this basis, we will be able to advise the cabinet," NJR chairman Floor Brands said to NOS.

FNV Young & United called the fact that the government is looking to young people very justified. "It is especially in these times of crisis that it is important that young people act together. Our future is at stake, for example when it comes to education and the labor market. We are happy to take up the Prime Minister's offer, so that young people do not fall victim to this crisis," chairman Bas van Weegberg said to the broadcaster. 

The Prime Minister also complimented the countries children, teenagers and young adults for adhering to the social distancing rules as well as they have so far. "When you are young, your friends, your sports club and even school are very important, and if all that suddenly disappears, it does something to you. That can sometimes make you angry or gloomy and that makes sense. Nevertheless, we see that the vast majority of children and young people in the Netherlands have adapted very well and also adhere to the rules. And for that I want to give you a big compliment. Because it is really also thanks to you that there are fewer people in the hospital and that slowly but sure somewhat more is possible," he said.