Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wants to improve the gender balance in politics by actively focusing on recruiting and interviewing female candidates for the positions of mayor, Minister and King’s Commissioner. Her goal is to have between 40 percent and 60 percent of political positions filled by women in the future, she said in a letter to parliament.
Ruling party VVD wants idealists who without permission rescue migrants from rickety boats at sea to be prosecuted for facilitating human trafficking. A proposal submitted to this effect received majority support in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, AD reports.
While the use of drugs is not punishable in the Netherlands under the Opium Act, more and more municipalities are banning drug use in public spaces. So far 218 of the 355 Dutch municipalities implemented a total ban on drug use in public space such as parks, streets and public buildings, by adding the ban to their General Local Regulations, NOS reports based on its own research.
After days of long and intense meetings in Brussels, the European leaders reached an agreement. Dutch Frans Timmermans will not be the president of the European Commission. That position will go to German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen. Instead Timmermans will likely stay on in his current position, vice-president of the European Commission, though the European Parliament still has to approve that, NOS and RTL Nieuws report.
After several rounds of voting, senators in the Netherlands selected Professor Jan Anthonie Bruijn as the new chairperson of the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. The 61-year-old professor of immunopathology at Leiden University has been involved in politics as a VVD member since 1989 when he first became a local VVD board member in hometown of Wassenaar, Zuid-Holland.
Bruijn takes the reins from VVD politican Ankie Broekers-Knol. She was tapped as justice and security secretary last month.
The Ministry of Social Affairs is organizing a meeting for municipalities to discuss how they can tackle polarization on sensitive topics like blackface Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet and the construction of wind farms in the transition to green energy. At the meeting on Wednesday, municipalities can exchange experiences and tactics on how they deal with tensions between different groups, a spokesperson for the Ministry said to RTL Nieuws.
A permanent tribute to deceased Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan was unveiled in Amsterdam West on Monday afternoon. His widow Femke officially unveiled the mural on Mercatorplein in De Baarsjes, the neighborhood where Van der Laan lived for a long time, AD reports.
The mural consists of picture of Van der Laan, titled Damsko Strijder by artist collective Kamp Seedorf. Damsko means Amsterdam in local slang, and 'Strijder' or 'warrior' in English refers to the mayor's street fighting mentality, according to the makers.
The Netherlands will not send ground troops to Syria, Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said on Friday. "There is no mandate for it, and Mr. Hoekstra knows that too." The Dutch government did not inform the United States embassy or government about this, US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra said to Nieuwsuur. "She didn't let me know personally", Hoekstra said to the program.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte discussed the MH17 disaster with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Friday. "I spoke to President Putin about MH17. For the Netherlands, but also for so many countries in the world, it is still an open wound. So if I have the chance to discuss it with the Russian president, I will. We talked about it and I will continue to do so on these occasions", Rutte said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Queen Maxima is facing criticism over a meeting she had with Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit in Osaka on Friday. The controversial crown prince of Saudi Arabia is accused of orchestrating the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October last year. Multiple Dutch parliamentarians criticized the meeting. UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who investigated the journalist's murder, called it "extraordinarily disappointing" that the Dutch Queen did not broach this topic. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is baffled by the commotion.
Banning cash payments of over 3 thousand euros, regulating cryptocurrencies, and calling for the 500 euros banknote to be taken out of circulations are two of a large package of measures against money laundering that Ministers Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security sent to parliament on Monday.
The Climate Agreement that the Dutch government is presenting on Friday afternoon is insufficient for fair and effective climate policy, according to environmental organizations Greenpeace and Milieudefensie and trade union FNV. "A few crucial improvements are needed to ensure that we achieve the right breakthroughs for the Netherlands and the world", Greenpeace director Joris Thijssen said at a press conference just hours before the government presented its plans, NOS reports.
On the second day of the appeal in the hate-speech trial against PVV leader Geert Wilders on Thursday, claimants could demand compensation from the politician and explain why they think they deserve it. Demands ranged from apologies to actual monetary amounts between a symbolic 1 euro to over 30 thousand euros, NU.nl reports.
Pride Amsterdam will be officially added to the Intangible Heritage Inventory of the Netherlands as an essential part of Dutch cultural heritage this year, the Knowledge Center for Intangible Heritage announced on Thursday. The addition ceremony will take place on the Museumplein in Amsterdam during the Pride Walk, the annual activist march from the gay monument to Vondelpark on the first day of Amsterdam Pride on July 27th, AD reports.
After opening the new Museum Sophiahof in The Hague on Thursday, King Willem-Alexander stopped to speak to a group of demonstrators protesting against the opening of the museum, which focuses on the cultural and historical legacy of the Dutch East Indies. The protesters are descendants of soldiers and civil servants who worked under the administration of the then Dutch East Indies, but never received salary during the Japanese occupation between 1942 and 1945, NOS reports.
Dutch entrepreneurs are the victims of the rise of Chinese online stores, according to the VVD. Ordering products from China is too cheap and Dutch business owners can't compete with that. Measures must be taken, the ruling party said, according to newspaper AD.
The majority of Amsterdam residents supports taking measures against climate change, the Amsterdam center for research, information and statistics OIS found in a survey among 1,400 locals. Around 70 percent called the switch to sustainable, clean energy a good thing and feel responsible to contribute to this transition. And only 5 percent said climate change is exaggerated, the city said in a press release.
The United States wants the Netherlands to provide "military assets on the ground" for a new mission in Syria aimed to keep terrorist organization ISIS small, Pete Hoekstra, the US Ambassador to the Netherlands, said to the Volkskrant.
Salo Muller is pleased that, after years of fighting, Dutch railway NS decided to pay compensation to Holocaust victims or their relatives for its role in transporting Jewish people to concentration camps during the Second World War. "I am relieved that it is all over. But when you consider why we're getting compensation, it makes me very sad. People were murdered", he said to NU.nl.
Dutch national railway NS plans to pay reparations to thousands of Holocaust survivors, their widows, and their children. The decision regards people who were transported by the NS to extermination camps, for which the company earned an estimated 2.5 million euros, adjusted for inflation.
After months of negotiations, the coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie finally agreed on a Climate Agreement. The main changes to the draft agreement is that the government decided to balance the burdens more evenly between individuals and businesses by shifting the climate tax from citizens to companies and adjusting the energy tax, NOS reports.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations plans to make changes to the ways the Netherlands elects members of both the Eerste Kamer and Tweede Kamer. She wants to introduce a new electoral system in which preference votes on candidates are given more weight, NRC and Volkskrant report based on sources around the government.
The cause of an outage at KPN on Monday that left emergency number 112 and the police call center unreachable for over three hours, is still unknown, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said in a letter to parliament on Tuesday. KPN assured him that the outage affected KPN systems and not the "112-platform" itself, the Minister said.
A disruption at telecommunications firm KPN which caused the inaccessibility of emergency phone number 1-1-2 was largely over, a company spokesperson told broadcaster NOS. The incident forced emergency services providers to scramble and quickly establish temporary solutions during the nearly four-hour disruption on Monday.