People in the Netherlands largely agree about what it means to be Dutch, valuing the same traditions and symbols regardless of origin, age or level of education. Dutch also agree on what they consider to be the biggest threats to the Dutch identity - polarization and Islam, the social and cultural planning office SCP found in a two year long study into the Dutch identity titled Dekend aan Nederland.
"Europe is again put to the test", King Willem-Alexander said in a response to suicide bombings in the Netherlands' southern neighbor on Tuesday morning. At least 13 people were killed and 35 injured in explosions at Brussels airport Zaventem and metro station Maalbeek.
As per Dutch tradition, the King addressed the nation in his Christmas speech on Christmas day. This is the third Christmas speech King Willem-Alexander gave. According to him, the Netherlands fought hard for its freedom, and we must maintain that freedom, but without giving into our base fears.
Joachim Low, coach of the German football team, was in two minds about Tuesday night's friendly match between the Netherlands and Germany after the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, but is happy that the game will go ahead. He calls it a "clear message for freedom and democracy"
The Netherlands is not at “war” with Islamist extremists, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Sunday. He disagrees with PVV leader Geert Wilders assertion that the entire Muslim world has declared war on the west, he said during television show Buitenhof.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan spoke one-on-one with the NL Times following a demonstration on Dam Square in support of free speech Thursday night. He spoke about freedom, security, and how balance needs to be found amongst the two in a city like Amsterdam.
Demonstrations are being organized in several Dutch cities on Thursday from 6:00 p.m. in support of the victims and survivors of the attack on in Paris on Wednesday. Twelve people were killed in a raid at the office of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical weekly newspaper, and many others were injured.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb appeared on television programme Nieuwsuur Wednesday night, and lashed out at Muslims living in this society despite their hatred of it. “It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom,” he said. “But if you do not like freedom, in Heaven’s name pack your bag and leave.”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte lit the Liberation Flame in Assen, marking the official start to the Liberation Day festivities in the Netherlands.
Immigrants from fellow EU countries will as of next year be presented with a "participation declaration" upon their registration in the Netherlands.
The city council of Amsterdam wants to legalize the cultivation of weed. This should reduce criminality in the supply of coffee shops and because selling soft drugs is legal but growing isn’t, it would make Dutch legislation more logical.