The weekly De Groene Amsterdammer published an interesting article about innovation in the Dutch welfare state. In an age where the Dutch authorities want to push citizens into a so-called ‘participation society’, in some places this almost happens by itself. In Zaanstad, a small town just outside Amsterdam, proud inhabitants of a migrant area do not want their neighbourhood and its population to degenerate. A breeding ground for innovative social initiatives.
Due to the tensions in Ukraine, the nuclear security summit in the Hague at at March 24 and 25 is growing in significance. Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called on Russia “not to violate the Budapest Memorandum” nuclear non-proliferation agreement. The deadline for the application for accreditation for the summit is March 10, 2014.
Today the newspaper De Telegraaf published an article about a research that has been carried out amongst migrant voters. It turns out that many migrant voters that traditionally vote for the Social Democrat PvdA now run away from the party. A large group does not know what they will vote yet. It seems that the Democrats 66 will win most of the votes.
According to research advisor Peter Kanne, in an essay in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, there is a large chance that Dutch voters will be even more disappointed after the upcoming elections. 'The transfer of tasks to the municipalities is irresponsible because it happens far too fast and at the same time there is €. 1.5 billion less budget.'
Belgium is dumping "poor" Dutch people. A growing number of Dutch are summoned to leave Belgium because they are burdening the social welfare system. And the Dutch are not the only ones. Belgium is increasingly withdrawing residence permits from European citizens. Last year in total 2.712 lost their Belgian permit.
Finally the gigantic Dutch manure surplus is dealt with. This year new manure legislation is coming into power obliging famers to bring 30% of the manure to manure processing plants. After processing it is exported. It seems a lot of fraud is comitted processing manure. The sector needs to succeed to make the new manure processing system work. If not the Dutch livestock needs to be shrunk.
Who really has the ruling power in Brussels? Today two Europe correspondents publish 'Europe's string pullers, who is really ruling Brussles', a very exciting crisis book that is written like an economic thriller, and that reveals the way the economic crisis was managed. According to Jean-Claude Juncker the book is an 'inside analyses of the Brussels microcosm that rightly warns for extremists and egoists'.
In Amsterdam bicycle usage has grown by more than 40% in the last 20 years. Collectively Amsterdammers currently cycle 2 million kilometres every day. Overcrowded cycle racks everywhere in the city are beginning to adversely affect accessibility. The Amsterdam municipality has decided the accelerated introduction of additional measures and invest €. 90 million on 40,000 new bike parking places.
The centre-left Socialists & Democrats Group is set to be the biggest political formation in the next European Parliament according to the first PollWatch 2014 predictions. In the Netherlands the predictions show that Geert Wilders’ PVV will not win more than five seats. His far-right group including the French Front National, could win 38 seats, but they will need to secure members from seven European countries.
With the approval of the European Commissioner Damanaki of extra licenses for fisheries using the sustainable pulse trawl technique, Dutch minister Dijksma will undertake an extensive pilot program. As a result 42 extra cutters may use the pulse trawl to catch flatfish. To Greenpeace the pulse trawl technique is not sustainable at all, because the fishermen still use huge dragnets.
In the monthly newsletter the Dutch Association for Relaxing Companies (VER) complains about the fact that local Christian parties misuses prostitution to gain votes in their campaign for the upcoming local elections on March 19. They want to help prostitutes by a total ban on prostitution and by making visiting a prostitute an offence. Is the criminalisation of sex buyers becoming a new trend in Europe?
In an essay in the Dutch Volkskrant Derrick Bergman, spokesman of the Association in favour of lifting the Cannabis ban (VOC), reacts to a column that was published earlier this month. The column was about the manifesto from 35 Dutch mayors that want to start experiments with regulated cannabis cultivation. Berman takes the edge off most of the arguments and comes up with some interesting facts.
Some say that the flood-hit communities in Britain face their wettest start to the year for 250 years. The Dutch are the water-, dikes- and flood specialists and it seems England now needs their expertise to get rid of the water and to learn how to live with the water. Enormous Dutch pumps are pumping water back into the sea, and an interesting Dutch innovation is the successful water square, created to store water during heavy rainfall.
Today Belgium will change its euthanasia legislation. By removing the age limit it will be possible for children to ask for euthanasia. In the Netherlands young people already had the possibility to ask for euthanasia. The Dutch association of voluntary euthanasia lately started a study group for youngster to brake the taboo to talk about the ending of life.
Socials Affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said Tuesday that ‘appropriate measures’ are needed to avoid problems the Dutch had with immigration in the past. One of the measures is the introduction of ‘participation declaration’ immigrants arriving in the Netherlands, also European citizens, need to sign.
There are big economic benefits for the Dutch in leaving the EU, finds a major study. The independent study was commissioned by Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch anti-EU Freedom Party, to assess the cost for the Netherlands of leaving the EU as he leads national opinion polls in the run up to European elections.
The Dutch Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma has signed a Ministerial Declaration with Denmark and Germany at the trilateral governmental conference on the protection of the Wadden Sea, currently being held in Denmark. The three Wadden Sea countries have made agreements about the development of the Wadden Sea, sustainable tourism and fisheries, preservation of biodiversity and the protection of migratory birds.
While the Dutch integrated approach to preventing corruption and bribery could serve as a model to other EU countries, the Netherlands should still do more to improve transparency in politics, the European Commission said on Monday. This is the Commission's first report on measures to combat corruption within the EU which costs the European economy some €120bn a year.