Opinion pieces, columns and insights into Dutch news and current affairs from key commentators


Stress at work should be employers’ headache

Stress at work should be employers’ headache

Why should workers come up with solutions for workplace stress-related problems? It’s up to the employers to act, and a time management course won’t do the trick, say psychology professors Michiel Kompier and Sabine Geurts Last week, home affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher proclaimed a workplace stress week, and not...  More >


Shoppers: Pushy cashiers are a pain

Stop badgering shoppers at the till with sweets and biscuits and put some healthy treats on display, say behavioural scientists. Research shows that 6 out of 10 people don’t like the ‘pushy cashier’ phenomenon. Pushy cashiers try to sell you something as you are paying for your groceries and it’s usually something...  More >


TU Delft sells science with sexist stereotypes

TU Delft sells science with sexist stereotypes

Is a sexist flash mob video the best way to encourage links between industry and universities? Delft University of Technology chemistry Phd researcher Aldo Brinkman doesn’t think so. Delft University of Technology has an official Facebook page and earlier this month it endorsed a video aimed at technical studies students....  More >


It’s cool up north

It’s cool up north

The northern Dutch province of Groningen is unfairly being written off by some because of economic problems and the earthquakes. But it is a vibrant place to be and deserves to be treated fairly, says Sandra Beckerman, a candidate for the Socialist party in next year's provincial elections. When I decided to study archaeology...  More >


Dealing with debt, Part 2

Dealing with debt, Part 2

Last week I wrote that family finance institute Nibud calculated that Dutch families in debt cost society €11bn a year. That amount would cover the cost of redesigning and implementing a new tax system twice over with something to spare for education and health care innovation. And that’s just a single year’s worth. Work The...  More >


Manure hits fan in Dutch dairy farming

Manure hits fan in Dutch dairy farming

Dairy farming shouldn’t go the way of pig farming and poultry farming, say Cees Veerman and Herman Wijffels. Dutch dairy farmers have a good reputation. Their grazing cows represent a number of important values: an attractive landscape and care for the wellbeing of the animals. Grass fed cows also ensure short cycles...  More >


Bring on the robots

Bring on the robots

Don't fear robotisation but prepare to enjoy the benefits it could bring, says GroenLinks leader Bram van Ojik. Even brilliant economists can't always be right. In 1930 John Maynard Keynes wrote an essay called ‘Economic possibilities for our grandchildren’ in which he predicted that in two generations’ time a...  More >


Thou shalt live a healthy life

Thou shalt live a healthy life

The government is telling us to lead healthy lives but who handed over the pulpit to the authorities? Mind your own business and let people worry about their own salvation, says Patrick van Schie.   Not a week goes by without some newspaper article telling us that scientists have found that a certain food is...  More >


Fight radicalisation but stay cool (and tolerant)

Fight radicalisation but stay cool (and tolerant)

Amsterdammers must fight intolerance without becoming intolerant, says the city's mayor Eberhard van der Laan. A week and a half from now, on November 2, it will be 10 years to the day since film maker and television presenter Theo van Gogh was murdered. Much has happened in Amsterdam since that sad event but lately...  More >


Share value of a hospital? Between 0 and a second home in France

Share value of a hospital? Between 0 and a second home in France

If the tax office has anything to do with it, medical specialists will have to become entrepreneurial. But that might jeopardise that second home in France, writes Barend van Lieshout. By January 1 self-employed medical specialists will have to choose between a contract with the hospital or a bigger financial share in...  More >