Provinces tell minister they don’t want to merge

The 12 Dutch provinces are happy to work together more closely but merging them into five new mega regions is ‘not an option’, the provincial discussion platform IPO has told the cabinet.

Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk wants to combine the provinces into five larger regions – starting with Flevoland, Noord Holland and Utrecht.

However, IPO chairman Johan Remkes has written to the minister saying he has failed to make clear what ‘social problems’ merging the provinces will solve and what other advantages there are.

He has also forgotten to take the wide differences between the provinces into account, Remkes said. ‘Cultural and regional identities are a deciding factor’ in the way provinces work and ensure the support of the population, the letter said.

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