Almost half of people who moved to the Netherlands in 2013 and should complete their integration procedures within three years have now done so, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher has told parliament.
In April, MPs reacted angrily to the news that just 32% of people had passed the required integration tests within the allotted three years.
In addition, Asscher said 9% of the new arrivals had not met the conditions of their stay and could be fined. This is the equivalent of 96 fines, the minister said, without confirming if they actually had to pay.
The minister said he also plans to improve the quality control of integration course providers and help local authorities to do more to assist new arrivals integrate.
In his briefing, Asscher also stated he would adopt a proposal from the Labour party and Christian Democrats to make sure that newcomers have practical experience in learning about key Dutch values. The aim is to make sure refugees learn more about ‘the key Dutch values such as freedom, equality, solidarity and participation,’ Asscher said.
A pilot scheme will involve visits by refugees to the massive Deltaworks flood prevention scheme to encourage national pride and talks with old-school feminists about equal rights, the AD said on Wednesday.
‘Prime minister Mark Rutte talks a lot about what newcomers should so, but if you are proud of what unites the Netherlands, you have to be more proactive. This will give refugees an emotional attachment to the Netherlands as well,’ Labour MP Ahmed Marcouch told the paper
MPs are due to debate integration later on Wednesday.
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