Saturday 08 August 2020

Seven in 10 Dutch councils ‘have problems’ with European migrants

european flagsSeven out of 10 Dutch local authority areas ‘experience problems’ with migrants from southern, central and eastern Europe, according to a report by a government funded advisory group.

Despite this, most councils have not set up any policy for dealing with migrants and often don’t know how many live within their boundaries, the Kennisplatform Integratie & Samenleving says.

‘Many migrants need support in terms of language, healthcare, education and debts,’ spokeswoman Marjan de Gruijter said. ‘These problems are not currently being tackled.’

The biggest issue highlighted in the report is that of housing, with many migrants in the Netherlands for short periods being forced to live in unsuitable accommodation or holiday parks.

Language is also an issue. ‘Not speaking Dutch is a clear obstacle in everything,’ one local authority representative is quoted in the report as saying. ‘Given that they don’t have to integrate, this is a tricky problem.’

The report says there are just under 325,000 people from central, southern and eastern Europe living in the Netherlands. Most come from Poland, with Italy and Spain in second and third place. Amsterdam is the most popular place to live, followed by The Hague and Rotterdam.

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