Sunday 18 August 2019

Dutch expats launch lobby group to fight for their rights back home

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch expats on Thursday formally launched a new organisation to fight for their rights and campaign for changes to dual nationality and voting laws.

The Stichting Nederlanders Buiten Nederland (SNBN) aims to tackle issues such as remote voting, the ‘exorbitant’ cost of renewing a passport abroad, the loss of Dutch citizenship and issues with pensions,’ founder and chairman Eelco Keij told DutchNews.nl.

‘We need an organisation like this because governments change their policies too quickly and too easily when it comes to the Dutch abroad,’ Keij said. ‘We need to be more visible from abroad – we can’t fill the Malieveld like young environment protesters do, because we are simply not in the Netherlands.’

Around one million Dutch nationals – emigrants, expats and students – live outside the Netherlands.

Similar interest organisations are very common in other Western European countries – with the one in Switzerland dating back over a 100 years, Keij points out. ‘This indicates that we are not alone in facing hurdles abroad,’ he said.

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