Opinion pieces, columns and insights into Dutch news and current affairs from key commentators. The views expressed in these columns are the writers’ own. To contribute or request our guidelines, contact email@example.com.
The compromise worked out by the cabinet to solve the crisis around Rita Verdonk is a textbook case of Dutch pragmatism. First you have a general election. Then the first thing the new parliament does is vote to stop deporting failed long-term asylum seekers, pending the formation of the new cabinet. More >
Earlier this week, American researchers published a claim that the North Pole would be virtually ice-free within a few decades. The very same day, a group of leading Dutch business men – including top dogs at Shell, KLM and DSM – published a letter calling on the next government to take climate change more seriously. More >
There is of course a fine line between making someone a scapegoat and making that person accept professional responsibility for his or her shortcomings. The decision by the public prosecution department to charge a senior social worker with involuntary manslaughter following the death of a three-year old child in her care (see Friday’s DutchNews.nl) falls into the latter category. More >
News that Amsterdam council is finally trying to get to grips with the city’s notorious red light district has resulted in the usual howls of anguish from brothel owners and all the other groups with a vested interest. It will be bad for the area, bad for the tourist trade, bad for the prostitutes, they say. More >
Wow, the Netherlands is one of the only countries in the world to have a political party for animal rights! The Partij voor de Dieren won two seats in Wednesday’s general election. Rather than being something to boast about, this sad state of affairs is likely to once again make the Netherlands a laughing stock abroad. More >
It’s tough being an expat at election time. Especially a well assimilated foreign national from a large EU member state who speaks Dutch and follows the local media. First you have to get your head round all the parties taking part. There are so many, that the final televised debate on Tuesday night had to be split into two leagues like the premier and the first division in soccer. More >
If the thought wasn’t so frightening it would actually be deeply amusing. Disintegration Minister Rita Verdonk has set her sights on the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the next Balkenende cabinet (number four at the last count but, judging by past history, it’s bound to rise if – God forbid – the CDA do indeed lead the next government). More >