Holland can learn from Australian migration - PM
3 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands can learn from Australia's immigration policy, Dutch Prime Minster Jan Peter Balkenende has said.
3 April 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands can learn from Australia's immigration policy, Dutch Prime Minster Jan Peter Balkenende has said.
Balkenende made his comments during a visit to the Immigration Museum in Melbourne on Monday. He is on a five-day visit to Australia as part of the celebrations to mark the 400-year link between the Netherlands and Australia.
Australia imposes very tough conditions on would-be immigrants, with priority given to the potential economic benefits offered by the migrant, knowledge of the English language and health. Balkenende said the Netherlands should also go in this direction.
"In particular, more emphasis has to be put on labour participation for the younger generations of migrants," the Prime Minister said. He described the current immigration policy in the Netherlands as fair, not tough.
"We have lived next to each other for so long in the Netherlands," Balkenende noted. As a result a migrant must first learn the lesson of the new country. "He must first ask himself what he can contribute, what he can expect and what the preconditions for success are. He must have respect for the law and speak the language."
Balkenende said it was too early, after one day in Australia, to give concrete examples about which parts of Australian immigration policy are suitable for the Netherlands. But discussions with Melbourne's Chinese-background mayor, John Su, and other officials indicated to him Australia's tough selection process is bearing fruit, Balkenende said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news