New law is discrimination, says Dutch Labour Party

12th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 June 2006, AMSTERDAM – Not only immigrants but indigenous Dutch people too should be able to speak and write Dutch, Dutch MP Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in parliament on Monday during discussion of proposed legislation on the naturalisation of immigrants.

12 June 2006

AMSTERDAM – Not only immigrants but indigenous Dutch people too should be able to speak and write Dutch, Dutch MP Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in parliament on Monday during discussion of proposed legislation on the naturalisation of immigrants.

If this approach applied to everyone living in the Netherlands who was receiving social benefits and required to be available for work, the proposed legislation would not be discriminatory, he said.

Dijsselbloem referred to warnings from the council of state, the advisory commission on foreigner affairs and the commission on equal treatment. They indicated that minister of integration Rita Verdonk’s proposals for a naturalisation programme for all immigrants, no matter how long they have lived in the Netherlands would lead to unequal treatment of different groups of Dutch citizens. The result could be protracted court cases about discrimination, the MP said.

The problem could be avoided if no distinction were made between born Dutch people, naturalised Dutch people, people who have opted for Dutch citizenship, EU citizens and foreigners.

It was not clear on Monday whether the Dutch Labour Party would achieve a majority vote on the proposal. The Christian Democrats, leading partner in the ruling coalition, is strongly against indigenous Dutch people being included in the new law.

D66, the smallest governing party, said it would consider supporting the Labour Party proposal if it proves to be a good way to prevent discrimination, said party spokeswoman Ursie Lambrechts. It is not clear yet whether the LPF (lijst Pim Fortuin) would support the proposal.

Verdonk has already adjusted some of the formulations in her proposed legislation following criticism in parliament. She has spent the last three years preparing the naturalisation legislation, the main point of which is that all immigrants, whether they are long established in the Netherlands or recent arrivals, will have to do a naturalisation test. Those who fail the test may receive a fine or even face the possibility that their residence permits are not extended.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]


Subject: Dutch news

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