Deze website wordt niet langer ondersteund in Internet Explorer. Update hier je browser voor een betere ervaring. In January Paul Scheffer published the controversial article 'Het multiculturele drama' The Multicultural Drama in the NRC Handelsblad newspaper, in which he wrote that the multicultural drama unfolding in our society poses the greatest threat to social peace. And on what do we base our reliance that despite visible problems everything will turn out well in the long run?

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Previous Dutch policies towards its immigrant communities had aimed at the full and equal participation of specific groups in society, allowing space for cultural expression and development facilitated by the government.

Recent policies had focused on the responsibilities of individual members of society. Civic integration courses as an introduction to Dutch society were required for certain categories of newcomers. The current minister for housing, communities and integration has explained integration as having occurred when "someone who has come to the Netherlands speaks Dutch and is familiar with the culture and the values and norms.

People must be able to understand, comprehend and tolerate each other. The main targets for these attacks have been Muslim communities, especially Turks and Moroccans.

In fact, in a Parliamentary Research Committee on the Integration Policy Blok Commission 16 concluded amongst other things that integration had actually been relatively successful and that progress had been achieved in the various fields of housing, employment, and education. But these findings of the commission at that time were largely ignored in a climate of public attacks on immigration, migrant communities, and Dutch integration policies.

The integration courses for migrants were attacked as well for failing to achieve their objectives, although others said problems with the courses were inevitable given that they were new.

These attacks produced a government response. The overall objective of these measures was set out in the coalition agreement presented by the second Balkenende government to the parliament in May Anyone who wishes to settle permanently in our country must participate actively in society and master the Dutch language, become aware of Dutch values and observe the standards. Once arrived in the Netherlands, the newcomer must also deepen his or her knowledge of Dutch society.

Following the election of a new government in the Netherlands, which came into office in February , there has been a shift in the discourse and approach to integration policy and social issues, with greater emphasis given to the amelioration of poverty and alienation within society as a means of addressing lack of integration.

In November the government issued an Integration Memorandum Integratienota presenting a point plan on integration for , placing more emphasis on action to combat racism, discrimination, polarization, and radicalism. During her presentation of the memorandum, the current Minister of Housing, Communities and Integration, Ella Vogelaar, expressed concerns about the widening gap between native Dutch people and migrants.

However, despite this change in rhetoric, the tests introduced by the previous government, and particularly the overseas integration test, remain in force, with the discriminatory outcome that is set out below. Bruquetas-Callejo, B. Penninx and P. The committee applied the following definition of integration. Integration is a two-sided process: newcomers are expected to be prepared to integrate, while the Dutch society has to make integration possible.

These results were seen by some as teething troubles typical of the initial stages of such new programs. Others claimed that the entire idea of integration courses was ill-conceived. The overall objective of these measures was set out in the coalition agreement presented by the second Balkenende government to the parliament in May Anyone who wishes to settle permanently in our country must participate actively in society and master the Dutch language, become aware of Dutch values and observe the standards.


The nerve to break taboos: New realism in the Dutch discourse on multiculturalism

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Paul Scheffer

In , he wrote an essay Het multiculturele drama "The multicultural drama" which was very influential in shaping the debate on multiculturalism and immigration in the Netherlands. His book, Het land van aankomst, was published in English in as Immigrant Nations, and is a comparative study of immigration in Europe and America. Scheffer is a columnist for NRC Handelsblad and publishes regularly in other European journals and magazines. In this essay, Paul Scheffer discusses the waning of the European powers at the expense of new economies like Brazil, India, and China, and raises the question how Europe manages to deal with this change. He argues the perception of Europe in the new economies will acquire ever greater significance for European societies. This, according to Scheffer, presents an invitation to write history in a new way.


The country of arrival: Paul Scheffer and Louis Tabback on multiculturality

Waarom denken we het ons te kunnen veroorloven generaties immigranten te zien mislukken en een verondersteld reservoir aan talent onbenut te laten? En waaraan ontlenen we het vertrouwen dat alles wel op zijn pootjes terecht zal komen? De maatschappelijke vrede wordt ernstig bedreigd, meent Paul Scheffer. Soms neemt de culturele verwarring een komische wending. Het voorstel van de hoofdcommissarissen om de pet naar believen in te ruilen voor een hoofddoekje of tulband laat goed de onzekerheid zien, die de aanwezigheid van meer en meer migranten in Nederland met zich meebrengt. Zo'n buiging naar religieuze voorkeuren is vast goed bedoeld, maar blijkbaar vraagt men zich niet af of deze koestering van eigen identiteit wel samengaat met het streven naar emancipatie.



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